6 Early Signs You’re Stuck in a Stagnant Career

| 4 min read
stagnant career

Stagnant career signs are everywhere. Are you working so hard with a lot of work experience but with very little to show for your hard work? Are your colleagues having better career advancement opportunities compared to you? Do you find yourself with no defined path for promotion? Is your job getting threatened by automation in the nearest possible future? Do you feel too comfortable or are you getting frustrated by the environment, your job and more?

If any of the above ticks off your list or comes close, you’re likely on the path to a stagnant career and or already facing a stagnated career. Whether you find yourself heading in this direction or not, the following are stagnant career signs you should be wary of and watch out for.

Lost Touch With Family and Friendsstagnant career

Many personal relationships are hurt by career demands and the frustration can lead to a stagnant career as it will affect your focus. Have you found yourself in a situation where important anniversaries, birthdays, special ceremonies and more are all forgotten because of your career? You’re definitely losing touch and headed for a stagnant career but as much as both are important, find a balance that works for both.

Bored On the Job or At Workstagnant career

It’s most likely that your job or industry no longer challenges you or your level of skills and this results in being continuously bored on the job or at work. As a stagnant career sign, this keeps you less motivated to scale your skills up to meet up with the demands of your job. Tasks are now monotonous and mechanical; a constant cycle of the same day, same things with very little to look forward to.

No Raise, Improved Welfare or Role Changestagnant career

You’ve been on the job for a while now, yet, there has been no raise, improved welfare or role changed to help you scale up. This is a real sign of a stagnated career because you have not benefited from adding more to your wealth of experience, not getting more money and not enjoying an improved welfare that can improve your working conditions.

Skills and Contribution Not Importantstagnant career

A professional environment will require the best of your skills and contribution to helping the organisation achieve its goals. A stagnant career sign is being on the job where your skill and contribution are not important, valued or sought to be implemented. This can be as a result of poor leadership ranks or poor company policies. Such environment stifles growth and career aspirations.

You Are Getting AbusedYou_Are_Getting_Abused-1200x630

A stagnant career sign is the presence of emotional and verbal abuse both from colleagues and bosses. Such work environment can affect your mental health and personal confidence to perform and deliver on your tasks.

Every Single Day Feels Like Mondaystagnant career

Remember the cliche saying that everybody hates Monday? Well, if you go to work every day and it feels like Monday and this continues over a long period, you’re likely facing a notable sign of career stagnation.

In conclusion, whether these signs are as a result of external or internal stimuli, it’s highly important to take steps at redeeming yourself and your career from stagnation. Employers will only overtime hire candidates who will bring more value and show you the door out. These are just a few signs, take a self-audit and if you’re experiencing any of the signs listed here or not listed, you should work at living above such career stagnation signs. Allowing yourself to fall deep into it spells doom for your career growth.

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.


  1. Hi,
    Some of what you’ve stated above, I find my self in now.
    Now, I’m 41 (unmarried) with experience & not much skill-wise.

    What would you suggest, given Nigeria being what it is?

    • Hi Gabe,
      Not trying to sound cliche but they say life begins at 40. Forget “Nigeria being what it is” thought process because it would de-motivate you. You need to take a self-audit to where you want to be at 45, what are you passionate about, what skills do you need to invest time and money in to get there and give it your best. Start where you are, you also start online with courses and skills you take. You can email me if you need further clarification, looking forward to seeing you at the top. Best Regards.

  2. I understand. Everyday felt like a Monday at my previous job plus i had no peace of mind. I had to listen to my instinct and perform a self audit and left. Now i am much better

  3. Thanks so much for this beautiful writeup on career stagnation. However, I would be great to also read about possible prevention methods, remedies or solutions.

    All the same very nice peace.

    • Hello Sunday,
      Thanks for the suggestion but in the interim, I would like to say the prevention and some of the remedies are in the Signs. Avoid the signs and you’re on a better path to avoiding career stagnation.
      Best Regards.

      • how do we avoid these signs when in fact,you know that you had no zeal about the job in the first place,but because as a young graduate back in 2011(after NYSC),they told you to just accept the job,that it is better to start small,you accepted the job.With the hope that with time you get a better place in terms of financial reward,working in line with your natural passion and generally better working environment,but alas 7 years down the line you are still stuck in the same place,position ,salary and increasingly worse condition.

        • Hello John,
          In terms of the scenarios here, it’s better to start small. Starting small was not the problem I believe but my question would be, how much was invested in self-development, training, personal branding and even experience on the job after 7 years? Something must be fundamentally wrong in these areas but alas the best time to start is now, already has some experience. All that needs investment now is in the skills and know-how to acquire this new job. If you do have further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
          Best Regards

  4. Thanks so much for this wonderful masterpiece. May the good Lord continue to enrich your wisdom.
    These are exactly my ordeal at the moment. Walking away or quitting is not the best option as I think.
    What can one do?
    You got a job based on poor negotiations, you came in only to discover that both Technicians, Supervisors, Assistant Managers earn more than you as a full fledge Manager. You complained and all your complaints fell on deaf ears even with stern warnings or threats of being kicked out.
    You tried applying to other places, no job is forthcoming.
    This is absolutely Career Stagnation!
    Your useful and helpful suggestions / advice would be highly appreciated.

    • Hello Oluwasina,
      This is a sad experience and a tough place to be. The warnings and threats are uncalled for and unprofessional. My advice will be two-sided; stay on the job, do your best work and plan your exit 3-6months or resign and go job-hunting. Whichever path you choose to, please go about it in the most professional manner and also consider self-development while at it. Best regards.

  5. Thanks Princewill for this beautiful piece. This presently mirrors what am presently facing on my current job.The company have no regards for experience, qualification and versatility on the job, in short , the Organization can even pay more to a school Certificate holder over an experienced professional. It is like I am working for a zoo company that undermines the Worth of its Staff especially Nigerians. As I write this my heart bleeds for Nigerians that work in this company in particular , and also for Nigeria as whole. Our clueless in leaders allow Foreign companies to come in here to make a caricature of its citizens.It is so so sad.

  6. The write up is very appropriate for most employees. What are the practical steps that can be taken personally to get out of a stagnated career due to a draconain policies of the company one is working or in a situation where rules and processes are done based on the feelings and emotions of the owner of the business.

  7. Oh wow… can totally say i am in a dilemma right now in trying to make a choice between letting this job go to follow my passion and the fear of unforeseen circumstances. then again, I think to my self, there are no guarantees. I am still torn between the choices I have to make. This was speaking to me but I need clarity.

    • Hello Edith,
      I think your passion is winning the race already. You can plan your exit while at it and truly there are no guarantees but with a well thought out plan you won’t be jumping in blindly. Best Regards

  8. This is thought provoking. It is a nice piece. I could picture myself there. Hmmmmm, the guts to leave the job now is my problem. I have 5 years to retirement. To say the least, I am not too fulfilled. I want to do more in order to enhance my financial base. Job changes require capital and I do not have it. However, I am now looking at post retirement and I am in the Administrative cadre. Thanks for the awareness. It is really great.

    • Hello Mrs Bassey, lovely to hear your optimism. I believe post-retirement you can upskill yourself in things you’re passionate about and go into that when you do. Best wishes.

  9. Am so happy to be here. A big thank you to you for the great platform.
    I wish to re-write my CV.
    Please, how can I get assistance or someone to help me re-write my CV?
    Thank you

  10. Hey!
    I found myself falling into almost all you’ve said, I lack joy doing what am doing now, I’ve been into it for like 5yrs now but I don’t have anything to show for it & don’t have peace, before now I was planning after this break I won’t return there anymore & I can across your this right up. I love to give my best in what I do but in this I don’t see myself doing that instead I end up getting angry most times over nothing actually. Pls what should I do?

    • Hi Jude,
      Most career professionals get here and also have survived it, this is not a lost cause. Start with a career audit; where you are, where you want to go and what you want next. Also, juxtapose this with what skills you have and need to gain, then add a definite timeline. Get to work on your confidence, skills and plan your exit to a more challenging position within or outside your present place of employment.

      If you need to speak further, kindly reach out.
      Best Regards

  11. Hello good morning Sir, what are the disadvantages of taking my official work home every day.
    Please I need a reply.

    • Hello Adamson,
      I believe this would over time become a habit and if you are at a job that demands delivery of the task at its time that won’t allow you take it home this can become a challenge and another habit to break.

      Best Regards

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