Article (November-2021)


Career Plateau : The biggest menace of the hour

Satyanarayan Swain

Designation : -   Human Resource Management

Organization : -  XIM University, Bhubaneswar

Other Writers : -  Dr. Kalpana Sahoo - Assistant Professor, XIM University


10201 Total View        

Every one of us likes both personal and professional growth but what happens when either of them or both of them struck? Who is responsible? Why does it happen? What is the side-effect? What is the easy solution?

During the era of 20th century where we talk about industry 4.0, IoT, Agile structure, Hybrid work force, employee wellbeing, employee engagement and many other corporate jargons but still the career plateau and its severity both personal and professional front is a big menace. Career Plateau is a phenomenon wherein the possibility of vertical career growth within the organisational hierarchy becomes very low or struck. It often happens that most of the employees reach a career plateau before attaining their individual career goals. The transformation to flatter organisation and agility in organisation culture is one of the measure factors for this.

The word career plateau which otherwise known as career stagnation, it means that the existing knowledge and skills are not adding any value to the organisation, industry or personal growth with respect to career. Monotony is a huge symptom of career plateau followed by unrewarding tasks and job roles and inadequate pay. In other words, it prompts us to increase the skill set, functional expertise, knowledge etc. in alignment with the environment of the organisation. The organisation never promised job security and it has always boiled down to update ourselves for a better and updated career path. The CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd) report on 27 Sep 2020 says that an estimated 21 million salaried employees have lost their jobs by the end of Aug 2020. About 4.8 million of salaried jobs were lost in July 2020 3.3 million in Aug 2020. This huge damage is likely to be deeper among industrial workers and also white-collar jobs.

There are many types of career plateau, out of this; two are most common form in many organisations, Organisational Plateau and Personal Plateau. Organisational career plateau is further divided into structural and content. The former is a type where the organisational structure prevents an employee for a vertical shift in the hierarchy whereas the later is experienced when an employee knows his job well but he does not find any variety or challenge in the job. Alternately the employee is not interested in taking on greater responsibility or transferring to another department. Personal Plateau is a type wherein the employee's ability does not match the job requirement or employee lacks motivation or career aspiration.

The unprecedented situation since 2020 that ransacked the whole world to a great extent. The spread of corona virus shut many industries and population as well. Due to this the migrant workers also shifted to their respective native places. The organisations are running in losses. There is a need for food to the poor community. This directly or indirectly affected the industry which further cascaded to the individual goals of the employees. Many people become jobless and many others career became plateaued. Also due to the process of downsizing, layoff etc. many employees have to stop their work. So, in this uncertain situation demographic factor plays a big role in career plateau.

Career Plateau Model

Career Plateau has both negative and positive impact. The negative impact includes showing anger, frustration, loss of interest in work, blaming the organisation, frequent job changes, family problem etc. This further leads to measure damages such as mental stress, various health disorders, family disturbances and many more. Under some cases it has positive impact as well. The positive impact includes changing to different working culture, gives management to formulate new policies for the employees, and increases job satisfaction. Thus, its identification and suitable solution is the need of the hour during this situation. It is the high time when new innovative ideas are come into mind. It allows reflection to our individual front and to check ourselves whether we are self-sufficient or not. Plateau allows the employee to assimilate new knowledge and utilize this knowledge to functional and professional field. Some of the measure organisational impact is career plateau leads to burn out and heavy stress. Also, the employee loses inter personal relationship on job. Apart from these major impacts, it often happens that due to career plateau the employee generates many behavioural changes within himself which not only affect the personal life but also to overall employee productivity.

To read the full article, pl. subscribe now!

Satyanarayan Swain  & Dr. Kalpana Sahoo