So I have been in my current position for about two months. As I look back at my professional career, one of the things that has hampered my career progression is an inability of mine to be bold in declaring what I WANT. If I would provide everyone with copies of my performance reviews all the way back to 2014 (that's as far back as I have copies.) EACH instance would show me exceeding expectations. I have grown each year, taken on more responsibility, turned in exemplary work product, and been proactive to take on projects that were up for grabs. My manager had, on two separate occasions put me in for a promotion, but they were denied. The reason: There was no apparent added value. Sure, I did everything that was asked, and I did more...but I wasn't VISIBLE enough to senior management and I wasn't hitting some of their invisible career metrics. I'd like to point out that both the MD and VP of that org are on probation because of their employee satisfaction scores which we all knew were going to be horrible because everyone under them (including the managers) feel like they are creating a hostile work environment because of the competition between them. But that's a story for another day.
So my new job moved me under a Managing Director that I had worked for before. She is stellar. yesterday at 10AM I had just finished a 13 hour shift and was talking with her (it was the first time we had talked since I hired in under her.) It was a great conversation, and she bragged on me for work that I did back when my team reported to here (2013.) It got me thinking: I need to talk to her about my goals for career advancement.
So I started writing an email. I told her that I was happy to see her and that I would like to have a discussion in the next 3 or so months to discuss my long term goals. I told her that I still had a lot to learn in my current position, but that I wanted to talk about creating a development plan to prepare myself to have the necessary skills and experience to bid on management positions in the next 3-5 years. I told her that I felt like I had a lot to learn, I valued her experience and advice, and I looked forward to talking about this.
I almost didn't send it.
My mind went into overtime (am I making a move too fast, is this too presumptuous, am I skipping a level and should I have this conversation with my manager, Is this going to sound smarmy and brown nosy.) I had the email open, but I didn't send it. I went about doing some other work, and then one of my co-workers brought a young kid into my office (young being 21.) I have benefits expertise, and he had benefits questions. I answered them and we talked for a bit and then he asked me about how long I had been there. I told him that I'd ben there 10 years, and that it is a great company to work for. Then he asked me, "Do you have any advice?" At that moment, I looked down at my email and realized that what he was doing and what I was doing was exactly the same. He's at the ground level, he's hungry and he thinks he has something to offer. I am a little bit down the road from him, but I am still hungry and I believe I have something to offer. So I sat there for about 5 minutes talking to him about things he needed to do to move up in the company (BE ON TIME and AT WORK, follow policy, avoid drama, ask questions, and bid on jobs. Use the tuition assistance program and get a degree. Take advantage of on the job training opportunities. talk to your Manager and SM and let them know your goals.) I'm giving him the advice that I myself need to take, and the irony was not lost on me. So after he left my office, I sent the email.
I got a response this morning from my MD. She wants to mentor me and can see me in management someday. She wants me to setup a 1:1 to go over my goals and to help get me in the pipeline for advancement. I am stoked. I am a freaking hard worker, but I know that there is a gap (even in HR) between production and leadership. I know there are skills that I need to develop, and by God, I am going to work hard at it.