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Are You in the Frozen Middle?

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Have you heard of the frozen middle? It’s a phrase to describe middle managers and people in the middle of their careers who feel frozen — unable to move forward. The frozen middle acts as a type of glass ceiling, an invisible barrier preventing women and people of color from rising beyond certain levels within an organization.



The frozen middle can be a tricky place to be. You might feel ineffective, unsupported, and even stuck in your career. If you feel like you may be stuck in the frozen middle, ask yourself this:

  • Do I feel like my voice is being heard?

  • When was the last time I contributed to the long-term success of my company?

  • Do you feel that you have support when enacting a directive?

  • Do you receive feedback that you are underperforming?

If you are feeling unheard, undervalued, unsupported, and receive negative feedback, there is a good chance that you are stuck in the frozen middle. Here are some practical career advancement tips to help:

  • Keep imposter syndrome in check

  • Become an expert on your current organization

  • Identify communication gaps

  • Go after cross-functional and high growth opportunities

  • Invest in coaching

Using agency helps employees develop communication skills that will serve them in every aspect of their personal and professional lives.


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