Signs You're In A Dead-End Job

How to deal with your dead-end job: Worker sleeps at his laptop.
How to deal with your dead-end job: Worker sleeps at his laptop.

Dead end. It conjures up a dark, dismal alley you can't pass through. It's not a good image if you're trying to get somewhere, most especially getting somewhere in your career. What is a dead-end job, and how can you know if you're in a career-killing situation? Consider the following check list. If any of these apply to you, you are probably in a dead-end job, and you may want to take some steps to change it:

1. There's no opportunity to earn a promotion.
Promotions require a distinct set of circumstances, and it's important to realize early on whether or not opportunities are likely to arise. What should you look for and what questions should you answer before taking the job if promotion is your goal?

Is there mobility in your organization? If the people in the positions you'd likely move into have been there for more than five years and you get the sense that they like their jobs and are well respected in the organization, don't count on reaching the next rung in your organization's career ladder anytime soon.

Is the organization growing? In strong, vibrant companies, even if some people stall or purposely stay in positions for years, or even decades, there may still be opportunities for advancement if the organization expands. For example, opening a new office or branch could result in new promotion opportunities. Do some sleuthing to determine if there is any potential for organizational growth.

Keep up-to-date with local news if you work for a local organization, or with corporate information if you are in a large company. Assess the likelihood of new jobs opening up. If you don't see strong potential for opportunities, you may need to come to terms with the fact that you're in a dead-end job.