To move beyond your current role requires a personal development plan; it’s not likely that serendipity will play a significant role in advancing our careers. It’s all about positioning yourself to take advantage of either an opportunity that comes up or one that you create because of proactive moves you make.
Step up and demand
Either way, there are a few key things you should discuss with your leader to enable you to capitalize on your potential and prepare you for further career success. After all, they are supposed to be there to help you get both your performance and developmental needs met, so be courageous and tell them what they are even if they don’t ask. Most leaders don’t ask “How can I help?”
, they just expect you to do the job without their intervention. But don’t play that game. It’s your career and life and you have every right to tell your boss what you need to improve your performance and to prepare you to make even greater contributions to the organization.
Ask your leader:
To give you more work
To delegate more tasks to do within your current role. Tell them that you have the capacity to take on more (even if you are not sure you have) and are prepared to do so.I’m sure there is a project on the shelf not being actioned that interests you or a deliverable you think should be worked on that would help the organization; show initiative ask if you can take it on even if you put yourself at risk in the process.My personal style was always to define the job I was in by expanding the scope of deliverables I produced. I rarely accepted the boundaries of the role I was given because I considered them too restrictive. Most people need defined boundaries for them to do their job; I never did.In a marketing product manager role, for example, I asked to assume the task of defining and implementing the customer service support requirements necessary to sustain a product in the field. In the process, I not only was able to deliver a high performing product that met its sales targets, I also learned a great deal about the service world which prepared me for a career path in operations.
To define your line of sight
Effective execution of the strategic game plan of the organization requires that each function and individual know exactly what their role is; the game plan must be translated in very granulated form down to what each person needs to do in their job
to ensure the plan is implemented the way it was intended.For example, if the game plan was to beat the competition by outperforming them on serving customers, everyone needs to understand what they need to do to help the organization deliver miraculous service moments. When line of sight is foggy and people don’t know their role, they invent what they think it should be and dysfunction sets in. There is no consistency in what people do and results are all over the map.So, ask your boss to sit down with you and map what the game plan of the organization specifically means to YOU. What do you need to do differently? Agreement on this is critical to ensure performance expectations are the same between boss and employee and to move the game plan forward.Related: The Voice Without Passion Rarely Changes the World
To make introductions for you
Career success depends heavily on the network of people you know; not just the number of them but their quality in terms of their relevance to your chosen career path. It’s cool to be introduced to a VP Finance but it would be even more cool if you were headed to a marketing role to meet a few VPs of Marketing.In addition, see if you can get introduced to people who you have something in common with. Do your homework and ask for introductions to specific people. But don’t expect your leader to commit to you and provide you with quality referrals immediately. They need to get to know you and trust your capabilities. This takes time so be prepared to make the investment and that you deliver beyond their expectations.
What new stuff you should learn Career growth requires constant learning
and leaders are an excellent source of advice on how to fill your knowledge gaps.They see your performance and should be the best people to offer suggestions to help you improve. In addition, they have experience that you don’t and can refer you to learning sources based on what worked for them.Their involvement in the organization’s strategic game plan also enables them to have an accurate perspective on what skills and competencies are needed to add the value that spells success in the marketplace. Take your lead from the new knowledge what they suggest you acquire.
To help prepare you for a lateral move
Success isn’t just about moving up. Rarely do people look back on their journey with a record of only promotions. In my experience the most valuable moves I made involved accepting a lateral position to a different department. This gave me a broader perspective on what the organization needed to succeed and was a brilliant source of learning.When promotions did present themselves, I received more serious consideration because of the more diversified experience.So ask your boss to find a niche lateral move that would complement your long term career goals and pester her until you get it.Don’t expect your leader to do the right thing for your career. If you don’t put YOU in front of them they will likely have other priorities. You must take ownership of your own fate
; tell them what you need.