Signs of Change – Career Troubles or New Opportunity

By Maria Forbes
July 22, 2015

“The new director has more flexibility with a higher salary, AND, someone on my direct team is being considered for a promotion to director level. What is happening, and what do I say to my boss, senior management, in my upcoming review?”
Change is in the air, but not the kind Jill is thinking!
She sees the role of a new peer as unfair; she is certain she must prepare a strong case to validate her capabilities and to negotiate equal salary.
Jill’s boss is a consistent advocate of her work, and has shared her interest in promoting a member of Jill’s team. While this was concerning it was not the worst part. The new director seems confident in his role, and appears to be Jill’s opposite when it comes to work style and personal commitment. From her perspective, Jill has worked at the company longer and she feels she works harder. Jill has been instrumental in communicating broad client needs to the internal teams and continues to increase project work from their large corporate accounts. While the executive team is complementary, Jill’s role seems to be slipping, growth is not in plain sight, and now a new director seems to have a better deal.
Why is the new guy such a bother?
The success of her peer is threatening and a source of daily strain, because Jill is comparing her work life to his. She did not recognize the root cause of this threat and is therefore over- focused on someone that seems to have what she deserves. Jill expressed support of her team member’s promotion and then asked her boss, “Where do you see me?” Jill asked her boss a question that she should have asked herself first.
At her level of responsibility Jill’s future role must be clear in her own mind, and pursued accordingly. As Jill worked hard during the first three years at the company, her performance exceeded her boss’s expectations and she was promoted to the next level of responsibility. As the responsibilities of Jill’s position increased, her boss became a mentor, a relationship that is most beneficial to continued personal growth. At Jill’s current level of upper management, the role she wants and the future she deserves is best described by Jill, not someone else. Jill’s boss is an advocate but she is not going to take responsibility for creating Jill’s future, Jill has to do that.
Clarity feels so good.
Once Jill has discerned which parts of her current role engage her strengths she will know how to think about her future, determine the skills, knowledge, talents and execution strengths that benefit her current role. Then she can decide the right future role. More importantly, Jill will know what to present to her boss during her review. We must consider personal engagement because it fuels personal firepower; it is the spark that inspires a person to put their best effort into their work, to go further than expected and to maintain personal energy toward their work. With proper discernment the new guy is not the focus of Jill’s strain, he is a sign that Jill needs to get clear about her personal strengths as a value to professional growth. Her feelings about the present issues are symptoms that she has temporarily lost sight of her strengths as they apply to organizational growth. Doing a good job is important, but making a focused contribution to company growth is Jill’s next career challenge. It is presenting itself through the arrangement of people around her.
Get clear about the part of a role that engages your strengths and pursue that focus so you will do your best work. Contact us at FIREPOWER Teams for help to clearly see your future!

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