Imagine a situation where your boss calls you into a large meeting room and surprises you with a lot of appreciation. He proceeds further saying “I am really happy with your performance. You’ve been doing a wonderful job. Keep up the good work.” This vague feedback shared by your project manager is a great sign that your boss is really happy and your chances for growth are high. But, you know that this performance feedback is just a pat on the back with no constructive career guidance to navigate your desired career goals.
And let’s face it: you are unhappy at work and the present job profile doesn’t add tremendous value to your career goals and you badly want to discuss career progression with your boss. But with the tight job market, you know mentioning to your boss that you’re not happy may call for a dramatic change. To some bosses, starting such career progression conversations may shake up your career planning by setting you on their radar and ruin the chance for advancement. Sometimes, talking openly about your aspirations may provide greater development opportunities that may help you to grow.
Here’s how to talk to your boss confidently about your career path:
- Plan for a heart to heart conversation with your boss about your plans of changing the career path. Share your career aspirations and ask if he believes the present organization is able to give a concrete support to shape your career path in the right direction.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss openly the gap between your current work profile, and the career you are aspiring for. It is always a wise decision to conduct open communication about career goals and professional development with your employers. Expressing willingness to learning and development might bring you good counsel from your boss, thereby, making you more qualified for future roles and fostering better chances of achieving success.
- Being gutsy almost always wins the day. Tell your boss that you’ve got big dreams by keeping a great mixture of timing, guts, and communication skills. Don’t make your supervisor feel threatened that you are all set to leave the job. Find yourself the right time for having a successful encounter about your changing career goals to your boss without leaving any kind of immediate pressure.
- Frame the conversation for career progression properly in a positive way by saying that you’ve invested so many precious hours in doing your job at the present company. But, you can’t bring more value to the company now and want to move out of your current role and need some time to prepare yourself for a big career switch in the long run. No employer wants to keep an employee who is not fully engaged in the work and is daydreaming about another job opportunity.
- Prepare a nice outline for tough career development discussions before you go and discuss career paths with your boss. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to review your points and summarize them into agenda items so that they don’t come out as the complaints or demands in front of your supervisor. Try to present your points from a perspective of giving solutions instead of bluntly discussing the grievances (more on that in a bit). Pairing your concerns with suggestions always seems a wonderful approach to strike your career progression conversation with your boss.
Never go ugly and try to end up your discussion on a positive note. Express your willingness to change the career path gracefully.