I had a coffee date first thing this morning with my manager-twice-removed to talk about my career development. What was supposed to be a 30 minute conversation stretched into almost an hour and I'm thrilled but terrified at the same time at the opportunity I've been given.
This project is another high profile one, so high in fact that our head honcho called it out recently as one of the big drivers for our company's growth in the next couple years - absolutely no pressure, right? And I've been given the lead to develop the strategy! Talk about stretching my skills and growing in my role!
After reviewing the opportunity, we talked about coaching and how she sees me growing into a more senior position in the next 18-24 mos...so there's some plan in mind for me...which is gratifying because my effort has been recognized. I worked for my previous SVP for 3.5 years and we only ever talked once about my career, and that was in reaction to someone else leaving the company and their direct manager asking for me to step into the role, so he wasn't necessarily interested in my development...my new SVP has been with us for 6 mos and already she's articulated a career path for me.
We also talked about how I can improve my performance in certain situations...be more assertive and less deferential, particularly around male superiors and take note of people I can model myself after, i.e. study senior leaders as I interact with them and consider what I like or don't like about their leadership style and why that is and begin building a tool kit to reference. All very useful advice.
I was rather intimidated by her and still am to a certain extent...but I'm also a bit more comfortable around her too because she really does care and really is supportive. So the hard work begins! I just have to remind myself not to think about the profile of the project too much...if I did, I just might freak myself out.