LinkedIn Leadership Advice
Here’s an exchange between myself and one of those strangers who ask for career advice on LinkedIn. The guy’s message has since disappeared despite my reply, so I've paraphrased my impression of his question and included my thoughtful response:
Hi there. I’m hoping you can offer some guidance. I’ve been trying to get ahead at my company and my work and efforts, though well-received, never seem to have any impact on my position. Do you have any recommendations?
Hopefully this message isn't too late... I have a lot of personal experience with your struggle and my best advice is: develop your leadership skills.
I spent 12 years at a company within a very small internal group that lacked any structure or higher position for me to aspire to and I felt like I was banging my head against a wall every single day. No matter how great my efforts, no matter how well-received my projects and ideas were, nothing ever changed — until I changed...
I proactively sought managerial training outside the company, I made an appointment with HR to make a game plan for advancement and I advocated for myself everywhere. Another huge step was arranging a weekly meeting with my boss to touch base about projects, offer opinions, gather feedback and MOST IMPORTANTLY build a deeper relationship. Supervisors are the ones who make the money and position changes on your behalf at the end of the day and no boss is going to be motivated to do so unless they have a personal connection with you.
Taking steps like those I’ve described will demonstrate competency and ambition and care for your work. Formal education on topics such as speaking, writing and leading groups will be immensely helpful in your efforts to be seen as worthy of advancement.
****Of course, the other part of the story is that I did all of these things, got a promotion to a new job title I created for myself and then I realized a large portion of my struggle came from absolutely hating my fucking job — the managers were lying nincompoops, they were never going to pay me what I was worth and I was fooling myself about things ever truly changing. In short, I quit and you probably should too.****
**** I didn’t actually write this part to him but I should have.****