How To Overcome Career & Business School Stagnation

Author: Peter Fennah   Category: Career Management

How To Overcome Career & Business School Stagnation

Feeling you are being overtaken?

Time to change lanes?

Despite the investment in your education and profession it can at times feel like other people are simply overtaking you. Others get the promotions or seem to gain more recognition.

Organisations suffer from the same trap.

Each year The Economist publishes the global full time MBA rankings and each year some business schools will be pleased that they have risen whilst others are frustrated that they have dropped in position.

Whether you are a business school or an individual we place more emphasis upon external markers when we slow down in our own learning.

In the past some business schools have focused exclusively on the ranking methodology, which led them to loose the essence of who they were.  They didn’t invest in defining what goals were right for them resulting in competitors overtaking them.

Don’t make the mistake of setting yourself another person’s goal.

Here are 3 steps to re-set your internal direction.  Ask yourself:

Step 1: Active Reflection – “How would I like to rebalance my attention?”

Up to now you have spent your time on activities that you felt warranted your attention. Take a moment to re-examine this priority order. Is it still valid? Usually we have taken on (or been given) too many activities. How much time & energy do you have left to redirect? Where should your attention be focused now?

Most people under-estimate the completion time necessary for change and set unrealistic goals… So, it is valuable to take stock of your energy and cut back on less important areas.

Step 2: Fear of Change – “If I change how will I know I will be more fulfilled?”

The future is ambiguous. You need to trust yourself and have courage. Put your conscious effort into a set of actions that will improve your long-term situation. Monitor & reward your success towards the longer-term.  If you want fast short-term pay offs you need more tactical agility, insight, relationship support and a smarter strategy than your competition.

Step 3: Agile Learning. “Are you a slow learner?” 

What are your win conditions this year? How do they compare to last year? No change? Ok, so what blocks you from behaving in a way that you believe will increase your success? How have you experimented with getting new forms of support to aid you to learn?

Be successful this year and look to make a change…many small steps will get you there!

“It is very obvious that we are not influenced by ‘facts’ but by our interpretation of the facts.” Alfred Adler

Interested to discover more?

Visit us at if you feel that you have lost direction and would like a confidential conversation then email

Peter Fennah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and former Careers Director for Cranfield School of Management.

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