7 Reasons Careers Plateau Too Soon

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” This often quoted observation from Henry David Thoreau’s On Walden Pond was made in 1840. Sometimes I wonder if this observation is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 19th century. Based on over 20 years of coaching individuals through career transitions I have concluded that the majority of working men and women, from PhDs to dropouts, fail reach their potential. They take “Potluck” jobs hoping that their ideal position will be just around a corner that often fails to materialize. And so in some small way many are “living lives of quiet desperation”.

Why do the majority of 21st century men and women plateau well below our potential? I believe it comes down to seven factors that often start in our teen years:

  1. Having to choose a career with little life experience.
  2. Not knowing or considering core values and motivated skills.
  3. Poor transition planning.
  4. Settling for “Potluck” Jobs
  5. Undervaluing the “Soft Stills”.
  6. A lack of strategic career planning.
  7. The lack of personal branding.
Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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