Is your head on the chopping block?

If your career is on the road to nowhere, do something about it.

6 signs that your career is going nowhere.

You sent in your resume, went off for the interview, and got the job. Great.

But it’s a couple of years later and your career is going nowhere or, worse still, your employer might be looking to get rid of you. It’s time to either recognise the problem or start looking for a new job.

Below are six signs that your career is going badly.

1.    You’re passed over for promotions and pay rises

If colleagues at the same level as you are starting to get promotions and you’re not, then it’s time to start wondering about your career, says Andrew Morris, Director of Queensland & Western Australia at financial services recruiter Robert Half. Likewise, if your pay has remained stagnant despite a couple of salary reviews.

2.    It's been two years and nothing has happened

As a rule of thumb, something should happen with your career about every two years, be it a promotion, a pay rise or new responsibilities. If none of these have happened then it’s probably a good sign that you’re going nowhere.

“If you’ve been in the job for two years and you haven’t progressed, why haven’t you progressed?” asks Morris. “That’s why 50 per cent of the workforce turns over every two years: because they haven’t received the promotion or the pay rise that they’re looking for.”

3. Your career isn’t being discussed

 Morris says you should be sitting down quarterly, every six months or yearly with your supervisor to discuss your career.

“If you’re not, you’re not getting transparent information from your employer about where you’re at; nor are you looking to better yourself,” he says. “If you’re not asking the difficult questions then you need to be.

“A lot of people are upset they haven’t been promoted but haven’t had the courage to have the conversation with their boss, because maybe their boss hasn’t had the courage to have the conversation with them.”

4. There are unusual warning signs

If you’re doing the same sort of job that you’ve been doing for the past few years but all of a sudden you’re getting warnings and questions about your performance, then it’s a sign that something has changed, says Michael Edelstein of Lucky You Found Me, a recruitment firm specialising in accountancy jobs. This is particularly true if your performance has never been an issue in the past and now you’re being hauled up for what appear to be trifling matters.

“Generally when that happens they are about to get rid of you,” says Edelstein.

5. You’re losing key accounts or clients

Another sign your employer is preparing for the day when you’ll no longer be there is if they start taking you off key clients and accounts, says Edelstein. Companies do this because they don’t want to risk a staff member taking clients with them if they’re terminated. Also, the staff member is the person with the most intimate knowledge of what’s going on with those clients and they want to get other people up to speed before they leave so there is no drop in the service level.

6. You’re encouraged to take extended leave

If everything’s going well with you job, you’re likely to be busy taking care of clients or working on new projects. But if your manager is approving – or worse encouraging – extended leave, then this can be a bad sign, particularly if it’s over what is usually a busy period, says Edelstein.

What should you do? Talk about it

The best approach if you’re caught in this situation is to address it with your manager in a frank conversation, say human resources experts. Ask what you can do to improve, and discuss your key performance indicators with your boss.

Edelstein has one final piece of advice if you don’t get the sort of answers you’re looking for: “Start considering your future and have a look around for other opportunities.”

Do your skills measure up? Assess yourself with CPA Australia's Career Guidance System.