4 Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You About Advancing Your Career

A vice president of a financial company once told me, “Make a plan—or someone else will make one for you.” And this advice is never truer than when it comes to taking charge of your career.

If you’ve worked hard, fulfilled your responsibilities, and received positive performance reviews, then you’ve successfully followed what most people would call a career development plan. Unfortunately, that’s a far cry from what I call a career advancement plan. To make significant forward movement, you’ll need to go beyond being great at your current job—but, as I often tell clients in my leadership coaching practice, if you’re waiting on advice from your boss about how to do that, you’d be wise not to hold your breath.

Pace Productivity, Inc. found that while managers overwhelmingly cite “people management” as their most important priority, a typical mid-level manager spends a measly 3.3 hours per week managing people. Of that time, only two hours are allocated to coaching, training, and mentoring. Meanwhile, administrative tasks suck up a whopping 24% of their time. So, sure—your boss wants to help you grow. Right after he or she files travel expenses, signs off on a purchase order, and declines a meeting request.

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