所以我觉得我的问题在于，我现在该怎么办？我已经在尽力表现自己，例如在现有的岗位上拿出出色的业绩，但是大家也都在这样做。你能给我提一些建议，帮助我继续留在公司发展吗？——Rooted but Restless
Dear Annie: I hope you can give me some ideas, because I think I'm probably just one of many -- which, in a way, is the whole problem. My only resolution for 2014 is to finally get promoted, but it's looking unlikely. I work for a really good company, so I don't want to leave, but so many layers of management were done away with during the recession that there are now very few senior jobs likely to be available anytime soon, and lots of internal (not to mention external) qualified people in line.
So I guess my question is, what can I do now? I'm already doing the obvious things, like producing great results in my current position, but so is everybody else. Can you suggest anything that might help me hang on here? -- Rooted but Restless
Dear R.R.: You're right to surmise that you have plenty of company -- and, if it's any consolation, people upstairs may be thinking pretty hard right now about how to hold on to you. "This is a real problem that's very much on the minds of senior management," notes Laura Poisson, a vice president at Boston-based career development firm ClearRock.
"Valuable players who helped companies meet their goals during the downturn are ready to move up," she says. "The question is, how can they, when organizations are determined to stay lean?"
It's a conundrum that's been building for some time now, with lots of frustrated people stuck in middle management, partly because legions of boomers in corner offices, spooked by the recession (and the real estate crash), aren't retiring on schedule.
Another reason promotions are scarce these days is that, as you've seen, there are simply fewer management jobs. At the same time, the number of tech jobs is exploding. Job site TheLadders, for instance, studied about 60,000 employers in November and found that the growth rate of job titles with the word "manager" in them is about 25% lower than the average growth rate, and titles containing the word "director" are growing 50% more slowly than average. Of the top 10 fastest-growing job titles, seven were in tech or were tech-related. Only three -- staff accountant, paralegal, and administrative assistant -- pertained to jobs that required no STEM expertise.
Many people in your position have adjusted their expectations accordingly. Consider: When consultants BlessingWhite surveyed full-time employees across the U.S. in December about their next career moves in 2014, they found that over half (58%) of upwardly mobile types expect to start on a new project, either where they work now or at some other company. Only 13% think they'll get promoted.