Did you know? We spend one-third of our lives on average at our workplace! Over time, you may say that your career has grown – with timely salary hikes and different roles. But do you find yourself at the peak of your potential, or do you find yourself stuck? What is your company’s role in your career growth? Is your manager invested in ensuring you grow along with the organization?
The Employee-Manager Relationship
Largely, career growth comes down to you, your career goals, and your relationship with your manager. The trust level and working equation determines the pace of career growth in an organization.
The Trust in the Modern Workplace Research by the Workforce Institute at UKG and Workplace Intelligence shows that 72% of C-level leaders believe that it is up to the employee to earn trust.
The way to grow in a workplace is to deliver value, perform and establish yourself as an asset in the enterprise. Managers rely on people who rise to a challenge and often assign high-value tasks to those considered dependable to deliver. A great working equation with the manager helps build better rapport and opens a constructive feedback channel. So, if your career goals are set and your vision is set, then it is time to decode whether the leadership is invested in your growth. That is, if you haven’t had this conversation already!
5 Signs to Look Out For At Your Workplace
Sign #1: “How have you been? What’s going on?”
One can often credit a positive career growth to a stellar manager. Proactive leaders create an open communication channel and enquire about your work and the challenges you face. Regular one-on-one meetings identify weekly, monthly tasks as well as guide you on how these tasks can be completed successfully. Have you and your manager had a one-on-one meeting recently?
Reclaim AI’s Productivity Trends Report 2021 shows that one-on-one meetings have increased over 500% since before the pandemic. However, it also shows that 42.4% of one-on-one meetings are rescheduled every week. Considering the increase in regular check-ins with remote working, more managers are invested to know how well you are progressing professionally. If you’ve been rescheduling these meetings, it’s time to make it a priority.
An open feedback channel such as this – formal or informal – leads to a common ground to identify your strengths and whether you’re able to use your skills efficiently. During these meetings, communicate what skills you think you lack or want to develop to perform better. Often leaders share their feedback and areas of improvement that help you grow. Constructive criticism paves the way to honest communication, showing that your work is valued enough to be evaluated.
Sign #2: “Why don’t you try learning something new? Maybe an online learning program?”
This is what Younass Idrissi’s senior manager recommended to him when he made a career switch into a new sales role. Who is Younass? Read his story on how the Kellogg’s sales program helped him transition into a new sales role: “Emeritus Helped Me Power a Career Switch in Sales in 11 Weeks!”
Learning is essential to your career growth, irrespective of the field you’re in. It comes in many forms – from peer learning to on-the-job training to formal education. According to the InStride White Paper, 88% of c-suite executives believe providing employees access to education is a critical part of their organization’s business strategy.
McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling shows that 69% of organizations are doing more skill building now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis.This essentially means more opportunities of in-house training programs, webinars and conferences on industry insights and trends are being leveraged. Some managers take the initiative to encourage employees to upskill or reskill through formal education and learning programs. In some cases, your reporting manager may recommend the company to fund some part of the program, like reimbursement of tuition fees.
Sign #3: “How about you lead this assignment?”
Assigning new responsibilities is a sign that your manager is willing to take a chance on you and risk failure. When he/she is confident about your technical and soft skills, you’ll see this happen more often. Leaders are looking for team players who are willing to take charge. They assign high-level tasks to gauge decision making power, your ability to lead and evaluate readiness to handle more responsibilities.
Treat this as an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re willing to put in that extra effort to boost your career. This is also an opportunity to request skill-based training in order to successfully close the assignment.
To lead from the forefront and grow your career, you need to be prepared for additional responsibility. It’s a good idea to equip yourself with a leadership program that helps build your skills and perspective to think like a leader. Learn how you can accelerate your career with online certificate programs on leadership offered by leading global universities at Emeritus.
Sign #4: “Why don’t you join me for this pitch/client meeting?”
A manager who helps you connect with other senior leaders and important clients is vital for your career progression. Communicating your career goals enables both of you to come to a consensus on KPIs and the next steps in your career path.
Your reporting manager may ask you to join review meetings with the leadership. An invested manager would encourage you to accompany them to important client meetings, which give you an opportunity to network and showcase your skills.
Often leaders also rope in potential candidates to contribute by working in cross-functional teams and projects. Prima facie, it may seem like more work, but it is an opportunity disguised. Working with cross functional teams demonstrates your ability to collaborate with different teams and add value across the enterprise – a key leadership quality
Sign #5 “Well done! Great work on this. That AVP role isn’t too far away now, is it?”
Praise and credit from your reporting manager – especially on a larger platform – is a positive validation of your work. It is a stamp of approval to highlight your success, and efficiency. Such validation from key people matters when you want to grow and excel. This is a universal sign that your manager is invested in your career growth. Make sure this is not just a one-time “great job” though, but a consistent acknowledgment of good work. A systematic and regular performance review process will enable you to track how you are growing professionally. It will also define what skills you need, both technical and otherwise to advance your career and take it to the next step.
If you find these signs missing, then it’s time for you to initiate a conversation with your manager. But first, let’s help you prep:
‘The Talk’ about career growth
The answer to a question never asked or a request never made is always ‘No’. Let’s list a few points to consider while discussing your career growth with your manager.
- Everything begins with whether you’re an important asset to invest in. Keep a list of your existing achievements ready. List out how you’ve helped the department and organization grow. Document the value you bring to your role and department
- Introspect on your existing skill sets, your vision, and your goals. This gives you and your manager an insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Discuss these points during your performance review to see how your he/she responds
- Research courses and programs that will help you upskill or reskill. Emeritus has a variety of online programs offered by reputed global universities that can help accelerate your career. Seek out opportunities to take in-house training programs and actively join networking events and webinars
- While learning programs can personally benefit you, your skills and learning also benefit the organization. List out how the learning programs can help you achieve your KPIs and drive improvements
The Emeritus Impact Survey 2021, shows 94% of learners believe that the program has had a positive impact on their career and professional development. Are you ready to learn a new skill and take your career to the next step? Get access to world-class education from finance to technology and marketing to building leadership skills here.
By Janice Godinho