Getting stuck in your career is a huge risk. Avoid it at all cost!
If only things would be that easy.
Many people feel stranded in management roles. Your shiny title and good pay may make you feel safe, but you’re bored to tears and there’s impossible to move up. Or you’re a VP who reports to a terrible SVP. How should you progress in such a situation?
Network Network Network!
Start within your company. Remember the colleagues you don’t have the chance to talk to? Yes, the ones from other departments. Maybe similar seniority with you, for sure with a different network than you. New network, new opportunities.
Consider company volunteer days. Join an employee resource group. Start building relationships across the organization. This could lead to new projects or opportunities across teams at your company.
Getting out from behind your computer and meeting people is key. Do so in a setting that is going to respect your need for confidentiality and discretion as you engage in this process.
In a true networking environment, you can maintain your professionalism by offering assistance to others in a similar position. Sharing your story and talents is a big part of that. So is listening to others and helping them with contacts and connections where you are able.
Join industry associations, clubs and affinity groups. Reach out to colleagues and industry peers, with a goal to helping them as much as they help you.
Networking for the sake of networking is wasting the time of very busy people. Number one rule meeting valuable people is: show up. Number two rule is: be valuable.
Social Media. Give it the importance it deserves.
Use LinkedIn to post about innovation in your industry. Make your voice know on “hot” topics in your industry and around your seniority level. Talk about diversity, management principles, culture or anything that will ignite constructive conversations. Reply to comments and comment on other interesting posts. Make sure you target people you want to connect with.
Do this on a constant basis. People will notice.
Reach out to executives in other companies who can assist in your job search. Never cold ask for a favor. Provide value. Show you care, show you want to give back, then ask for the favor. This is a good way to make a contact that can help put your resume in front of someone that counts.
Talk to recruiters
Reach out to recruiters you trust. Confidentiality is key. Discretion is paramount. Recruiters have good networks and good understanding of the market. You can get valuable insights. To mention a few: skills expectations, salary level, best companies, industry trends.
Make sure you work with someone who understands your objectives. And also knows what makes your profile great.
A good recruiter can help you get unstuck quite fast. Choose wisely.
Start learning new skills.
Clarify your career goals. Write them down in detail. Identify the your industry trends. What skills do you need to polish to get there? What skills do you need to learn from scratch? What skill can you learn that will bring added value in your current company?
Senior managers “suffer” from a peculiar type of condition. A lot of them think there is no urgent need to stay ahead of the skill curve. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Be the most skilled person in the room. Opportunities will rush towards you. Inside and outside your organization.
Age tends to matter less when skill rises to the top.