5 Warning Signs of Career Derailment

by Adams, Wendy Friday, September 15, 2006
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While we are celebrating a robust and healthy workplace, it becomes easy to allow our careers to coast. Choosing to become a non-active participant however may place a risk to our careers. Here are 5 warning signs and how to use them to your best advantage.

  1. You have been in your job longer than anyone in the company

    If you have not received an opportunity for promotion or some cross-functional movement within the last three years, you should wonder why. With the general exodus of older workers, employees are being moved at record speeds. Want a raise…chances are you may increase your salary by at 20% or more by leaving your current job.

  2. Fellow co-workers and bosses consider you an expert

    Why this may not seem so bad, the generalist type is usually the preferred choice for promotional consideration. Starting tooting your horn to a larger audience about broader concepts; wait for the new opportunities to respond.

  3. You were overlooked for a promotion you had “in the bag”

    Leverage this event by discovering what the “winner” brought to the table. Do your best to make your new boss look good as you begin your search for your next opportunity.

  4. Your direct boss and other supervisors recently quit

    If the ghosts of Enron and WorldCom come haunting, pay heed. Once you witness a mass exodus at upper levels, you may wish to ask yourself why. Start reviewing your options. One strategy includes changing the funding of current company stock into your retirement. Diversify!

  5. Your organization recently merged or was purchased by a large conglomerate

    After heeding #4, remember the word “rightsizing.” Re-package yourself and all of your finances to protect your future. Now is also a good time to practice interviewing again.
If you sense a theme here, you are correct. Staying in one place too long without getting any benefit may seriously hurt your career and your financial future. Take off the rose-colored glasses and look around!