You are a top performer and have been for your whole career. Your manager knows it and is a great mentor and coach. But what if your manager leaves the company? How well are you known throughout the rest of the organization?
You may be doing very well with your own work group, perhaps even across your business unit. But what about beyond your day-to-day routines and meetings. How many relationships do you have across the enterprise in other units? In other geographies? In different functions?
If the scouting report on you is “she is a top performer, she always gets things done,” that’s good! But it’s not good enough. What is it about you that is valuable to others?
I recently returned from a week in Nicaragua, my first of many this year. I go to see my daughter and son-in-law twice a year, spaced between their two visits to the US. Visiting the small city of Chinandega, Nicaragua is difficult both logistically and emotionally. The bumpy, 2.5-hour drive from the airport is certainly uncomfortable, and the amount of poverty I’m exposed to is not something I will ever get used to.
“You are responsible for driving your own career.” It’s a refrain we have all heard before, and it may seem obvious, so why do so many people struggle to do this effectively? Often, it is because we don’t know where we want to go. We can’t picture a career path because we can’t picture the destination. What if I told you that you don’t need to know where you want to go?
Your mentors, coaches, and most of all, your sponsors can help you pick a destination.
You just need to be able to articulate your value – your unique gifts – that will help you on the journey. If you can’t describe your own value, how can you expect anyone else to promote you?
In this blog on how to SHINE and earn a sponsor, we emphasize the importance of identifying your unique gifts, articulating them to potential sponsors, and utilizing your sponsors’ broader knowledge of the business to pick the best opportunities for you and your career.
What are you passionate about?
To find out, start with this simple exercise. On a piece of paper, create a left column and a right column. Each evening, on the left side, record your highest energy moment of the day; the point where you felt like you were “on fire.” On the right side, put down the moment that drained your energy; when you felt like you were “off.”
Ask for what you want. You may find you like the answer. Julie Fasone Holder is CEO and Founder JFH Insights. She recently shared some wisdom gained over her more than 35 years in corporate America. Her insights echo a story one of our faculty members shared during our last Signature Program.