It All Starts Here…
We often assume that if you play by the rules and excel at your job, then one day the leadership team will offer you a shiny new role with a growth path and an amazing salary. It would then just be a matter of signing on the dotted line and choosing what over-priced champagne you want to pour for your well-earned celebration..
As it turns out, the mastery journey is usually more about proactiveness, patience and self-belief. It was for me anyway. It wasn’t easy but I love the fact that I did it.
While I love where I’m at now, I also loved my previous role at Augury as Employee Experience Manager. As part of the People Team, I helped define the pillars around how the company worked – and which we used to support our hyper-growth of the last year. I also always tried to find new ways to bring the company closer together.
At one point however, I wanted to have a bigger impact by building things that were not just internal. As part of the People team, I was focused on the culture: the internal ‘users’ known as employees. Today as Creative Manager for the marketing team, I’m out to externalize Augury’s culture. I want to cut through all the noise and share with the world the story of what I love about this company. I want people – customers, partners, colleagues and future colleagues – to really connect with who we are and become part of bringing our mission to life.
And I think a lot of people are in a similar position as I was: loving where they work but also wanting to do something new. This article is for them.
1) Be A High-Performing Team Member
To be ready for another job, you should first be good at the job at hand. You are accountable for your own success. You must stay on track at all times – and if you aren’t, you communicate this and build out your work plan to recover. Always be transparent. Always be agile when faced with change. Always align yourself with company cadence, budget and needs. Always ask ‘Where do I stand and how can I improve?’ Always use the power of feedback to grow. As my previous manager once said: “It’s not just about success, it’s about growth.”
2) Be Proactive – Create Your Own Kickoff Role
As an individual you must contribute to the larger culture. Build those relationships. It’s all about people – and this is especially true at Augury where the core value is ‘people first’. And your network will only help you as you fulfill a new role. I know a lot of people at my company – along with their partners, children, dogs and whether they are having a rough time or not. I’m there for them when they need me. So, they are there for me when I am facing a challenge, have a question, want to build something, or am just curious about how their role works within the company.
You should also be proactive about building relationships with your manager and other leaders. Don’t be shy. Learn. Question it. Figure it out. Write it down. Wait for the right time to share it further.
3) Will | Skill | Company Needs
This is something I learned from the People team: “will, skill and company needs” as a way of measuring success and excellence at work. It’s about having the will to be working at a particular job – that you want to be there. It’s about having the skills, experience and personality to do the job well. At the same time, the job needs to fit with what the company needs at that particular time. But what happens when these three don’t align? Well, that’s where patience comes in…
4) Be Patient
Patience and timing are very much part of this growth journey. Even if everyone’s on board with the plan there may be external circumstances that may be slowing down the process – say a merger, new leaders or an impending recession. It’s not always a clear path. It can all happen very fast – or very slow. Keep communicating your desires. Stay transparent. Remind the right people that you can learn on your feet.
But if you are kept waiting for too long, you might consider asking your manager to do a pilot with another team for a certain project. As my current manager taught me, you need to be resilient in tough times: “Embrace the pressure and don’t surrender to stress.”
5) A Growth Mindset Will Help You Enjoy The Ride
A growth mindset gives freedom. It means you can find inspiration in the success of others, learn from feedback, and grow your desire to learn and build abilities. It takes effort to learn new skills – and this is the path to mastery. One of Augury’s values is ‘Embrace it’, which means to embrace challenges – along with uncertainty, change, failure, and the unknown.
Sure, it won’t always be fun. And please excuse the cliche: but you need to see the journey as being at least as important as the destination. A growth mindset will help you to enjoy the ride – and steer your story forward whenever you can. As Terry Pratchett formulated it: “People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.”
So get out there and make your happy ending – or new beginning – happen.