‘Mind The Gap’ in your Career Transition

Dec 16 2015

Most people that I coach are looking to improve and progress their careers, a natural enough goal. So it is interesting to note that when a promotion comes, most are ill prepared.

I am very often called in to work with leader who is finding the ‘career transition’ tough –but why? Surely they got what they wanted (the promotion) so what’s the problem?

This reminds me of the phrase ‘what got you here, won’t get you there!’ In other words you will probably have to do things differently. You have progressed in position so why shouldn’t you progress in other areas? With each promotion there will come the expectation of a different approach to leadership and a different set of leadership behaviours.

You have gained your credibility and your reputation by doing certain things, by achieving, by getting things done! As you move into leadership you are expected to achieve in a slightly different way – through others.

The term ‘delegation’ becomes the Holy Grail – but how do you do it? How do you give up doing and that great feeling of satisfaction when you complete the next task? To date your personal validation, your sense of self worth has been based predominately on what you have done.

There seem to be two main traps that leaders fall in to:

  1. They initially try and do all of the work they normally did and then manage a team, a department and strategically plan on top!
  2. All of the above, and then feel guilty asking others to do tasks for them.

Both of these traps lead to the leader being stressed and overworked – there are only so many hours in any one day!

I fondly remember a leader saying, “You mean I have to make time to think? But if people see me sitting at my desk not ‘doing’ anything they will think I am wasting time!” Amazingly he didn’t believe that his company had paid him to think.

The ‘transition’ period is tricky and it can take time to figure out how to navigate the changes in mindset and behaviour. Some get there on their own, others need some support and some flounder and fail and then both they, and the organization wonder what went wrong?

To understand more about how coaching can help with the ‘career transition’ contact me. In the meantime – Mind The Gap!


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