Posted September 21, 2012 by Juhi Bhatt 

That Point Where We Plateau

Each year no matter how hard we may try to avoid feeling burnt out or stuck at a certain point in our careers, we all reach that point where, I feel as though, we plateau.

It is only natural to have at least one moment during the year where you feel as though you have reached your highest point and do not know where to go or which way to turn.

It is in those moments that we must turn to our colleagues for guidance, find solace in the true moments of rewards within our work, and find time for ourselves to figure out how to become “unstuck”. Unfortunately, at times it is hard to get out of this slump, so to speak, even with the aforementioned help.

Therefore, as a new student affairs professional who has at times faced this plateau I ask you, the seasoned professionals:

  • What do you do when you hit these uncertain moments within your careers?
  • Are there any strategies which you employ which may help us all?

Moments like this is when knowing what works is crucial. Please share your thoughts and ideas.

Juhi Bhatt

Juhi Bhatt is the Coordinator of Judicial Affairs and Student Information at Bergen Community College.

Juhi works between the Center for Student Success as a career and transfer counselor and a judicial affairs coordinator within the Office of Student Life and Judicial Affairs. Additionally, she manages the information desk within the new Student Center.


Juhi - Thank you for the thought-provoking post. I had reached a point this past week when I was feeling "stuck" and that I had reached a plateau...the start of the semester was a rough and crazy one. It left me thinking, "I am done here, maybe I am ready for a change, something has got to give...". I attended a Region 1 Leadership Team meeting on Thursday. It was just the "medicine" I needed. We started the meeting by swapping stories about the start of the school year. We shared the good, the bad and the ugly. It was refreshing to hear that I was dealing with many of the same challenges as my colleagues. It was a nice professional reminder that the grass is not greener. We all struggle with difficult decisions, challenging individuals and unexpected scenarios. At the same time we work in an environment that is unique and one that offers many opportunities to continue learning and growing. Reconnecting with professional colleagues can be re-energizing. Involvement in ACUI, through programs and volunteer experiences can help us cross professional plateaus, and I am grateful. A special thanks to my colleagues on the Region 1 RLT. Geoff University of Massachusetts Boston
Comment posted 09/21/2012 6:08 PM
Geoff, Thank you for your comment. It is very true that knowing we all suffer from these moments of "I'm done" is security in its own way but reconnecting with others is definitely a medicine in itself. I myself am looking forward to the ACUI Region 3 conference in Maryland in November. I know those few days will provide me with the umph I need to push through the end of the semester!
Comment posted 09/21/2012 7:29 PM
This is a really great question. Thanks for getting it out in front of the membership. Looking back on 36 years of college union work, I know I've plateaued a more than a few times. Actually, I think we experience both minor and major plateaus in our careers. For the minor plateaus, we often just need to take a couple of days off to enjoy a vacation, or a really great conversation or group experience and our energy and freshness will return to us. For the major plateaus, I have often needed something on the order of a new professional perspective, or a new leadership awareness to get me going again. How/where do we find those types of new perspectives and awarenesses will differ for all of us. Sometimes it takes me stepping into a new role that will last for several years, or a new project that will challenge me to work and think in new areas of endeavor. When I'm challenged in this way, I dive into books, use the internet for research, attend a new conference, or look for new connections who can share their wisdom and experience. I set-up new files to record and preserve all that I'm gathering. I create obligations for myself to report out to others what I'm learning and how the project is progressing, so that I don't have a chance of letting the new project lose it's momentum. For me, learning and feeling challenged are the ways that I get out of major plateaus.
Comment posted 09/24/2012 12:21 AM
Michael, Thank you for sharing. I think what you said about having minor and major plateaus is definitely very true. And I think finding a new career niche or project is definitely the way to go for the major plateaus since those types of plateaus sometimes make us feel as if we aren't moving forward like we want to in our careers or lives. Very insightful to read especially for a new professional such as myself.
Comment posted 09/26/2012 9:42 AM
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