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Breaking Through a Plateau

Ryan Estis – Speaks on Business Performance, Leadership and Sales

Ryan Estis - Speaks on Business Performance, Leadership and Sales - The Sweeney Agency - Coronavirus

“I feel stuck in my career right now and unsure how to move forward.” 

I could relate to exactly how my friend was feeling. I’ve had moments where I felt stuck and remember precisely when I hit a career plateau. That one hurt. I had 15 years of equity built into that company, and I was clinging to a false sense of security. I just couldn’t see that the safer bet was to actually bet on me. 

According to a study by Oracle, more than 75% of people feel “stuck” personally and professionally. That’s led directly to a phenomenon called “quiet quitting” — what we used to call phoning it in. Too many people have already quit but keep showing up for the paycheck. Across the U.S. employee engagement is falling, according to survey data from Gallup, with Gen Z and younger millennials reporting the lowest levels of engagement (31%).

Gallup’s chief scientist Jim Harter says quiet quitting describes a large group of survey respondents that he classifies as “not engaged”— they show up to work and do the minimum required but not much else.

I get it because I’ve been there. There is also something you can do about it! 

In order to unstick myself, I consider two important things: My inputs and my approach. 

What are you listening to or studying that’s enriching your mind and changing your perspective? Who are you listening to that serves as a viable sounding board in helping you grow? “The 4-Hour Work Week” was a critical read at a time when I needed it, and I still am an avid listener to the Tim Ferris podcast today. The point is that the unsticking phase often takes a shift in perspective so it’s important to jump back into the learning lane. 

Taking stock of the information you’re consuming can help you see where you are, and being intentional about curating what you read and learn can help to plot a course for change. 

One of the best ways to disrupt a routine that feels stale is to find a challenge. It can be something as simple as walking a different route to the office, or something as meaningful as taking a work-sponsored class. Routines are great, but too much monotony can make it easy to slide into a rut that contributes to feeling stuck. Get unstuck by trying something new.

For example, my wellness routine hit a big plateau this summer.  After feeling a bit stuck, I decided to mix it up and registered for Hell on the Hill with my brother. The preparation alone is pushing me right out of my rut and back in the groove. It’s exactly what I needed. 

Some other ideas you could consider: 

  • Define what you want next. Clarity creates confidence and a commitment to take action. 
  • Consult trusted advisers. Ask for (and listen to) candid feedback that you can leverage.
  • Join an industry-specific group to gain perspective and insights from like-minded people.
  • Create a personal board of directors.
  • Make a move. Knowing full well that even if it turns out to be the wrong decision, you are more than capable of learning and recovering armed with valuable insight. No decision is a decision in and of itself. 

The next time you find yourself on a plateau, learn from it. Embrace the challenge. Assess yourself, find growth opportunities and explore new paths. Plateaus aren’t the end; they are another beginning.

About Ryan Estis

Ryan Estis has more than 20 years of experience as a top-performing sales professional and leader. As the former chief strategy officer for the McCann Worldgroup advertising agency NAS, he brings a fresh perspective to business events. As a keynote speaker, Ryan is known for his innovative ideas on leading change, improving sales effectiveness and preparing for the future of work. He was recently recognized as one of “the best keynote speakers ever heard” by Meetings & Conventions magazine alongside Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Colin Powell and Mike Ditka.

To learn more about Ryan Estis contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency  www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]