Work Hard and…Hope?
A few years ago a client told me the story of how she came to be a partner in her current consulting firm.
She had been with the firm her whole career, since graduating. She was great at her job, well respected and she worked really hard to please clients and her bosses.
As the years went by she progressed through the ranks of seniority. However for 3 years in a row she was “passed over” for partnership, while she watched others in the firm get the tap on the shoulder.
Eventually she got mightily peeved at the state of affairs and decided she had to resign.
Marching into her supervising partner’s office she delivered her carefully prepared speech on how disappointed she was to have given the best years of her career, and life, to the firm only to be ignored for promotion.
When she eventually stopped talking, she said her supervising partner (who had been sitting silently, listening to her diatribe) looked at her quizzically before saying “So, you’re telling me you actually want to be a partner of this firm? We had no idea.”
My client had been so busy doing all the things she believed would bring promotion, that she hadn’t focused on key elements required to progress – which included actually telling the relevant people that’s what she wanted!
She had been running the classic career strategy of “head down, bum up”, otherwise known as working hard and hoping she would get tapped on the shoulder.
Work Hard and KNOW
I shared this story with 30 professionals who recently attended my “Speak Up and Speak Out” workshop. There were many nodding heads when I asked the room “Could this happen to you too?”
My goal is to help you make sure it doesn’t.
I’m all for working hard – in fact, I’m one of the hardest workers I know! But there’s a difference when you do the things you know are required to get ahead in your career, rather than those you hope will get you there.
A Model For Success
In learning to be move from Insignificant to Influencer and take control over the success of your career, there are 3 key areas you should focus on.
It goes without saying that to be an Influencer in your field, you need excellent technical ability – the model below acknowledges and includes this (under Positioning) and also gives you steps beyond your technical expertise you should take to secure your future success.