Unfortunately for people like me, reviews only happen once or twice a year. It makes sense, because the review process can be lengthy and expensive. It requires hours of time from management that could be spent elsewhere, so it’s often not prioritized. However, those of us in professional development know that the more connected employees are to their strengths within their role and the most they’re able to co-create their work experience, the more engaged and productive they are.
If you feel like your growth isn’t being prioritized to the degree you desire, it’s time for you to come to responsibility around your needs. Your manager isn’t a mind-reader, so they don’t know your intentions when it comes to developing in your role and in your company - take charge here. Don’t just fall into the reactive trap of waiting to be noticed and deemed “high potential” enough for development opportunities.
I talk to women that are up-and-coming in the workplace every single day. When I ask them what they is holding them back from the role or opportunities they desire, the response I most often receive is that they don’t feel like they have a champion in the workplace. This is both a pervasive belief and a wildly disempowering one.
Sure, having an advocate in the workplace can be a great asset. But not having one doesn’t determine your career trajectory. In fact, the most powerful advocate for you in the workplace is yourself. Take the opportunity to take charge of your growth over the next year, and others will start to see you for the leader you’ve made yourself into.
Creating your own personal & professional growth plan will:
Show your boss that you’re serious about contributing to the company as a whole person
Demonstrate your ability to take charge of situations & be responsible for the outcomes
Provide you a vocabulary to be your own champion during the next formal review season, by documenting the tangible growth you’ve created for yourself
Here’s what you need to know:
You cannot afford to be passive with your career - you need to take ownership of your growth rather than waiting to be see as “high potential.”
Your growth plan should encompass all of your growth edges - we excel when we bring our full selves to the table in a healthy way.
Don’t worry about your plan being perfect. The value here is in imperfect action, not perfectly designed procrastination.
Have a moment? Read on to learn why this is vital to your success in the workplace.
I think most people assume that everyone dreads review season in the workplace. But this couldn’t be further from the truth for those of us who are obsessed with personal development and growth - in fact, many of us look forward to review season as an opportunity to receive valuable feedback and recognition.
So how do we do this thing?
Click here to see the basic growth plan template. Click File> Make a Copy to save your own copy to your Google Drive.
Start on page one with an audit of all the opportunities for growth you have in the months ahead. I’ve included a few journal prompts to get you started thinking, as well as some resources you already have on hand. Reflect back on prior feedback from friends, coworkers and your manager, and consider some personality assessment tools such as Strengthsfinder.
Pick no more than three of those growth opportunities to focus on in Q1 (or whichever quarter it is for you!). Fill out the green growth perspective questions.
PSA: Don’t skip this part! Research shows that making a direct connection between our goals and who we are as a person, as well as how our development work benefits us & others makes these goals truly stick.
Set a recurring Google calendar event to review your goals and answer the orange wrap up questions, before setting the following quarter’s growth objectives. Consistency will help you keep your goals top of mind, and allow you to document examples and notes along the way.
Use this tool in your formal reviews with your boss. Consider asking for feedback, suggestions of other aspects for you to intentionally develop, and whether there’s an opportunity for you to utilize the new capabilities you’ve created.
When we take responsibility for our own growth and development, we’re able to stop seeing review season as scary or intimidating. Instead, all feedback and growth is an opportunity to bring us one step closer to the type of leader we desire to be for ourselves and for others. Use this opportunity to practice whole self leadership, and to address growth edges you see in your personal life as well. When we come to the table complete with our own challenges and ready to give, that’s when true collaborative leadership happens.