Mapping Your Career Success
This excerpt is from Chapter One:
Bursting through barriers
First, I’d like you to meet Julie. When I initially saw her, she was a beginning salaried employee working for my boss as an administrative assistant. It soon became obvious to me that Julie was very talented and had excellent leadership skills. I asked her if I could work with her to shape her career, so she’d eventually end up in leadership. At first she was skeptical, but she was willing to talk about it.
We met over the next month and began going through the process you’ll see explained in this book. We started to design a career path for Julie by identifying her weak areas and getting her the specific kinds of experience she needed to strengthen her as a candidate for better positions.
I call this career gap analysis, but don’t let that mouthful scare you or deter you from learning more about it. It really is the magic passport that can unlock and apply all your personal potential for success.
Next we worked with other leaders in our organization to give Julie assignments that would provide growth opportunities for her to become an outstanding leader. She filled in for one manager while he was on vacation, and then she volunteered to head up a team presentation on a difficult project. All along the way she remained on the lookout for ways to gain new skills and polish existing ones. Instead of retreating from a challenging new computer program, she did tutorials on her own time. As she became the go-to gal for everyone else on her team who needed to use the program, her own self-confidence grew. Julie discovered she liked the empowerment that came from excelling, and she quickly realized how she could now control and direct the course of her career—rather than feeling at the mercy of those in higher positions who may not even know she existed. Her growing competency did, indeed, bring her the kind of positive attention that helped her progress from level to level.
Within a year she was promoted to a supervisor position, and within five years to a managerial position. More recently Julie was promoted to a director in our company, overseeing hundreds of employees with a huge annual budget and numerous travel opportunities, which is something she especially enjoys. Julie is also an African-American who’s had to overcome the many obstacles you find in large organizations that are typically white and typically male. Yet she’s flourished in that environment—because she had a plan and kept following it, year after year. Now she’s enjoying a career that far exceeds her early ideas about what she might accomplish. And the benefits of her success flow back to everyone around her—on and off the job—who see Julie as a role model for what can be achieved when you look beyond roadblocks that you may find in your path.
Click here to read another excerpt from her book.