Keeping Your Career on Track–The Easy Way
This week, we continue our career path topic and delve into the slightly more complicated subject of what to do when you either don’t have career growth options with the current company or you have options but no mentorship infrastructure to help guide you on your way.
Your current employer isn’t in line with your ultimate goal
This scenario can exist if there are no positions to grow into, if there is no turnover that would allow growth, or if your current employer is not the industry you’re interested in pursuing. Nearly every situation adds value of some kind to your experience and to your skillset, so this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump ship right away. Depending on your situation, you may want to have a talk with your current manager to let them know where you are. The open approach is ideal but not always an option, depending on your individual situation and the type of manager/supervisor you have.
But either way, start thinking about companies and opportunities that could be a good next step. Since you have a job and income to pay your bills, you can take some time to evaluate options and the next steps that will best serve your ultimate goal. Try to find companies that offer lots of room for growth so you don’t have to jump around too much to make steps up the ladder. And in larger companies, you would likely have a manager to assist you in reaching your goals.
You’re working with a difficult manager
Let’s say you’re working for a company that does have opportunities for growth, which we discussed in last week’s post; however, what should you do if your manager is not someone who is going to help you grow?
The most effective leaders get to know their employees, their strengths, and their interests. And with that information, they work with the employee to create goals and assist that individual through the career process. When this happens, the employee is happy, and the company is successful. It creates a win-win scenario. But what do you do if your manager will not be of assistance when it comes to your career? There are several possible outcomes, and there is no one blog that can really tell you what to do. But with that said, we can at least try to give you some ideas of where to start.
You may be in a situation where you can still grow within the company but will need to do so of your own volition. In this scenario, you would be responsible for learning more about the opportunities available, the process, and also setting yourself up with goals and a path.
In some cases, you may find HR to be helpful. They may be able to offer information about possible career options or even refer you to other contacts in the company who could help. Or within your department, maybe there’s another coworker who has gone through the growth process and can give you some helpful feedback. Mentorship comes in many forms!
The last (and most unfortunate possibility) is that you may have to find another job. While I don’t like to encourage a dramatic course of action like this, it’s also important to realize that your career path and career planning are a very big deal. If you don’t have a way to set yourself up for success, it will make the process significantly more challenging and will reduce your chance of reaching your goals. Don’t jump to this conclusion too quickly, but also don’t underestimate the value of your path.
Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist