5 signs your career has stalled and how you can restart it

By Robert Half on 18th January 2023

Do you feel like your career has slowed to a stop? It’s not uncommon for professionals to feel this way from time to time. Failing to make progress can be really frustrating - luckily there’s plenty you can do about it.

Here are five signs that your career has stalled and ways you can pick the momentum back up again.

1. Your skillset is falling behind

To remain competitive and grow within your career, it’s important to continue learning. The pace of industry and technology is picking up, which means skill sets are rapidly changing, requiring professionals to be just as adaptable.

You can easily kick-start your career back into action by taking a training course or making an effort to learn something new. By conducting basic research, you can find out which skills are the most in-demand for your industry. It’s also a good idea to meet with your line-manager to identify the skills which will complement the future direction of the company.

Related: How to be the best version of yourself at work

2. You’ve stopped hitting your career goals

Each new year should begin with a list of career goals that take into account where you’d like to be at the end of the year, and an outline of achievable targets to help you get there.

You may have stopped hitting your goals for any number of reasons, such as a disengagement with your role, overly ambitious targets or a change in your role requirements which have put you off-course. Try requesting a meeting with your manager so you can both reassess your career development plan and get things back on track.

3. You took a career side-step and got stuck

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a ‘stepping-stone’ role to help move your career into a position you might grow from. Although you intended to gain experience, make connections and leave after a year or two, you’ve become stuck in the role and are unable to move forward with your larger career plan.

If this has happened, return to your original career plan and decide which is the next logical step for progression. You could also try enlisting the assistance of a recruitment professional - they have the skills needed to help you refine your plan and move you towards your next opportunity.

Related: How to introduce yourself on the first day of a new job 

4. Considerable time has passed since your last bonus or pay rise

Has it been a while since you were rewarded with a bonus or pay rise? It could be a sign that you aren’t chasing career goals or hitting your targets.

You can start by checking a trusted, industry-wide report, like the Robert Half Salary Guide, to see whether your industry is currently awarding bonuses as standard and what the salary benchmark looks like within your location. From there, you can choose to negotiate a pay rise or to assess new opportunities elsewhere.

5. You’re not feeling challenged anymore 

There can be many contributing factors as to why you may feel like your role is no longer challenging, perhaps the work hasn't been very interesting lately, or meetings drag on, or maybe you have simply just outgrown the role.

You could start by setting up a meeting with your manager, explain that you are feeling a lack of motivation and want to take on more tasks or responsibilities. You can even make suggestions, go into work with fresh ideas and create challenges for yourself. If you stay stuck, you'll never be able to grow and expand your skillset, meaning you'll continue to feel unfulfilled and unchallenged. 


You can keep your career on track by searching for new job roles or by getting in touch with the Robert Half team today.

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