Updated: Jan 18
The worst career mistake I made in my career was thinking someone else was in charge of my career. I worked for a company that didn't provide the opportunities for me to excel in the ways that I wanted to. I was given raises but when I asked about promotions, it was always an excuse. The mistake wasn't having to face it, the mistake was continuing to work for the company after I realized the pattern that was taking place.
How many times have we settled in our careers because we were either too afraid or too comfortable to make a change? It's not always about making a move for more money. I was making good money, but I wasn't seeing myself progress professionally or making steps towards roles I knew that I deserved. I wanted to make more of an impact in my career and I was being stifled by the words "Not right now. Let's circle back to this conversation in about 6 months."
It was very confusing because my performance reviews were always outstanding but management never pushed me forward. Every time they needed someone to pick up the slack it was me. I went above and beyond my job description only to be told "Not yet" time after time.
What was the reason? Was it because I black? Was it because I was a woman? Were they intimidated and afraid that I would outshine them? Who knows? My concern wasn't really in the "why", but it was in the "what" was happening.
I finally got fed up. I got tired of my colleagues who did half the work, be promoted before me. I stood up for myself and made the decision to leave. I couldn't keep "blaming" my boss for not promoting me. I had to take charge of my career. Did I walk off the job? NO. I started preparing my exit strategy. I am a firm believer in not operating out of emotion, but we should operate out of strategy and purpose.
Now that I look back, it was the best decision I ever made. I now operate in purpose and impact. I now decide what happens in my career. I no longer take the excuses of others and use them to steer my career.
I am the CEO of my career.
I see so many people settling and they don't realize they have to take control of their careers. If you are waiting for your boss to push you along or push you forward, you are giving the power to the wrong person.
Ways to take control of your career:
Know your strengths and work on your weaknesses
Have a clear picture of what you want
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want and walk away if it's not being honored
Network with people who are in the place you want to be
Don't waste time in a career you know you don't want.
Cheers to great careers in 2021!
Connect with me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alicia-perkins/