Do you feel like your career is going nowhere? Don’t be disheartened. A lot of us feel the same way and tend to make hasty decisions instead of looking for help. We would rather quit, go through the interview process, join a new company, new team and deal with new management in lieu of getting the help we need. As weird and uncomfortable as the idea might seem, your boss is the best person to have a conversation with about your career path, so wait, talk about it before you quit.
How do you have an effective conversation with your boss and what do you need to cover? Well, we have a few suggestions for you.
You need to know your manager well enough to read how he/she is receiving what you are saying, is he/she open to listening or is he/she feeling uncomfortable? You need to modify your message based on his/her verbal and non-verbal cues.
If you’re still worried about how things will go, try a few practise rounds with a colleague. It’s important for you to be able to stay focused during your conversation and not waver because of pressure.
Get the timing right
As discussing your career path is a tough conversation to have, you can’t just bring up this conversation with your boss. You need to see to it that he/she is prepared and so are you. It’s also important to schedule a time with your boss when you will not be distracted with other tasks such as tight deadlines or meetings. It becomes meaningless to finish only half of your discussion and then run in for another meeting.
Keeping these factors in mind, it’s always better that you pre-plan the meeting with your boss. However, even with pre-planning, there are chances that your boss could be busy, distracted or both. In this case, read the room and reschedule your meeting for an appropriate time.
Pre-plan your discussion
Only you know where you see yourself in the coming years, you can’t expect your manager to give you a direction if you haven’t figured things out. It’s acceptable if you don’t know the answer to this question. Take some time to figure it out before your discussion.
Talk to your colleagues, your mentor or even family to figure out what kind of career progression you’re looking for. Look at the growth of the team, analyse what skills you are missing and see how you can learn them. In this case distance education programs or correspondence courses are a good idea. If you’re able to lay out your plan effectively, your manager will be able to tell you the loopholes in your plan and guide you further.
Never give up without trying, the result of your discussion could give you clarity.