What are your career drivers? How are your career drivers connected to your career goals? Here’s a formula to help you evaluate your readiness to move on.
Three primary drivers tend to guide your decision to take a next step in your career:
Personal and professional growth As an individual: Are you growing in confidence, maturity, interpersonal relationships, experience, exposure, visibility, credibility, and influence? As a professional: Have you increased your skills and abilities, learn higher levels of complexities, engage with higher management, expand your functional knowledge to position you on an upward trajectory? Are you being provided with leadership opportunities?
Expanding responsibilities and compensation Are you increasing your responsibilities while expanding your compensation? Responsibilities can expand by additional roles, tasks or projects, inclusion in groups that will advance you within the organization? Compensation is a measure of how the organization values your contribution. It shows in performance increases above the norm, a bonus for a job well done, or stock. Non-financial rewards are also an indicator of appreciation, like being recognized by the “big boss”.
Freedom of action and freedom to perform How tightly are you supervised? Have you been given the freedom to develop the strategies and execute an approved plan to achieve stated results? If you’re micro-managed or spoon-fed, it’s time to ask why. Freedom to act is extremely important as it demonstrates the confidence the company has in you. The higher in management you go, the greater the freedom of action. A person cannot become an Olympic gold medal figure skater by practicing on a block of ice.
Create a chart and rate where you are on each of the three drivers:
- A rating from 75 or higher means you are progressing nicely. The higher the number the greater your progress and opportunities for advancement
- A rating from 60 to 74 means you are moving along at a modest pace
- A rating of 60 or below shouts for a fundamental change in function, direction or job
Apply the rating scale to each one of the drivers. Add the total value of each driver. If your Value Index is 180 or less, you have a decision to make. A total number of 225 or more means you are making good progress. Not only is the total number important, but so is the allocation. You can be in the 90’s on #1 and #2 but have no freedom of action. Determine what your best number is and in which combination. The difficultly is when one or all three numbers are below 65.
If your scores are not acceptable to you, talk with your boss if you can. Explain what you need in order to achieve your greatest contribution. Your current organization knows you best and should be able to adjust easier. If not, then you’ll know it’s time to search the marketplace.
Take control of your destiny. You’re the only one responsible for your own career.
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