Published in Forbes November 27, 2020 (read the article on Forbes here)
What happens after you’ve achieved your career aspirations? Maybe you’ve landed the top leadership role, successfully navigated a career transition or perhaps you’ve grown laterally as much as you can grow vertically in your organization. You’ve seemingly completed it all and retirement is not an option or a desire. You’ve gone as far as you can and you’re starting to feel uninspired and stagnant in your career.
The natural question for high achievers in this position is usually: What’s next? How do you maintain your upward trajectory, keep your motivation, continue developing and affirm your commitment to personal excellence once you’ve hit the top?
At Bright Wire Leadership, we believe the best performing leaders can always get better. To help you navigate what the next personal or professional opportunity could be and to mitigate career stagnation, here are four strategies to consider:
1. Shift your mindset. If further education or career progression are no longer motivators for you, now is a great opportunity to shift your intention to serving something greater than yourself. Take a mindset of ‘learn-earn-serve’ and find an opportunity to help contribute or create something that can help you leave a legacy. As an example, get passionate about your role as a leader in developing people and commit to leaving your organization better than you found it.
2. Try a new career. Pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity that leverages your leadership skills and unique value proposition. Consider changing course all together and seek an opportunity to be an advisor to organizations that align with your skills, leadership and experience. The journey of moving from an employee to a consultant is a unique and valuable way to define a potential new career path and take control of how and when you want to work.
3. Be a learner. Choose something that resonates with you, but is not about your profession, and immerse yourself in learning all about it. It could be related to sports, music, history, art, health, wellness, civic duties, community involvement, language, family or anything else. Explore something you have always been curious about, but perhaps have yet to prioritize. And do not forget to give yourself permission to be a beginner, When starting something new as a successful leader, it can be difficult and intimidating to not have all the answers. Apply strategy one in this case and shift your mindset to the new possibilities behind what you can learn.
4. Get involved. Find a community volunteer or board opportunity that gets you excited, engaged and will increase your overall fulfillment. Seek out opportunities that are meaningful and aligned to your personal values. These are great ways to give back to your communities, engage with people and co-create new solutions on new topics.
The most profound and critical strategy to mitigating career stagnation is a shift in your mindset. At Bright Wire we also greatly value the ability for a Leader to actively shift their perspective. Accelerating in your career and achieving your aspirations is hard work and often encompasses the majority of one’s career. Using the four strategies we’ve outline here can help you define your new purpose, and create the motivation and momentum to keep you reaching higher for the next chapter in your professional journey.
Our experienced executive coaches have worked with A+ leaders and top-tier organizations across Alberta, Canada, and North America to, provide leadership development services and forge high-performance cultures that drive results.
If you are looking for an executive or leadership coach based in Calgary to help you perform higher, or help bring intentionality to your next professional chapter, we are the team that can take you, or your organization, to the next level.