If you are not moving up, you are moving down
We all want to raise our standard of living and build our wealth. The key to both is increasing our income from our careers. You get more income when you provide more value to your employer and have that recognized through a raise or a promotion. If you don't get either every year or two, this is a clear signal that your employer doesn't see increased value out of you.
Your career trajectory could be up, flat, or down.
If your career trajectory is up, you get good yearly raises and frequent promotions to take more responsibilities. Good employers track their superstars and try to make them as happy as possible. You will be in the best position within your organization. Your managers may even forgive some mistakes because they see more upside.
If your career trajectory is flat, you get small yearly raises and won't get promoted. That could be fine if you have a unique skill or responsibility that makes it a big hassle for your employer to replace you. Remember, everyone is replaceable, but some people are more replaceable than others. If your career is flat and your skills are easily replaceable, you can easily be laid off during economic bad times or even slip into the downward trajectory territory.
If your career trajectory is down, that means that your employer doesn't see much value in keeping you, and they may actively work on pushing you out. You don't have to be bad at your job. I have seen people ruin their careers by focusing on wrong priorities and stubbornly refusing to correct their course.
You don't need to work 80 hours a week to have your career on an upward trajectory. You need to gain the skills to produce more value using less effort. I will cover some of these skills in future articles.