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Human Resources Management - Career Development

Mid-career Crisis and Career Plateau - Career Development

   Posted On :  13.06.2018 09:34 pm

The period occurring between the mid-thirties and mid-forties during which people often tend to make a major reassessment of their progress in relation to their original career goals and personal ambitions.

Mid-career Crisis and Career Plateau

The period occurring between the mid-thirties and mid-forties during which people often tend to make a major reassessment of their progress in relation to their original career goals and personal ambitions. As people reach the middle of their careers, they find that their options to move out of the organization is lower than before, while there are increasingly fewer number of positions above them to aspire for. Some people are likely to experience “plateau”, a condition of stagnation in one’s current job without any noticeable variation for a long period of time. In general, junior officers of the management cadre are the ones to experience the most rapid growth among any type of employees.

According to Argyris, every person in their normal course of living tends to move through a transition from characteristics of immaturity towards more mature personality characteristics. As age passes, an employed person is likely to become more independent, develop deeper interests, reach super-ordinate positions and heighten his or her self-awareness. Their perspective tends to be focused on a long-term rather than a short-term. This trend is likely to continue till retirement. Getting appointment to the first job, successful completion of the period of probation, gaining positive ratings in the appraisal could be described as the path breakers in an individual’s career. However, promotions and transfers mark major transitional milestones in one’s career. Especially, promotions during early period of one’s career are boons to the employee as these employees would not have to face tough competition later in their career lives.

A successful career in management would result from the following key efforts by a career aspirant:

1. Judicious selection of one’s first job, wherever there is a choice. For example, managers who start out in departments that are high in power within the organizations are more likely to advance rapidly throughout their careers.

2. Good work performance is a necessary condition but not sufficient for managerial success. The marginal performer might be rewarded in the short term, but his or her weaknesses are bound to surface eventually and cut off career advancement. Good work performance is no guarantee of success, but without it the probability of a successful career is low.

3. Presenting the right image in accordance to his or her evaluation of an organization’s culture.
 
4. Gaining control of organizational resources that are scarce and sources of power.

5. Staying visible would help to tackle the subjectivity of the superior’s evaluation of one’s contribution.

6. Seeking early transfers, promotions or shifting jobs before it becomes too long to be able to signal that the person is on the fast track.

7. Right timing for switching over from first job. Accepting an early transfer to a new job assignment and quickly moving through different jobs, an employee tends to signal to recruiters that they are on a fast track.

8. Find a mentor from the organization’s power core, who could take the career aspirant as his protégé and as an ally.

9. Supporting the superior: Helping the boss succeed and being supportive at times of crisis could help to propel a person’s career progression.

10. Willingness to move across different geographical locations and across functional lines within the organization and outside it facilitates career progression.

11. Thinking and moving laterally to jobs that are more interesting and offering a wider range of experiences. 
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