For years, you have been working at this company but little has been added to your resume, let alone skills in your field of work. You feel stuck with your job and not sure where to start to get your career out of the rut. At this point, navigating career cycle and stages can come in handy. Dr Andrew E Ivang, an educator says this form of reflection helps when it comes to preparing for your career progression. One thing he counsels is that a person needs to understand that transitions are challenging, therefore, the more you are aware of what to expect, the better. In general, a career lifecycle is the process or stages a person goes through in their career development. This starts the moment one thinks about what they actually want to do, when they want to join the career field to when they have to retire, according to Marie Ange Mukaneza, a career life coach working with Women in News. At times, people feel stuck in terms of growth in their careers when one or all of these things happen; where there is no position for growth, no opportunity for learning, or when their skills become out-of-date. When one feels like there is no career progression, Mukaneza believes that the first thing to do is ask yourself why you are stuck, that is if one is truly doing their best and of course know why they joined that career in the first place. “Getting answers for these questions will help one set goals to help them progress if they still feel like that’s the path they want to stay on,” she says. Alternatively, she goes on to note that when one is stuck in their career progression, it might also mean that it’s time for them to quit their job and take a new direction if they feel like they have given their all but nothing seems to work. “I believe that it’s okay to take some time off, step back and take time to evaluate yourself, and start afresh. Seeking support from professional career coaches is something that I would strongly advise because they have the ability to help one dig deeper and come up with solutions to exactly where you want progress,” she says. Damien Mouzoun, a counsellor and founder of Ayina Think Tank, says getting stuck in your career progression means that one begins to question why they are doing a particular job. Reasons can range from the wrong career path, the original reasons one had for choosing their career can simply be no longer valid, he says. “It might be an indicator that you’ve reached full circle in your career cycle. Maybe you should reassess your current values and priorities, or simply begin anew in a career that better suits your needs at this time and place in your life,” he advises. Referring to the stages of career development that an individual passes through such as exploration, establishment, mid-career, late-career and decline, Mouzoun says career lifecycle has been a common reality of the Industrial age. While growing up, he recalls his father having an interesting way of putting pressure on them in that regard from their teenage years. For instance, he says his father would apply the 21-21-21 cycle to describe how by 21 years old, one should know what they are chasing in life and embark on it actively till 42 years of age when one is expected to become senior manager in any field they have chosen for themselves. As young people, they were challenged not to be leading anything beyond the age of 63 as by then, they would be retiring from active service to enjoy the rest of their life with their family. “Though those rules perceived as common sense didn’t necessarily apply to everyone then, today the information, knowledge and wisdom worker age has almost changed everything, to the point that we ask ourselves if the career stage world will ever survive the contemporary fast changing and challenging society,” he observes. The counsellor goes on to note that to understand the career lifecycle, it’s essential to consider that humans have two types of abilities- physical and cognitive. In the recent past, he says machines competed with humans mainly in raw physical abilities, while humans retained an immense edge over machines in cognitive ability. However, he says today’s growing artificial intelligence revolution seems to function like an un-captained ship with neither rudder nor sails. To him, there is no doubt that the world has become a sort of freefall. “I think that only intrinsic value will become the norm after fiat currencies and fake news, all will come down to the values each one of us stand for.” No one puts it better than French novelist André Malraux, “The twenty-first century will be spiritual or it will not be.” We must trust the journey forward for the best.