Clarity for Aspirational Women in Business & Life Transitions.

7 Ways to Demonstrate Your Growth Potential to Your Manager


Advice, Career

When you are seeking to grow your career it is very tempting to imagine that changing companies or roles is the key.  However, there is a way to “bloom where you’re planted” and grow your career in your current role especially when you love your current organization and department.  In addition, you have a great competitive advantage because you already know the department, the team and the work.  With no on-boarding or ramping up needed, you can immediately make a strong impact.

First, you must perform your current duties exceptionally well in order for your manager’s confidence in you to grow. Below are 7 ways to demonstrate your growth potential.

1. Meet all your deadlines or complete projects early.

  • Completing projects and tasks early signify that you have the potential to do more.

2. Communicate effectively with your manager and team

  • Send clear emails and notify your manager at certain checkpoints during a project so they are aware of your progress or of any setbacks that they can help with.
  • If you are a part of a project team, keep them informed of the progress of your assigned duties.

3. Become a subject matter expert in topics specific to your role and provide help to others.

  • If you work with a specific program such as Word or Excel often in your role and you have become an expert. Share your knowledge with others.  This also applies if there is an in-house system or procedure that you work with often.  Your  team will welcome the tips and advice and your manager will see you as a critical member of the team.

4. Do additional research and find ways to improve the efficiency & accuracy of your projects or the department as a whole.

  • Set aside time in your schedule for researching industry best practices on process improvement for yourself and your department.  Your manager will appreciate that you are taking a step back and being strategic with how things can be done faster or more accurately.  This provides an immediate value that can be felt by the entire team.

5. Be on time and courteous; keep a positive attitude

  • Managers and people in general want to work with those they get along with.  You get more with honey than vinegar!  Always have a positive can-do attitude when problem solving and avoid complaining or poking holes in other’s suggestions.  Managers will give the best projects to those who happily accept the opportunity to stretch and shine.

6. Volunteer to be a backup for a fellow team member; cross train others so they are a backup to you.

  • Don’t wait to be asked!  Voluntarily assist others when emergencies or vacation time comes up.  They will be more likely to help you in return and it creates a sense of goodwill and is an example of great teamwork.

7. Volunteer for additional tasks and short-term projects

  • During the year, your manager may notify the team of new projects or tasks the department needs to complete due to changes in the market or the organization.  Raise your hand and offer to help.  Many times they are short-term projects that you can work on along with your current duties. For example, volunteer to represent the department at the organization’s sustainability committee or work life project.  The visibility this provides to others in the organization is priceless. This also demonstrates to your manager that you can communicate with different levels of the organization and represent the department well.

Soon your manager will begin to see your potential in handling higher level work and projects.  Keep notes tracking your efforts with your additional projects and tasks.

Next Steps

After 6 months of adopting these strategies schedule a meeting with your manager to review your performance and to discuss ways to stretch you and prepare you for the next level in your career.

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