Traffic Jam: Where Are You Trying To Go?


Sometimes in life we encounter a traffic jam. You were traveling on I-95 during rush hour. The traffic news suggests you that you will have to deviate and take a different route to get to your destination.

Likewise, in our careers; we reach that traffic jam. We are on a career path that has us stuck in traffic. We now have to take a different direction. Some signs of a traffic jam:

  • Your supervisor tells you that you should be “grateful” for how far you have traveled.
  • Your training requests are always denied.
  • Younger employees with less experience have surpassed you in career growth.
  • No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get through that traffic jam.
  • The supervisor response “If you are unhappy, you can find another job.”
  • You have worked hard, complied with everything you have been asked to do, you’ve stayed late without compensation, you went above and beyond. You ask the supervisor for a promotion and you are told, “I do not have a magic wand!” However others around you seem to get promoted.
  • Finally, you’ve been told: No matter what, you can come back and ask ten years from now and you will never get promoted!

As a result, you choose a different path; you choose a different route to get to your desired destination. Here are a few suggestions for a detour:

Evaluate your skills. It’s not all about being on Facebook and LinkedIn, and texting. Your field has software or technology specific to its needs. You need to make sure you’re on top of all the technology advances in your field. Learn the advanced versions of Microsoft applications and automated systems. So what…. if you have to do it on your own time! It’s worth the drive!

  • Go Global. Having a global perspectives and a global mindset will set us apart from others. Global Mindset profile comprises three capitals: intellectual capital, which refers to one’s global savvy, your outlook from a global perspective, and cognitive complexity.
  • Lead. Can you lead if no one’s following? Of course you can. There are many projects that you can take on and demonstrate your leadership abilities. For example, lead an action oriented, goal driven committee or plan a program. Lead a food drive in your community or in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
  • Seek a mentor. According to a GovLoop article, one of the most effective ways to drive your career is by having a mentor. Choose some who has your best interest. Collaborate and innovate.
  • Dynamics of an empire change i.e. is people leave, retire, and relocate. Perhaps a new supervisor? New leadership arrives with new perspectives and may show you a better destination. A former President wrote a book called Seize the Moment as it relates to politics. Seize the moments that are presented you!
  • Reinvent, Reposition yourself and perhaps Redeem yourself!
  • Don’t be afraid to be different
  • Your career is only a small part of who you are!

Your Online Presence. Employers are looking at your page and googling you. Make sure they find a competent professional you.

Keep driving. Develop a holistic you and beat the traffic jam. Even when it seems like you are stuck in neutral, keep driving…. but cautiously!

The views expressed are solely the experiences and opinions of the author.

June Bridges Cox is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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