Most careers undergo peaks and troughs at some stage or the other, the starting point is really an awareness and understanding of the situation.
You can only do something about it provided there is a level of introspection, reflection and a burning desire to do what it takes to change. Afterall, you are responsible for your own career! In these matters you cannot go with the flow but shape the direction of the flow to meet your aspirations. Once the situation is clear, you need to take it seriously and form a revival plan to get back on track.
A dipping career can be due to various reasons and the most common ones are placement in the wrong role, difficulty in picking up skills in a new role, a role that has not changed over a long period of time, less support from the manager or even interpersonal issues.
Some of the ways that you can revive a dipping career are as follows:
Invest in yourself: Times are changing and you need to keep pace with changes. Be it books that provide you insights or a development program that can fill gaps, go for it! Don’t wait for the organization to sponsor, if they do great, otherwise go on your own. Continuing education (distance education, online courses etc.) can offer the possibility of a surge in the career graph, where the dip is attributed to lack of qualification or functional knowledge.
Seek guidance: Identify a guide who can help you in your journey of transformation - someone who is objective and non-judgmental; who can provide feedback and with whom you can bounce off ideas and get valuable advice.
Seek organizational help: In case it’s a role that does not interest you, ask for another role that’s more in sync with your capabilities and interests.
Be agile: With ambiguity and complexity being the new reality, be open minded to absorb and learn. Those who can adapt will always have a better chance of moving up in the career graph, step back and re-evaluate your knowledge, skills and abilities and the requirements for the higher role that you may be aiming at.
Take feedback seriously: Many times people are defensive when feedback is given, and hence miss opportunities of self development. Be ready to obtain and take feedback constructively, chose some areas of development and work on them.
Shift your gears: Aspire for job enrichment and learning on the job instead of only an enhanced designation (without the scope of growth in profile). While hike in compensation / designation is an aspiration for all, projecting & proving your mettle to take on additional responsibilities makes a difference.
Market yourself: In case things don’t work internally, look out for a role that will provide your career the much required boost. Market yourself to your employers focusing on “what you can bring to the job / what value you can add to the job” rather than only focussing on what you’ve achieved so far in terms of experience or education.