As part of my firm-wide program to raise up high performers, I schedule coaching calls with individuals that the firm wants to invest in. I recently completed a bank of calls for a firm and, reflecting on them, I noticed that the conversations seemed to fall into three distinct categories.
Some professionals were actively pursuing the career paths that are in line with the firm structure. They understand what they need to do and talked about additional ways to proceed that would accelerate their development and promotion. It was a call to encourage perseverance.
Others reported that they enjoy their work but feel that the current paths available were insufficient to accommodate their passions and talents. We discussed that the current path options are a result of what the firm has experienced from the past and that it is entirely possible that other options haven’t been considered. These professionals were encouraged to talk to the people who can help them shape something new. It was a call to initiate change.
Still others were actively pursuing a path but feeling frustrated or stuck by something that seems to be hindering them from moving on. We discussed various ways of engaging the barrier, whether it be a person, a policy or some other constraint. It was a call to take control of their career.
In the end, the conversations engaged the professionals to find significant ways to move forward. They had next steps to think about and pursue. Now the ball is back in their court—no more waiting, complaining or feeling that the firm doesn’t care or is against them. As William H. Johnsen is quoted, “If it’s to be; it’s up to me.”
If you were to identify a category that describes where you are in your career pursuit, where would you be? What should you do now to get and keep things going?