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You have been placed in a highly visible role to bring about an organizational change. As a change agent, you might be launching a new leadership development program, a process to increase efficiency, or an upgraded IT platform. The CEO publicly promises things on your behalf. He tells the entire organization at a global town hall meeting that you will bring them to the promised land. Your name is mentioned at the company’s annual leadership conference in the “what’s ahead” presentation. The CEO invites you to a pool-side lunch at a business offsite as his senior staff looks on at your elevated status. Congratulations! You are the CEO’s Shiny New Penny. As you consider the unexpected limelight into which you have been placed, you privately revel in your career trajectory. But watch out. There is danger up ahead. The Navigator is sending up warning flairs from deep inside the rabbit hole that lays in front of you.
Do you have the January heeby jeebies? If so, you are not alone. Q1 rolls in with its typical bluster of performance reviews, bonuses, promotions, and management changes. It also comes with agita. Some employees fret about reviews and raises that don’t reflect their hard work. Others are frustrated that they once again have been passed over for promotion. There may be a vague sense of unrest with an upcoming change in management. And the temptation to leave the company for greener pastures is strongest once the bonus checks are cut. “How can I advance?” and ” Is my job secure?” are common thoughts.
The Navigator has studied the heeby jeebies (his own and others) and has come to a conclusion that these demons of self-doubt will attack those with a lack of professional mobility. Are you professionally mobile? Do you feel overly dependent on your current employer? How well do you demonstrate mastery during internal and external interviews? How do you position yourself for a truly accurate performance review? How can you bolster your stature for promotion and advancement?
Passivity will not earn you your rightful place. There are 3 things you can do right now to gain professional mobility and prepare for your future role.