Let’s admit it – most of us are on cruise control! Then suddenly we realize our career may be in jeopardy. All of a sudden we’re scrambling to do something fast!
The Solution: Pay attention to these four situations that can put you in the “hot seat” and your career in a potential down spiral.
1. New Boss: Don’t Rest On Your Laurels.
Realize that the person has to size up quickly each of her direct reports and make decisions about her team. Start managing up. Be prepared when she schedules a meeting to “get to know you and what you do better”. You need to make a good first impression.
Develop a short presentation focusing on your accomplishments -the problems encountered and how you handled them. Ask about her priorities for the department. Now start making the connection between the priorities and how you can meet them.
2. A Big Mistake: What Do I Do Now?
The good news is that mistakes, even big ones, don’t have to be a career setback or leave a permanent mark on your career brand. The key is to recover quickly and put in place actions that will correct the situation. Here’s what one senior leader said during a leadership retreat:
“Who among us doesn’t make mistakes? I love employees who fess up, treat the mistake as a learning moment and move on. I don’t want them to stop experimenting or holding back because of fear of making another misstep. Therefore, I have to accept a mistake now and then so that they will keep learning and getting better.”
3. A Big Promotion: Are You Over Your Head?
Did you know that nearly half of all new leaders fail in the first 18 months? Many of them were surprised to discover that what got them there wasn’t enough to keep them there. I’ve seen many careers get derailed because the person was promoted into a position that required additional and different skill sets. You can’t rely solely on you high performing technical experience. You also need to develop your leadership skills.
4. Feeling Stuck: You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
You start out excited with where you are and what you’re doing. Then after a couple of years you’re unchallenged, unenthusiastic and just got passed over for a promotion.
If you career stalls, don’t wait for the career fairy to appear and make everything better. It’s up to you. What career options can you start exploring for challenge, variety, or greater personal satisfaction? What internal training or external seminars will enhance your marketability? Who can mentor you to get your career moving?
Career Success Tip:
To avoid getting blindsided, every year and perhaps even twice a year, conduct a career assessment no matter how confident you are that things are going well. Too many people try to manage their careers without having a sense of how they are seen by others – particularly by those who have influence – your boss, your peers, upper management and even your customers. Also see Challenges You May Face In Your Career and My Boss is a Control Freak.
Do you want to develop Career Smarts?
- For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
- Start with the Career Success System.
- Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
- Fast track your career. Be part of a Success Team.
- Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
- Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
- Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.