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Reducing Plateau Periods

Understanding plateau periods may help an ambitious employee do a better job of coping, but aren’t there ways to shorten them? Should you be faced with a plateau period in the future, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I using my present role to improve my future, whether or not I stay with the organization?

    Some people have the capacity to turn boring jobs into self-improvement periods. A good example is the ambitious supervisor of a shipping operation who wants to know more about data processing. On company time, she (or he) might start investigating the possibilities for her own department, thereby benefiting both her department and herself.

  • Am I taking advantage of all the training opportunities available to me now?

    Such opportunities could exist both inside and outside the company. Community involvement of any kind can help one live through or even shorten a plateau period. Many employees have found moonlighting both therapeutic and financially rewarding.

  • Is it time to revise my career goals? Is it time to scramble?

    When organizations change internally, employees must adjust. Instead of resisting changes, they must turn them into opportunities. For example, you might consider changing your channel of promotion by asking for a transfer to a growing, instead of a declining, department. Or even better, reassess your personal business plan, and, if needed, revise and put your Plan B to work (Review Chapter 20).

  • Have I applied for a promotion?

    Upward communication to let management know you feel you are ready for more responsibility is often worthwhile, even if nothing happens. It may not eliminate a plateau, but it could shorten it.

  • Are there some company-sponsored activities in which I could become involved?

    Often there are sports activities, study groups, and cultural programs that can give you additional employee and management contacts as well as pleasure. Such activities may not shorten plateau periods, but they may make them seem shorter.

  • What about doing something spectacular?

    Can you volunteer for a very tough assignment that nobody else has been willing to tackle? A new assignment for which you volunteered could provide you with a personal challenge. It could also communicate a message to upper management about your potential and readiness to accept more responsibility.



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