John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
You’re at the senior-most level. So close to the top you can taste it. If you can just hang on. Do you want to?
If you’re like most people, some days the answer is Yes, some days it’s No.
It can be like standing in a ticket line. Your line may not look like it’s moving as fast as another. But you’ve been in it long enough that you really don’t want to give up your place.
The first place you want to look is at the facts, the data. Have you actually been moving up over the last few years, adding to your responsibilities – even only incrementally? Or does it feel like it’s the same old thing over and over, and that you keep bumping your head on the ceiling as you move along?
Is it clear what you have to do to get to the top (however that’s defined)? Or does the boss keep moving the goalposts?
Some people are self-aware enough to know that a) business generation is required to make that last leap, and that b) they’re just not cut out to do it. They’ve risen just fine, thank you very much, on the basis of their prodigious financial/technical skills. They’re more comfortable in that role and have come to grips with the trade-offs that accompany this preference.
If you’re in this position, and are comfortable with it, consider yourself fortunate.
Shifting career paths once you’re just below the top has its unique challenges. If you haven’t been able to get to the top where you are, what makes you think you’ll do it in with a new employer? Sure, there are circumstances that can come into play. Maybe there are simply too many others on the rungs of the ladder and the competition for the top spots is intense. Maybe you really do have a boss that is keeping you down.
The other thing to watch for is the possibility that the new boss sees you as just the sort of “second banana” that he’d like to have working for him. And, in the end, you really won’t advance any farther or any faster.
So, what’s the answer? As simple as it seems, the answer is to make a commitment. Make a commitment to stay and give it everything you have. Or, make a commitment to change and don’t give up until you’re in the right place.
Indecision is the one true crippler.