Let’s talk about advancement. And specifically what we mean by the word “advancement” is active preparation for the next step in your career.
Around our office we like to ask candidates, “what do you see as your next move, career-wise?” The answers we hear vary, but they usually sound something like this:
“I want to get into management or leadership.”
“I want to learn a new skill.”
“I want more responsibility.”
Basically: I want to go places, do new things, grow, be stretched, and not stay static. Many of you feel the same.
The disconnect comes, however, when asked, “what are you doing to prepare for that?”
You want to grow? Great. You want a larger role or more responsibility? Fantastic. You want to move into leadership? Wonderful. What are you doing to prepare for that?
Um… well, I told my manager and now I’m just waiting for an opening.
An advancement mindset does not wait to get an invitation to the party. As many of you can attest, most who simply wait for an invitation get passed over when the opening actually does come around.
Advancement takes active preparation.
Are you actively preparing yourself for the job that you hope to land in 6 months or a year?
When it comes to advancement, you’ve got to give to get. You have to demonstrate initiative and show that you are actually interested in the next step.
If management or leadership is something you aspire to, what books are you reading to become a better manager or leader? Are you taking any classes on the side? Are you going to any seminars? Are you going to events to educate yourself on a niche that you want to grow in? And as importantly, does your supervisor know that you are currently crafting a course of self-education?
In a nutshell: what are you doing to get yourself ready for that next step and does your manager or leader even know about it?
Again when it comes to advancement you’ve got to give to get. Prepare yourself and communicate up. Of course, these aren’t guarantees that when the opening comes around that you will definitely get the promotion, but it does mean that the odds will certainly be more in your favor.