It’s Your Career, But Who Makes the Decisions? (Video)
November 13, 2023
Understand the system that fuels your career.
Ever felt like you’re the sole captain of your career ship, only to realize there are many hands on deck influencing its course? Watch the video (or read the recap below) to dive into the intricate dance between personal ambition, workplace dynamics, and the undeniable power of relationships in shaping your professional journey.
While your career is absolutely defined by your ambitions, your effort, and the application of your talents (and you’re 100% responsible for your career), the hard truth is that your career is not solely decided by you. But how can that be? If you’re 100 percent responsible for your career, how can you not be the sole decision maker?
The Career System
Well, we work in a system where we’re all interdependent upon one another, and that’s why good relationships, good experiences, good visibility, and clear expectations are so important as you build your career. The real truth is that building a career is driven by you and facilitated by others. The others in our world are our bosses, senior leaders, HR departments, talent teams, training teams, peers, and even our direct reports. All of the people that work around us have input and even decisioning into the opportunities that become available for us.
I once knew a CEO who lost millions in his bonus because feedback he got from his direct reports said that his leadership style was abusive and toxic, and the board decided to hold him accountable.
How Others Experience You
The experience that you create for others matters because they have input into the rewards and opportunities that come your way, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect. There are also ritual processes that happen inside organizations, such as performance management, talent review and succession planning, and these processes can have a big impact on your career. People go into rooms to talk about you and make decisions about your career when you’re not there.
What You Can Do
For building your career, it boils down to three things:
The people around you.
The processes for alignment and decision making.
For the people around you: Get to know them. Understand their needs, their wants, their desires, and deliver accordingly.
For the processes that happen inside your organization: Do not take them for granted. Decide what you want to get out of those experiences and speak to your manager about it.
For yourself: Continue to know what you want. Set your ambition, raise the bar, and continue to build your capability. Growing your career is a long-term strategic game, and it takes a thoughtful process.
One of the best ways to figure out how to grow your career is to make a development plan. Our unique virtual career and leadership program walks you through how to do just that. It’s like having a personal coach in your back pocket! Reach out to learn more about GrowWise and see a demo.
career, ambition, organization, performance management, succession planning, career growth, career development