I have a funny relationship with my manager. Sometimes she drives me crazy and at other times she is very helpful and offers good advice .
The other day, she decided I could do with more advice. She suggested that when you follow a “professional” career your route is set out for you – a doctor, lawyer or engineer usually knows what they have to do in terms of training and experience to get to the next stage of progression in their career, which is also usually fairly clear-cut. When you choose to follow a career that doesn’t have such a prescribed path, such as civil servant for instance, you need to manage that path more effectively. The ways to do this are:
1. Take the time to be clear about what you want in the long term. Get to know where you want to go.
2. Know what you want out of your current role – what are the skills and experience you can pick up and how are you going to ensure you do this.
3. Look at the next few roles up and try to determine what are the skills required. The ones she suggested would be useful included: people management, finance knowledge and budget management, strategic knowledge and report writing (and another that she could not remember).
4. If you don’t have these skills, offer your assistance for work that looks like it will help you to gain that skill. This is also a good way to engender good will.
If she has any more gems for me, I will be sure to let you know.