In our careers, we have the opportunity to make many decisions!
What career do we want for ourselves?
What position/job do we seek?
What company do we want to work for?
What business do we want to start for ourselves?
Who do we want to work with?
Which managers do we want to work for and with?
Sometimes we become so mired in work responsibilities that we can't see that decisions are within our control, making us feel stuck and unhappy with our chosen path. I say chosen because we do have a choice, even if we feel like we don't. Financial or family situations can dictate the direction we think we must take. Understood. However, if that's the case, we can intentionally plan for change at the appropriate time.
Here's what I want you to remember: You have a choice of being a passenger or driver in your career!
Drivers are, you guessed it, in the driver's seat. And passengers are in the front or back seat. Consider which seat you occupy in your career and whether you are happy with that position.
Here comes the decision point!
If you're pleased about your career status and progression, what steps do you take to ensure continued bliss?
If you're unhappy, what steps will you take to turn the tide?
The key is not to stay in the land of indecision. Instead, move towards action to take ownership of your career. At some point along the way, some of us get to a place where we feel decisions are out of our hands. While I understand, having lived in that space, finding support to update your career understanding and impact your path is vital.
With coaching, I'm presented with this opportunity continually. I partner with my clients to
remind them of their brilliance. Trust me — this is work near and dear to my heart.
Managers are key career partners. Hence knowing where your manager stands concerning
investing in your development and growth is critical. If you don't know, go and find out today. The worst thing you could do is guess incorrectly and act accordingly.
As the great Carla Harris tells us, know who's carrying your papers into rooms and advocating on your behalf. Reflecting on my Corporate Career, I remember having a terrific boss. She told me she saw me as exceeding expectations but needed me to equip her with information to push me to get the "Exceeds Expectations" rating and bonus attached to it. We worked together, and we succeeded.
Here's what I appreciated from that career highlight:
Transparency from my manager on the talent conversation process.
Ask for help — she told me she didn't have enough information to advocate for me.
Commitment from my manager to advocate for me.
That was a moment I won't forget. We celebrated that success.
And there are many managers out there willing to do the same if given the opportunity and
accountability. Some are already doing it. So back to the decision conversation. You must have authentic conversations with your manager, even if you are uncomfortable. Remember, it's a partnership; if one partner isn't all in, it's problematic.
If you need support for having constructive and productive career conversations, invest in
building your influence skills. You can do this with a career coach. You can also start by
taking communication classes. I am a Toastmasters alum. I was in the program for ten years,
and it's game-changing. Taking a leadership role in an employee resource group is an excellent opportunity to practice your influence skills and get exposure to senior leaders.
You must decide where you want to invest your time in your career. It must be more than just
getting the job done. You must prioritize your career, build relationships, and grow your skills. Let's get back to the driver's seat in your career.
In my books, I talk a lot about 52 tips for owning your career and the power of owning your career. Please pick them up and let me know what you think.
Are you looking for help on your career journey. Schedule a Career Breakthrough call with Simone.