tread water

tread water (to make no progress) (often cont.} — топтаться на месте; буксовать, пробуксовывать

If you are treading water, you are staying in the same place without making any progress.

Example 1: I'm just treading water, waiting for a job with a better salary.

Example 2: People lose motivation if they think they are just treading water in their careers. (

Related vocabulary:
get nowhere
[get nowhere fast]
[dead in the water]
make no progress;
[go around in circles]
[вариться в собственном соку]