You don’t need the approval to take your career to the next level. It can be daunting to approach your line manager to discuss career progression.
Having a dialogue with your manager is essential. Because he or she can help you fulfil your career aspirations.
But your manager cannot do it all for you. You have to take your career into your own hands.
It’s okay to look up to your manager for support. However, you cannot afford to sit and wait for your manager to give you the entire career map – about what exactly you need to do and how doing it.
You need to seize the opportunity and take action without being asked.
Don’t forget “the wisest man follows his own direction.”
If you are an emerging leader who feels unchallenged, stretch yourself out of that current comfort zone. Work on your own personal self-growth.
Acquire new skills by doing something you have not done before. Or take on a challenging project.
Don’t hesitate – Just do it.
Be one of the small numbers of people who have a meaningful career development plan. It is an opportunity to learn and it only means you are getting prepared for the next challenge.
It is not necessary to hang around waiting for approval from your line manager.
Don’t be there, assuming that people know what you want next in your career. You can move your career ahead. And you don’t necessarily need the permission of your line manager. That approval must come from yourself.
If you want to get to the next level and you are unsure whether you are ready, consider it carefully but don’t back off. Actually, most people who get promoted usually do the job at the next level before being offered a promotion.
What you need to do is to spend time looking at the people in those positions you want to move into. You can get the insight by talking with them. Research and find out those who are doing a great job, that deserves your rating before you meet them.
When you get a chance to meet one of them, try to start a conversation that will uncover what you are looking for.
Even if the person doesn’t say much in relation to the topic you are pointing to, he or she will likely share something with you.
And that’s what you want. Show that you seriously value the person’s time and the information give you get.
Always be prepared with these intentional questions;
1. What can you learn if you were offered the opportunity to operate at the next level or even higher level?
2. What does that person see that is different from what you see?
3. What decisions does that person has to make at that level that is different from the ones you make?
4. What challenges does that person has to deal with that are different from your problems?
5. What would you be doing at that level?
6. Don’t just admire them, it is important that you grasp a better understanding of why they behave in the manner they do.
These days there are many tools (such as LinkedIn) you can use to find out a lot about those in higher positions without talking to them.
You should know that whenever we decide to move to the next level, we also become vulnerable to risk and the probability of failure is implicit in the definition of risk.
So, If you fail at the new level doesn’t mean that you will not succeed the next time, and certainly doesn’t mean that approval was the missing ingredient.
You need to be willing to take the risks and make difficult decisions independently. Lack of approval shouldn’t necessarily be a barrier to success, but some level of support is beneficial.
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