The Warning Signs That You’re In A Dead-End Job

The Warning Signs That You’re In A Dead-End Job

A dead-end job is more than just one that makes you weary when you leave at the end of the day: it’s knowing that there’s probably no raise, promotion or room for advancement. If you’re worried that your career may be at a standstill, the folks at HR Bartender have a great way to find out if that’s the case.

Picture: Benny Lin/Flickr

The first clue that you may be in a dead-end job probably comes from your own unhappiness with the position, but we all know your perception isn’t the best indicator of whether the job sucks. HR Bartender offers a few more objective ways to tell if your job is headed nowhere:

The promotion chain in the company is stalled. Is there someone in the position you want but they have been in the job a long time with no indication or mention of leaving the role anytime soon?

The company culture is one of “do your job, period”. Is your manager not allowing you the opportunity to take on new challenges or assignments?

Ultimately, if you are in a dead-end job, the only ways out of it are to leave or to shift tracks in the company to one that has more motion. You can try to jumpstart things with your manager (and HR Bartender has some tips for doing that at the link below), but if your manager is part of the problem, that may not work. Moving to a different department, switching managers, or trying to an in-house opening, even if it’s a lateral move, may be a way to get a fresh start. If the problem is company-wide though, your best bet is to learn to be comfortable where you are, or line up something new and head out.

What To Do If You’re Stuck In a Dead End Job [HR Bartender]


  • Dead end. It’s an unfortunate trap to be in. I have been with a company now for close to 3 years which was supposed to be an in-between job to still be able to pay the bills. The big question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ has popped up in my mind a few times. I would have wanted to be better off.

    Well, I’m still doing the same thing I was 3 years ago, for less money than I SHOULD earn. I know I will never grow in salary or challenges here, yet I can’t leave either. Or at least I would if I could.

    Reason: Potential new employers in my field seem to only go for the young and in-experienced because it’s cheap as chips. Sure it gives them their chance of getting that much needed work experience as a junior, but they later find out the hard way they have been had by their employer because they are payed the lowest wage ever usually and it takes them forever to climb to the top. Potential new employers will look at your previous wage and will try to match it but not increase it because of: Hey.. Why not right? We get his services for cheap right?
    It won’t do your job rep any good in the eyes of a new job. Or maybe too good!

    I have also found that sometimes you get employers who try to ‘pull-one-over’ on you,
    by telling you that what you are earning is actually the correct wage for sed job you are doing
    just because you are foreign or a junior.
    Those are the jobs where your have already reached the dead end before you even started

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