I feel my SEO career is going nowhere – what do I do?

I am an SEO manager who has been at my current company for almost 2 years.

Initially, I was happy there – the money wasn’t great, however the boss is a nice guy who offers good work flexibility and I get on well with most of the team. I got the role after a wave of redundancies at my previous company during COVID, so at the time I was just grateful to have acquired a new role so quickly.

However, there are a lot of problems with the company that I have finally had enough with, and I am desperate to move on and find another job yet am stuck because of these challenges:

1. The business model of the company is to ridiculously undercharge clients for services where they would have otherwise paid double or triple elsewhere. Although this pleases our clients, it means that we do not have the resources to grow as a company – whether that be hiring skilled freelancers to write pieces based off SEO briefs or staff that are experienced professionals and not apprentices. I have to do a lot of the content writing (2 – 6K words a piece) for clients myself in addition to other SEO strategies. As there is only me doing work for multiple clients, I am very limited to how many strong SEO examples I can bring to interviews, which leads to the second issue…
2. Our clients take months to sign anything off, and often never do. I have lost count of the amount of blogs and webpages I have wasted hours writing that then never see the light of day ever again. We email them and never get a response. We call them and they say they’ll look into it but never do. I am convinced this is because our services are so cheap that they don’t take the investment seriously, so even if they don’t get work off us for months they hardly notice as it’s not a lot of money to them. One SEO brief I did took 4 months to get signed off, by which time the SEO had moved on so what I had written previously was out of date.
3. Most of the staff who have been there the longest are slackers. They don’t do a lot and often what they produce isn’t up to standard. The boss is clearly far too lenient and so they get away with it. Clearly they are happy to just coast, which I partly understand because the pay is so low. However, it makes an agency that is already slow move even slower. For a while I tried to focus on making our website my project to demonstrate what I know I can achieve with SEO, but all the work I did months ago STILL hasn’t gone live because the designer is taking forever to get the final design complete.

The one positive is that I have invested a lot of time in my own knowledge of SEO by completing hours of training, reading articles and blogs everyday and keeping myself up to date with the algorithm changes. In the job interviews I have completed so far I have received positive feedback about how they find me personable and how clearly knowledgeable and passionate I am about what I do. But then after second stage interviews I won’t get the role because the other candidate will have better examples, more backlinks, higher rankings, more experience…all because they come from a company that actually invests in SEO resources.

So for these reasons, I feel trapped. I know part of it is my fault – I should have walked away a lot sooner, however I’ve worked at toxic workplaces before which made me hesitant to believe that the grass would be greener on the other side. Plus, I kept getting promises from the boss that things would soon change, that there was this or that opportunity coming our way which means we can charge more blah blah. Well two years have passed and nothing has changed, and I feel like an idiot for ever believing it would.

What can I do? Any advice would be highly appreciated.

View Reddit by Revolutionary_Wish28View Source