Take a look at these three of my customers: Emily produces applications for a well-known mobile platform, while Megan works for a significant regional company that has been owned and operated by the same family for many generations. Nathan manages the online community for an emerging brand's online presence. Emily is an app developer.
And all of them are struggling with the same issue. Nathan, Emily, and Megan are all very good at what they do; nevertheless, there is no obvious route for them to advance their careers and take on more challenging responsibilities.
There are many roles inside the Internet startup, social media, and small company ecosystems that do not adhere to the conventional principles of climbing the corporate ladder. Just consider the question: what comes next after creating those applications or administering those online communities? How can one advance their career at a company that is owned by their family? In many situations, there is simply not a predetermined next step that makes logical sense to do.
It's a problem that a lot of workers are dealing with these days. According to the findings of certain studies, less than half of workers believe that they have prospects for real career growth with their present companies.
In addition to this, throughout the process of performance management, only approximately a third of managers really have productive conversations with their employees on career advancement.
What's the takeaway here? You had best prepare ready to take the matter into your own hands if you want to have a future at your firm that isn't doomed to failure. That calls for having the important "where is this relationship going?" chat with your boss when you're seated down together. And when that time comes, here are a few pointers to bear in mind on how to proceed.
It's important to your career. There is no one with a greater stake in your destiny than you do yourself. It is not a strategy to wait for your boss to educate you with his or her interpretation of your ideal next step in the process of moving forward.
Instead, accept the responsibility for your next move and face up to the reality that neither your company nor your boss is in control of it. You are.
Consider the areas in which you excel, as well as the ways in which those strengths might set you up for success in the next career you take on. Record the most significant things you've accomplished and take some time to consider the particular outcomes you've brought the company.
After you have gathered all of the evidence to support your case, you should request a meeting with your boss to discuss your future. Think of it as a high-level business meeting, because that's exactly what it is!
Talk to Your Supervisor About It.
To get started with the meeting, start by analyzing the scenario from the perspective of your boss. Determine the degree to which the person is invested in helping you out.
Begin with the reason you are doing this: "Jocelyn, I'd want to chat to you about what the next step is going to be in my professional life. I really want it to be with this company, but I'm not quite sure what the following steps are going to be here.
Review your achievements and express how enthusiastic you are about working there: "I've been here for two years, and I've demonstrated that I can increase community traffic." It has been a very beneficial learning experience for both the organization and myself. I was able to drive 20 percent more unique visits to our website while simultaneously increasing engagement by 65 percent. I have developed great connections with both our internal and external stakeholders while meeting or exceeding my key performance metrics in each of these areas.
You will get a sense of how in tune your supervisor is with your performance based on what occurs next. Pay attention to the input she provides; if she is encouraging, it is probable that she will lobby on your behalf.
Please Describe Your Own Unique Perspective.
Discuss with your management your plans for the next one, three, or five years and where you see yourself in that time. Even if you don't have details like job titles, you should still have a rough idea of where you're going. Do you have a desire to manage other people? Do you have experience working with high-profile clients?
Think about the kinds of experiences you'd want to have, the kinds of abilities you'd like to improve, and the kinds of information you'd like to learn. Discuss how these items may assist the firm in finding solutions to its operational issues.
Put in an Ask and Get What You Want
It's possible that your supervisor recognizes how hard you work, but she's undoubtedly swamped with the demands of her own responsibilities right now. Ask for a promotion or a new assignment if you're interested in either of those things!
You may ask Jocelyn, "Based on the facts we've talked, what suggestions do you have regarding what my next move might be here?" as an example.
This lets her know that you want to relocate, ideally inside the company, but hints that if that is not possible, it may have to be somewhere else.
If she is on top of it and bursting with inventive ways to get around a system without ladders, then that's fantastic!
You've got your job cut out for you if she's completely at a loss for what to say to you or how to guide you in the right direction.
Create a tactic that is uniquely yours.
If you want to remain with the firm but your boss is stuck in a creative rut, you should investigate if there are other departments in the organization that may benefit from your skill set and expertise.
Check in with the individuals you know in other parts of the company, investigate the problems you overhear them mentioning, and make connections with others who may use your assistance. Examine the ways in which the company is evolving and consider the ways in which you can adapt.
For instance, are there any plans for a merger, acquisition, or sale in the near future? To assist new workers in adjusting to the many processes and procedures that have been established as a result of the merger, you can consider developing an application. Alternately, you may suggest the establishment of a community website that would be accessible only to workers or customers of the newly purchased company.
Obtain the Sponsorship and Assistance of Your Manager
Even if your boss doesn't open every door for you, you should be able to reasonably assume that she would endorse your move within the company if you are a successful performance. This is the case even if she doesn't open every door. Having someone of your bright brilliance on her squad is, after all, like giving her a gold star. Her reputation as an astute talent manager is enhanced as a result of her promotion of you.
Show her the results of your investigation and what you've discovered. Determine three to five viable "next step" options, and then reach a consensus with one another over the optimal course of action. Then you should ask her to guarantee that she would provide the required introductions and referrals.
Reiterate that remaining with the company is your top priority and that this is your preferred option. However, if you are unable to determine how to make that happen or if she is reluctant to help open the doors necessary to make that happen, let her know that you are prepared to consider options outside of the organization even if you are unable to find out how to make that happen.
After you have given the performance, presented your case, and made your request, it is up to your manager to determine whether or not she will assist you in your career advancement, as well as the manner in which she will do so. If she is not prepared to sponsor or campaign for you, moving forward in the company will very certainly require you to relocate elsewhere.
You will be better off as a result of having gone through this process, regardless of whether you move into the next great thing where you are or venture out to a new organizational frontier. You need to acquire the talent of asking for what you deserve in your work; this is a skill that will continue to serve you well into the foreseeable future.