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BLOGCareer Inertia

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Professional Development, Promotion

Have you hit a professional brick wall? Is it becoming harder and harder to get where you want to go? Career Inertia refers to all of those things that slow you down as you try to reach your goals: not obstacles that stop you in your tracks, but people and activities (and mindset) that just make each day a bit tougher.

Some examples of Career Inertia:

  • Others have been promoted to jobs that you feel you were best qualified for.
  • You haven’t been given you any new professional challenges (and you haven’t asked for them.)
  • You have always shied away from “scary” activities, which for you might include public speaking, sales, etc.
  • You are no longer part of the “in” group.
  • You haven’t taken any professional development/training in several years.
  • You are doing well, but have a feeling of complacency.

If you don’t think that you have an inertia problem, ask yourself this simple question: despite your current success, might you do better still, with even less effort? If the answer is yes (or maybe), then looking at Career Inertia is still worthwhile.

Typically, Career Inertia creeps in silently over a period of time, which is why it is hard to recognize. Your career wasn’t built in a day, and won’t be “fixed” that quickly either. Reversing inertia takes time and effort.


What could happen if the inertia problem were solved? Since you can only control what is within your power to control (eg yourself), spend time considering what you are doing – or not doing – that is slowing you down. Then stop doing it, or start doing it. Taking personal responsibility will add energy – and will change Career Inertia into professional success.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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