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Do you feel like you’re struggling to take your career to the next level?

If so, you’re not alone. Many of the job seekers I speak to each day are struggling with similar feelings. They have not achieved the things they expected to achieve by now. They’re making less money than they thought they would. They haven’t landed that plum promotion they’ve had their eye on for years. These job seekers may see peers and friends who are making more or climbing the corporate ladder faster, which only upsets them further.

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Prasad Kaipa, author of From Smart to Wise. Kaipa focuses on helping professionals “ignite the genius within” and connect with their noble purpose.

One of the things that resonated with me during my discussion with Kaipa was the notion that “what got us here won’t get us there.” Your situation changes over time. Kaipa explained that we are promoted throughout out careers because of our sets of core strengths. However, as you climb the ladder, different skills are needed to thrive on each rung.

Kaipa explained, “In time, we need to develop a second capability. We need to be able to develop a second core strength. Now that we are in the current position, even though the current set of skills helped us to get here — now that you are a vice president, you need to learn how to become a president.”

“The unfortunate part is, whenever we feel we are not reaching our potential, we use the same set of skills that got us here, harder and more often,” Kaipa continued. “We don’t really reexamine whether the strength that we have that has become our signature strength has become the nail in our foot. I think that kind of a pausing, reexamining, and getting reflection both internally and from other people is what gets us to where we want to go.”

So, when you feel like you are failing at something, it’s possible that you’ve outgrown your old toolkit. It’s possible that new strengths are needed — and you may not even know what those strengths are yet.

If you are struggling to reach your full potential, check out the full interview with Kaipa on the Copeland Coaching Podcast, which you can download for free on Apple Podcasts.

A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.

Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.



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