You’re a hard worker, just like you said at your job interview. In all your time at your company, you’ve done consistently good work. You’re reliable. But for some reason, you just aren’t shining as much as you’d like. Maybe there’s a sexy new project at work that you were hoping to be assigned, but it went to someone else. Perhaps you’re holding out for a promotion but haven’t seen it yet.
You’re starting to wonder if your hard work doesn’t cut it. You’re doing some great things, but your boss doesn’t seem to notice. You aren’t getting bigger or better projects, which means you aren’t really growing in your position. Is there something else you should be doing?
EXECUTING ISN’T ENOUGH
The solution here isn’t necessarily to approach your boss and ask point-blank what gives. Before you charge into your boss’s office demanding a change, stop for a minute and ask yourself: How proactive am I in my career? Do I take on more than is required of me? Do I go out of my way to take on projects that benefit teams other than my own? Do I regularly help my teammates? And do I do these things without permission, or only when I’m asked to? In other words, am I fearless?
It’s easy to wait for approval. It’s a lot harder to take initiative.
If the answers here are mostly “no,” it’s time to be more proactive. Don’t wait for your boss to create opportunities for you–create them yourself.
No matter what stage of your career you’re at, simply “doing” the work is never enough. In order to take charge of your own career, you often have to take the initiative.
The most successful people are proactive. They provide value beyond what’s asked of them, and in the process, they showcase their talents and show everybody else how much they can contribute. Over time, teams learn to come to them with bigger and better projects. It’s a virtuous circle that benefits both the company and their careers.
Depending on your personality, this might not feel so natural. It may also come more easily to people at senior levels who typically don’t have to wait for a supervisor to approve every decision they make. People earlier in their careers might hesitate to be so proactive, fearing that if they do, they’ll be scolded for overstepping.
In reality, this fear is typically unfounded. What it really boils down to is your confidence and how much you know about the company and industry you’re in, not the current stage of your career.
Read More at Fast Company