Career Tips

You have got to be in it to win it

Having a career plan and communicating it to those who matter will put you in the running for the

How many times have you wished that one day you’ll win the lottery, tell your boss where to stick their job and sail away on your mega-yacht into the sunset?

So I presume you buy a lottery ticket every week, right? No, I thought not.

I was in the middle of overseeing Performance Review time a few years ago. Various people were asking for, suggesting or nominating people for pay rises.

As this paperwork went up the ranks, the response was almost always “…not ready, not enough money, let’s see what the EOY figures are…” etc.

Until one day I was called into the CEO’s office to discuss the pay rise and possible promotion of one of the young guys in the team. Totally out of the blue. I’m not even sure he was on the list of people we were looking to step up.

But he had ‘bumped into’ the boss in the kitchen, had a chat over toast, told him his goals and asked him for both. Directly. Over toast.

And suddenly this had to happen.

The good news is this meant the files were opened on his peers too, many of whom were sitting quietly waiting for the decision makers to realise what an awesome year they’d had, but that’s another story!

So again, know your audience. Much like in my blog last week – Why Leaning In can be Dangerous – you have to know who to talk to, and when, and how. You don’t have to lean in, but you do have to let people know what you want.

A colleague of mine was coaching a woman who had gone to quit her job because she had been passed over for promotion – again. When she went to tell her boss, apparently he was mortified as (somehow) he said he’d had no idea that was what she wanted.

You have to see your future for them to see it. A plan is a lot easier for your boss to visualise than a ‘it’s not fair’ approach. Moving towards a bigger goal, rather than away from what you see to be the problem (wages too low, position too junior, not enough x,y,z).

Don’t assume good things come to those who wait. They don’t. Well, not as often as they should.

More often, good things come to people who ask the right people in the right way.

Plan your career.

Know what you want.

Know your audience.

Take Control.

About Kate Savage

Kate Savage works with High Performers in the Creative Industries – how to be them, lead them, inspire them. She is a Career Coach, Mentor, Speaker, Writer and Creative Thinker.

In addition to being accredited in Workplace Coaching, NLP, Workplace Diversity and extendedDISC, Kate draws on more than 15 years creative agency experience in management, mentoring and team development, to help creative thinkers to get focused, get noticed and get results.

Blog first published on the Elbow Room Coaching


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