Too often in our careers we pursue only the paths we can clearly see. It’s easy to sit in your chair in middle management and think that the line to the C-suite goes from Manager to Senior Manager to Director to AVP to VP to SVP to EVP to DVP to President to CEO, right? Of course, the line changes from business to business, but the path appears to be clear and linear, and on top of that can appear impossible to achieve. So when career paths seem clear, but you don’t have clear options in front of you, it’s easy to look at that scary ladder to the top and think, “But how do I grab onto the first rung?”
Forbes writer Brittany Binowski asks a similar question about young professionals with no clear path to leadership. Brittany wants to know “Where do I go from here?” in the article “How to Create a Career Path When Your Job Doesn’t Have One.“
What Ms. Binowski proposes, and Career Girl Network agrees with wholeheartedly is a “choose your own adventure” of sorts in your career. If you’re in a spot where your next step isn’t clear, think about the following:
- What impact can you have on your company that is truly unique?
- What key roles are missing in your department where you could fill a gap?
- Are you comfortable discussing these missing pieces/links with your superiors?
- Are you willing to take on more work without a promotion in anticipation that a new role could be created?
If the answers to these questions are easy for you, it may be that you’re ready to pursue a new step in your career path, and perhaps you could look for opportunity to create your own path within your company rather than searching outside. It may take a bit more time, but it will show your initiative as a problem solver and loyal employee.