If you’re like most employees, every year you and your boss get together for an annual review and development conversation where you sit down to reflect on your past year’s performance and set goals for what comes next. While these routine reviews are important conversations, at the end of the day they won’t necessarily get you to where you want to be.
If you’re interested in a typical, predictable career trajectory, then wait around for your boss to tell you “It’s that time of year to discuss your review and development needs.” However, if you want to get ahead and truly soar in your career, there are three critical conversations you should have with your boss each and every year.
3 Career Conversations That Will Take Your Career to the Next Level
1. Skills Renewal: Every ten years,U.S. travelers are required to renew their passports due to changing homeland security regulations. Renewing the passport means a traveler’s documentation is in alignment with the current conditions. In the same vein, it’s important that you take the time to reassess the current conditions and make sure your present job is still in alignment with who you are. As roles in organizations reposition and change over time, ask yourself if your professional actions are still in alignment with your job. Each year, get a big-picture perspective with your leader about the broader organization, and inquire about changes they foresee for your company, your department, and your role. Discuss what you can do today to realign and renew your skills so you can be ahead of the change curve.
2. Engagement Revival: Rather than relying on your bosses to magically know what you need, take matters into your own hands by discussing your engagement levels with your manager. Work with him or her to develop a plan to increase your engagement or strategize best ways to maintain your high level of engagement. Your enthusiasm for increasing your personal levels of engagement might open the door to finding creative ways to make your job more interesting and fulfilling. While it’s impossible to be highly engaged every day, if your boss is part of your plans to work towards higher engagement, you’ll ultimately be more successful in achieving your personal engagement goals. The bonus? Research shows that when employees are more engaged, they perform at higher levels.
3. Leadership Reinforcement: Leaders love it when you take an interest in doing more, especially when it makes them look good. Take the initiative to find out how your boss is doing and ask if there’s anything you can do to support him or her. By offering your assistance, you’re demonstrating your leadership skills and, in the process, you may end up getting an assignment that is important to your boss. Then, when you do a good job on that assignment, he or she will take notice in your leadership skills. At the end of the day, bosses want to know that you are not only reliable in your work, but that you also have their back. What better way to show this than to take something off their plate?
As you can see, these are three simple conversations that can have a big, immediate impact. Initiate them and you’ll be positioning yourself to watch your career soar.
Monica Sauls is a founder of CCLT and a corporate human resources leader with expertise in talent management, career development, change management, training, and organization development. In her additional time she writes, delivers speaking engagements, and coaches professionals—from entry-level employees to executives—to thrive from one stage of their careers to another. For more information about Monica, please visit http://monicasauls.com/