How can I overcome career stagnation and grow at work?

Friday October 16 2020
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Jane Muiruri


Dear Jane,
I am a junior HR professional working for a logistics firm in Mombasa. While I am part of the team that hires and appraises the company’s employees, I feel that my career has stagnated. My rank and pay have remained the same for three years now. Am I being used as a bridge for others to get to better fortunes?  

Dear Regina, 
You will only develop in your role if you have a good understanding of the factors affecting business, and if you always strive to achieve your company’s objectives. The workplace is evolving rapidly in this digital age, and HR professionals have a role to play in ensuring that employees have the right skills to survive the disruptions. They can do this through talent mapping and upskilling, while encouraging staff to embrace the new modes of working.

Hiring has stopped being a catalyst for success, except in instances where recruiters fully understand the skills required by the organisation and are able to get suitable candidates. Are those whom you have hired suitable picks for your company?

Do you just recruit individuals because you have been asked to or do you first find out why they are being recruited? Do you look out for skills that are relevant now and in future? Do you understand the objectives of your HR function? These should be aligned to the strategic objectives of the organisation. What value are you giving to the company? Why are you the one appraising employees if they don’t report to you?

HR has a role to develop employees’ performance. However, the appraisal discussions must be held with the relevant supervisors in order to embed a culture of productivity. They should also offer development opportunities for staff through on-the-job training and other programmes.  At your level, you must work closely with the HR manager to get the necessary exposure and fully understand the role. If you focus only on rising up or getting more perks, growth might never come.

Three years is not a long time. You should be patient in your career growth. Participate in HR conferences and other professional forums so that you can build your competency and also develop strong networks. Ask for feedback regularly, take up challenging responsibilities, identify your areas of strength and bridge your skills gaps.


Jane Muiruri, 
Senior HR Manager, 
Nation Media Group