Project Management

How to End Career Stagnation: 5 Steps to Reignite Your Progress

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

There’s an old saying about job experience: “For many people, ‘20 years of experience’ is really one year of experience repeated 20 times.”

Let’s break down that quote for a project manager. You’ve written 50 monthly status reports for a project sponsor. You’ve kicked off a dozen or more projects. You’ve managed risks over and over again. For a while, the repeated experience adds value. Unfortunately, there is a point of diminishing returns to simply accumulating experience by routine.

Career growth is not automatic. Simply running in place in the same job doing the same tasks repeatedly will not produce much growth. The solution is to evaluate our work experiences critically, package those experiences into stories, and assess if we have the correct stories to meet our goals.

But going through this process isn’t suitable for everybody. This strategy will be most helpful to people in one or two situations:

  1. First, you have been in your current position for two years or longer.
  2. Second, you feel a high degree of comfort in your position in terms of meeting your expectations.

If you started a new position in the last few months, revisit this strategy in a few months after you learn the fundamentals of your role.

Step 1: Inventory Your Work Activities
Look closely at your work in the past 30 to 90 …

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