In the words of Facebook’s COO Cheryl Sandberg, “lean in, sit at the table.” I believe that at the core of managing my career-our careers as females-we must insert ourselves-sitting at the table, not to the side, but up front and center. Inserting ourselves in many ways; leaning in and being a part of the conversation, marketing yourself, putting yourself up front and center, asking for the opportunities you want and laying out a plan for achieving success in managing your career.
Early in my career a mentor of mine once told me to manage your manager in order to keep yourself on track and achieve your goals professionally. With each direct manager I’ve had, approximately 7 or so over the years, with varying management styles, I’ve ensured my role, expectations, goals and objectives were clearly known, defined and set. Whether this meant additional responsibilities or a promotion to the next corporate level, I ensure my manager knows what I want. Knowing what I want is part of it, next comes clearly defining a path while setting milestones for achievement.
Some tips that have helped me while searching for a new role externally were ensuring my resume was up to date as well as keep my online professional profile and network current. Internally being able to provide reoccurring “wins” (such as projects completed, sales closed, increased profitability), status on open items and next steps for completion. The purpose of the aforementioned is two fold; keeps you on track and allows management to view and remember your contributions. By the time compensation comes around you have already documented your accomplishments and it is easier to write your self review.
It is important to me to do well in my career because I not only enjoy what I do-I want to make myself, my husband and my son equally proud of my accomplishments. (Not to mention the monetary compensation which increases our standard of living, funding retirement, college, travel, etc. and $$=freedom!)
Go on and manage your manager and your career. You are your number one advocate!