Each new level of influence and leadership doesn’t have the rainbows, sunshine, and funfetti cupcakes you dream of. Set-backs, Lay-offs, demotions, and pay-cuts are real. I sound pessimistic, right? But I’m not.
Seeing reality has made me more passionate about my work than I ever thought possible. Success is always attainable.
A few coaching thoughts to anyone who’s taking another leap forward:
Ask questions. I know it’s common sense, but I still see the consequences of botched communication almost every day. Even if you think you understand a task, repeat it back to the supervisor. If you don’t understand or know a process, or don’t know a term—ask. Your supervisors will be more confident in you and trust you with more responsibilities.
Discuss your long-term goals. Your biggest advocates at your organization are your supervisors. If they don’t know where you want your career to go, they can’t help it along.
You aren’t better than any project. Don’t scoff at it. Organizing cabinets and data entry are never fun, but they will show your leader your servant-heart, commitment and willingness to help out. If you don’t get this right, your career will only be about what you get out of it and not about adding value to others.
Get trained. If you have access to training, leadership development, online learning or ANYTHING— take advantage of those resources. Even if you have to train yourself, Google is an extraordinary thing. Never be the person who says, “I don’t know how to use that.”
Effectiveness is BETTER than Efficiency. Failure here happens all the time. Getting a project done fast is great, but only if it’s done right. Pay attention to the details. If you must sacrifice speed for accuracy, do so. Don’t waste time. Plan the fastest. most accurate method before you start.
Do what you love. The career you have might not be the one you planned or the one you received a degree in. Don’t worry. It’s easier to receive mentoring and coaching NOW to help you discover areas of competence and passion than be stuck for the next 20 years.
Remember—this is your career. Only you can make it everything you dreamed about as a kid.