... to burn for more... much more... at work?(10 Posts)
I'm 10 years out of uni, and seem to have got myself stuck into a middle management "trap" at work. I was promoted to a team leader position 11 months after getting my first job, and I haven't really progressed since my CV reads: student jobs > graduate office bod > team lead > team lead > team lead > and (guess what?) team lead.
I'm not sure whether it's because I always thought I'd have progressed more by this point (I've always been a high flyer) or if the new MD's arrival has made me feel (I was introduced to her on Monday, she's 8 or 10 years older than me at most and she's done SO much, like working in china for a couple of years, she even has an MBA! admittedly no DCs though so she's had more time). Anyway, DH came home tonight and caught me writing up a little action plan for myself - after an initial laugh at my expense, he says he's happy to do anything to support me with "my plan".
Anyway, i've been sitting here for 20 minutes looking at my crappy plan, getting more depressed as I go through it, and there's this HUUUUGE gap inbetween where I am, and the top of my sector, where I don't even know what should be there! This is all the more ironic as I've came onto MN for a breather and then I spotted the "Quotas for women" link on the right side, about board room levels for women.
I'm half tempted just to give up and accept that I'll be stuck in a relatively crappily paid middle-management job for the foreseeable future, unless MN has some inspiration/advice or inspiring stories to bolster me with!!
(I realise I'm fortunate to have a job full stop, by the way, I don't mean to appear ungrateful for that.)
Have you tried talking to your manager about your aspirations and how you would like to develop - maybe they think you are happy where you are and don't want to progress?
Have you been at the same company all that time? If so, you might have to consider a change in order to progress. Organisations don't tend to appreciate people they've had in post for years and years, alas. However, I don't think comparing yourself to others is ever very productive. For all you know this high flyer envies your home life! Also, it sounds like your 'plan' might be a bit overwhelming at this stage. Maybe pick a few things you can do in the next six months that will move you towards your goal? You could try a book as well. I've found 'What colour is your parachute?' and 'Managing yourself' useful in the past. Great that your DH is behind you.
I would second the 'change organisations' suggestion.
Your mentioning of 'uni' and 'graduate' immediately might imply that you're expecting to climb rungs due to your education? It's unlikely to happen that way in a lot of organisations.
Can you talk to your line manager about things?
I also second the 'move' suggestions. Employers do tend to take long term staff for granted then look all shocked and hurt when they leave. Of course they then have to spend twice as much on the replacement.
Have you talked with recruitment companies? Have a look on line at CV advice. The advice I was given recently was to structure my CV as follows:
Jobs (most recent first) and for each job have two sections (a few bullet points for each section):
- responsibilities (ing words eg supervising, managing)
- achievements (past tense and specific)
Hobbies (one or two, nothing weird!)
Have you considered approaching someone in your organisation about mentoring?
Ask the new MD, I'm sure she'd be happy to help.
Can you isolate the reasons why you haven't progressed as you think you should? Lack of support from your manager? Lack of experience, ie maybe you need a technical speciality to move up to the next level in your org? Have you been applying for next level jobs? Have you made your aspirations clear? Or have you been keeping your head down and leaving at 5pm every night to get home to DCs?
You need to think hard and be honest with yourself as to why you got stuck, before you can take measures to correct it, whether that's more training, sticking your hand up for new projects, or moving company.
Are you still doing the same work in the same way, with the same attitiude you had when you were promoted to your first team leader role? If you are, then that's exactly why you're still a team leader - because you're still acting like a team leader.
Up your game, act like the next level up, get a mentor and pick their brain, seek feedback and learn from it even if it's painful, ask for promotion, study for appropriate qualifications, volunteer for difficult projects and do the dirty jobs. Give your bosses good reasons to promote you and it will almost certainly happen. Sit there looking like life failed to deliver it's promise and telling all how you've "always been a high flyer" (have you, or were you once and now you expect it to fall into your lap?) is never going to get you there.
Work harder. A more senior role will almost certainly mean longer hours, travel, tougher targets and less time for yourself and your family; so you might as well start now if that's what you want.
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