In 2012, approximately 13% of overqualified university graduates were not satisfied with their job (Hango, D., & LaRochelle- Côté, S., 2016). Employment and career development are two areas which can greatly affect how a person sees themselves. Success in one’s career, for instance, can make someone feel purposeful, happy, and proud that their abilities and skills are being put to good use. Failure, however, can impact self-confidence, self-esteem, and cause a person to develop a pervading sense of unhappiness or negativity (Abele, Spurk, & Volmer, 2011).
In order for certified life coaches to be able to address the issues their clients may face, it’s important to first know where their discontent or unhappiness comes from, particularly as it relates to their career. Career stagnation—a period of low growth, opportunity, and dissatisfaction—can play a significant role in how a client feels about themselves, their work, and the world around them (Abele et al., 2011). Here’s how you can use your life coach training to help clients address and manage issues stemming from a lack of progression in their career.
Life Coaches Know there Are Many Reasons Behind Career Stagnation
Job satisfaction is a multi-dimensional concept, and involves different components such as satisfaction with pay, promotion opportunities, benefits, job security, and the challenge or importance of the job itself (Baloch, Q.B., 2009).
While many people experience phases of stagnancy in their career, there are two underlying factors those interested in life coach certification should be aware of which can make a client feel as if they are in an indefinite career rut. These factors are known as interpersonal and intrapersonal factors.
Intrapersonal factors are factors located within an individual, and include self-efficacy or personal goals. They can influence someone’s subjective interpretations, causing them to have the perspective that their career has stalled, even when it may not in fact be the case. Interpersonal factors such as organizational issues can include discrimination, lack of socialization, or bullying. In addition, interpersonal factors can also include a situation in the labor market that affects progress within a career (Abele et al., 2011).
Using Your Life Coach Certification to Help Clients Identify Career Stagnation
Career stagnation becomes a significant dilemma when an individual finds that they are not able to cope with the state of their career (Abele et al., 2011). This imbalance between workplace demands and how the individual processes those demands can lead to stress, which can manifest in individual symptoms such as negative emotions and increased alcohol or caffeine use (Florea, R., & Florea, R., 2016).
Factors related to the workplace can also contribute to stress, and are themselves often a sign of career stagnation, including prolonged periods of long hours, high staff turnover, reduced morale, and absenteeism (Florea, R., & Florea, R., 2016). Often, career stagnation can stem from a career plateau, heavy workload, or low salary (Gordon, J., PhD, & Miles, S., PhD., & Storlie, C., PhD, 2013). If your client feels affected by any of the previously mentioned factors, they may be experiencing career stagnation.
How Life Coaches Can Help Clients Crest the Career Plateau
Life coaching certification can equip you with the skills you need to address a client’s situation, and work with them to find viable, healthy solutions to their problems. One common issue is known as the ‘career plateau’. The career plateau occurs when an employee no longer feels challenged by their job responsibilities or otherwise feels they have reached their career pinnacle (Gordon et. al, 2013).
One of the most promising potential solutions to career plateau and stagnation involves occupational self-efficacy, which is an individual’s belief in their capacities to perform occupational tasks and challenges successfully (Abele et al., 2011). Simply put, when someone can identify areas of their work they excel at, they can use this assurance to increase their confidence in the workplace, potentially decreasing their overall sense of stagnation.
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Contact Rhodes College for more information about our certified life coach training in Vancouver.
Abele, A.E., & Spurk, D., & Volmer, J. (2011). Career Stagnation: Underlying Dilemmas and Solutions. Contemporary Work Environments. Work and Quality of Life: Ethical Practices in Organizations. Doi: 107-132. 10.1007/978-94-007-4059-4_7
Baloch, Q. B. (2009). Effects of Job Satisfaction on Employee Motivation & Turn Over Intentions. Journal of Managerial Sciences, 2 (1).
Florea, R., & Florea, R. (2016). Individual and Organizational Implications of Work-related Stress. Economy Transdisciplenarity Cognition, 19 (1). 28-33.
Gordon, J., PhD, & Miles, S., PhD., & Storlie, C., PhD. (2013). Job Satisfaction, Perceived Career Plateau, and the Perception of Promotability: A Correlational Study. The Journal of International Management Studies, 8 (1).
Hango, D., & LaRochelle- Côté, S. (2016 14 September). Overqualification, Skills and Job Satisfaction. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2016001/article/14655-eng.htm