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Career Advice: Is Your Career Path Locked?

If you’re between the ages of 20 and 40, known as Generation X, there’s a big hurdle in your career path, according to FORTUNE magazine.

The magazine labels it “The Gray Ceiling” and goes on to state that “a generation of younger workers can’t get ahead…because the (baby) boomers above them won’t budge.”

“In today’s leaner companies, executive jobs are fewer and the boomers who have held on to them are in no hurry to let them go,” concludes FORTUNE. In fact, one survey found that almost half of them plan to work after age 64.

“Top managers in their 40s and 50s are paranoid about keeping their jobs, so they do everything they can to keep it down,” says a Gen X ad executive.

How to get through “The gray ceiling

There are seven steps you can take to get through “The Gray Ceiling.”

1. Address this urgent issue now. Move on to a new job if you’re working in a company or industry that doesn’t require a constant infusion of promising managers. If you don’t leave, recognize that your career opportunities will be slow in coming at best and non-existent at worst.

2. Master your current job. Expand your knowledge and skills so you’re ready to handle a bigger job.

3. Have a strategic plan for your career; include schedules. Share your goals with your boss; let him know that you are working to get promoted.

4. Make your boss look good, so they get promoted, opening a career up your professional ladder. Solve problems that are giving you fits.

5. Make sure your accomplishments are recognized by those above you who can advance your career. Promote yourself as you would a product.

6. Expand your network of contacts inside and outside the organization.

7. Push for increased responsibilities.

“The Gray Ceiling” isn’t going away anytime soon. Start dealing with it today.

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