She Leads Africa

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Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut in your current position? Is the thrill of having a challenge long gone ? Are you having a hard time connecting the dots between how your current position will lead you to the position you aspire to be in some day?

If you’re feeling any of the above, the obvious choice might be to move on from your current job, to “greener pastures”. However, there is another alternative. Maybe all you need is a “current job makeover”.

I applied the 5 tips below when I found myself in a similar situation and the result was that I got a promotion, a significant salary increase and renewed passion and excitement for my job.

[bctt tweet=”In the end, facts win over feelings when it comes to your professional life” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]

Make yourself indispensable

From day 1 when I started my current job, I was eager to prove that I could do the job better than anyone else who had come before me. I came in early and left late. I often took work home in the evenings and on weekends (I had just moved to a new city in a new country so, in a way, work was also my solitude).

I asked lots of questions. Read as much as I could to help me understand the new industry I was working in. When the opportunity to do tasks outside of my job description came up, I jumped at them immediately. Soon I started to see that my boss was getting more comfortable letting me do things that were technically above my pay grade. Work hard to make yourself indispensable.


Figure out what you still have left to learn

In the early days, I would sit in meetings with my boss and the higher ups, and realized that half of what they were saying was Greek to me. Granted, I was doing a kick ass job in my little corner, but there was so much about the work that I had no clue about.

I made it my personal mission to learn from every member of the team, by offering to help them out with various assignments. The more I learned, the more I realized that the higher ups in my team started to pull me into the inner circle. Eventually, they even started asking for my opinion about things.

Pitch a new position which reflects where you are trying to go

Realizing that I could do so much more in this field was probably what brought on the itch to leave in the first place. Suddenly my role became too small and too confining. On one hand, I wanted to grow and take on even more responsibility. Bur on the other hand I knew that I did not have the over 10 years experience the colleague next in line had.

What to do? I drew up a list of the things in my current job description that I wanted to keep doing; the things outside of my job description that I wanted to do more of; and the things that I wanted to learn to do.

In doing this exercise I came up with a whole new job description. I pitched this idea to my boss. She took my proposition seriously and brought this to the attention of the higher ups. After some deliberation and modification; they agreed to create this new position for me.

Back up your request with facts

I didn’t just rock up into this meeting and demand to have them switch things up for me for no good reason. I took the time to document every single thing that I had done on the job, including the things that were outside my role.

From the big things where I’d helped out with projects in other countries, to the little things like the new initiatives I’d spearheaded within our country team. For every new task and responsibility, I included in my new job description, I backed it up with examples that showed that I was up to the task.

In the end, facts win over feelings when it comes to your professional life. No one is going to hand you something just because you ask for it. People are never going to pay you what you think you’re worth. You’re going to have to get in there and show yourself as worthy and then claim what is yours.


Keep your cool and be prepared to walk

I remember walking out of the meeting thinking “What if my boss takes this to the higher ups and they say no? Then what?” I knew that if it came to that then I would have to make a decision to leave.

If you realize that you are in an environment that is not invested in your growth and is not helping you actualize your full potential, then I think that is always the best time to walk away. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to.

A week later, they came back with an offer that was even better than I could have imagined. So I stayed, and I’m committed to growing but also contributing to the growth of my team; and doing my part to help them achieve their objectives.

Have you been in a similar situation at work?

Let us know your story here.


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