FranklinCovey Blog | August, 2010
I was recently promoted. That same week I coached some mid-career professionals who feel like their careers had “stalled.” I was surprised how much we had in common regarding how we felt, how others reacted to us, and then how we veered off in wildly different directions when it came to our plans of action. First, in common:
- I’m not yet sure what to do that would have the highest and greatest impact on the people, processes, and systems that I have been promoted into leading. I think my uncertainty can be solved by listening to people, building relationships, studying the financials, and figuring out the organizational need that my unique blend of talents and passions are best suited to address. Then I need to talk with people about the problem I’d like to solve and the contribution I’d like to make and working with them to make an impact. Interestingly, the career stalls have the same uncertainty about what to do. And I would suggest they consider the same a plan of action.
- In the case of my new role and in the case of those experiencing a stall in their current role, the reaction of people around you could be described as opposite sides of the same coin. Some people are genuinely helpful. Some exhibit signs of worry as to how your level of influence (or lack thereof) will influence their level of influence (or lack thereof) and some are clearly steering clear—hoping to avoid the work of being pulled into your circle of potential/despair.
- Both promotions and career stalls are rare opportunities to be creative, innovative, and impactful. For myself and others it seems common sense to view a promotion as an opportunity. But a career slump doesn’t have the same motivational spark—the spark must be self-created. If those in a slump saw it as a time for creativity and action, they would get better results. Particularly when compared to the choice to give up. Or even worse, to give in to cynicism and to spread that cynicism like the flu.
From a Jewish prayer (paraphrased): “I must do my allotted task with unwavering faithfulness even though the eye of no taskmaster is upon me. I must be strong even when slander distorts my noblest intent.” And luck must shine upon me (my addition).
Author: Jennifer Colosimo, Chief Operations Officer at FranklinCovey
Follow Jennifer on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jencolosimo