by Patricia Thomas*

If you have found yourself stagnant, frustrated, dissatisfied, or outright unhappy with your current job, then you may have found yourself in a dead-end job. Dead-end jobs are normally classified as positions that do not allow the opportunity to progress within the company.

Entry-level jobs certainly serve a purpose to aid in gaining employment history and experience, so do not be too discouraged if you have found yourself in this position. The first step to being free of a dead-end job is to identify if it has, in fact, become stagnant and will no longer help you grow as an employee. Fortunately, there are common indicators, which are listed below, to help you decide which steps to take to improve your situation.

Working on the same pay grade


Remaining within the same pay scale or salary for any amount of time over one year is a strong indication. Annual pay raises are common workplace practices. If you have found yourself in a job that has not initiated an increase in pay within a reasonable amount of time, then this position has a high probability of being a dead-end job. However, if you enjoy your current job and your paycheck is the only drawback, then asking your supervisor for an increase in pay is a reasonable request and if you are having good performance track record, you might be successful at this with a bit of resilience and good timing.



Working in the same position


A significant indicator that you are in a dead-end job is if you remain in the same entry-level position for 18 months with no sign of advancement, according to Vanessa Giannos, Human Resources Expert and Career Coach, discussed in Joe Cutcliffe’s article on However, if you were hired with the understanding that advancement or movement within the company is not expected then stagnation is anticipated – although this might not mean that you enjoy it.


Check for yourself if this acceptable for you for the moment or not.


Career Growth


In addition to inquiring about a change in pay, you may also be looking for a progression with your work responsibilities. Normal progression within a company incorporates additional training, professional development, and evolving duties within your position. If your manager is not considering you for promotions, entrusting you with additional work duties, or seeking your input and ideas – then you are likely in a dead-end job.




An open dialogue with your manager to discuss your growth within this position and showing that you are interested to take on more responsibilities may turn a stagnant position into a thriving work environment for you! Having clear ideas on when and where to continue growing in your role is a good start.


How To Get Out Of A Dead-End Job


After reviewing these factors in consideration with your own situation you should be a step closer to determining your next career move, or at least able to determine if you are in a dead-end job. An employer that is willing to consider your ideas and requests for progression is worth the effort to invest further. Otherwise, being able to determine when a position isn’t progressive or flexible, having offered all it can for you, is when you can confidently begin a new job search.


Your Resume & LinkedIn


Updating your resume is arguably the most important step to obtaining a better job because it will help determine your chances for an interview. Your resume is your sales pitch to employers as to why they should consider hiring you to work within their company. Resumes should be concise and convey your abilities and work experience to the employer. As more and more companies are changing their work to remote or work from home, it’s better to prepare an ATS-friendly resume. This type of resume will help you pass ATS hiring type.


Looking to better your working situation does not mean that you are wrong or a disloyal employee. Unmet career goals and desires point toward an unsuitable long-term solution for employment, and it is best to be in a position that utilizes your skills and allows you growth within your career field. Your time spent at your job is valuable, so you should be looking to work where you are respected and given room to grow!


There are other tips & tricks you can use to pimp your CV:


  1. Use numbers to make your CV more valid
  2. Talk about results you have achieved and not tasks you did
  3. The first and last line in a block of text ,and the first and last word in a line of text are the most important, so focus on those
  4. Make it easy and nice to read for the user
  5. Add some personality so people get to know you a bit. People hire people.


Good luck with assessing and changing your current job. In case you get stuck or don’t know what you want instead, you know how to reach me!



*Patricia Thomas is an online writer. She’s a new writer and contributor at She writes about career development.


Miguel Baumann coaching blog
Hi, I am Miguel

I support leaders in tech to shine with confidence and take charge of their careers.

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