How long have you been stuck in career “Limbo?”

You’re not a productive individual contributor anymore but also not in senior or upper management. Like that song by Stealers Wheel, you’re thinking.

“I’m stuck in the middle with you
And I’m wondering what it is I should do?”

Research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that middle managers are the unhappiest employees of all at U.S. organizations. What you may be wondering is how did you get stuck in this situation in the first place? It all sounded so exciting when you announced your big promotion to your friends and family so many years ago. Yet here you are now. Stuck.

Lose weight, stop smoking … become a senior manager.

Will 2023 be another year when you don’t advance in your career at your current employer? How does this happen? At the end of each year, instead of making the same worn-out New Year’s resolution, you should be asking yourself “How long am I willing to be a middle manager?” Another question should be, “How long does my company intend to keep all these middle managers around?”

You read everyday about companies laying off 1,000s of employees. You can bet they are not laying off productive individual contributors. Without talented and loyal worker bees there is no honey. Were you hired from outside the company or promoted from within? Many companies pride themselves for promoting from within. Many promoted from within are expected to continue using those skills that made them so valuable as an individual contributor along with their new management duties piled on top of them.

Outgrowing your job.

If you did well with handling all the new management duties, more were piled on you the next year, and the next, and each subsequent year thereafter, until you became the “Morphing Middle Manager” and your job didn’t resemble anything like the original job description you were hired to fill.

It hits you out of nowhere. The dreaded middle management disease. Burnout. The signs are obvious. Fatigue, eating all your meals at your desk, the people working for you are in better shape/health than you are, and you are working long hours into the night and on weekends just to catch up while the people you manage (and senior management) are enjoying their weekend partying and playing golf with their friends. If burnout takes control, you will look like you failed as a manager, and it will be a black mark on your resume. (I’ll cover burnout more in a future blog post).

You have options, you have choices, you have help!

So, what’s the plan? What will be different this coming New Year? You have options in your life. You just need to realize them and what they offer. You also have an obligation to yourself and your loved ones. Although they want to see you get promoted, they want to see you promote yourself to a happier and healthier person; one who is grateful every day for a life you created and control.

I help you accomplish this with something I call “Operation Next Step” … A Strategic and Tactical Introspection and Planning Process that identifies and uncovers the ideal next steps available to you and would lead to career satisfaction that goes far beyond working for a paycheck.

Why work with me? Besides having been a Consultant to over 200 high tech companies helping them develop successful marketing/sales campaigns and people, I’ve been in senior marketing positions with two Fortune 100 high tech companies throughout their fast-growth phases.

I’ve been an Executive Recruiter for over 25 years, working as a solo practitioner and also owning my own Search Firm doing key critical searches domestically and Internationally. I have recruited, interviewed, and coached over 50,000 people regarding their career challenges and changes; working with Individual Contributors, Departmental Leaders/Directors, Executive-level Management, and recruiting the CEO of a Fortune 100 high-tech company.

Changing jobs is a decision that affects more than yourself. You don’t want to settle for just what’s “out there.” Take control of your career future. Let me help you open up possibilities you may not have even thought of or were aware of.

Interested in how we can work together? Just send me an email with “Hey Ray, I’m Interested” in the Subject line and I’ll get back to you.