I recently went through my mid term reviews and took away a lot of good information from both my manager and my manager’s boss. I did everything I highlighted in my outline for my mid term review, except straight out asking for a raise or promotion. I know how rare they are at my company during mid term reviews, and I got the hint that I would not be receiving either. But, I am ok with that. However, I did ask something just as important: “What do I need to do to prove I am ready for the next level.”
Their answer was something I wasn’t quite expecting, but it made me change my outlook on my job and my performance. The answer was:
“Start looking at what it will take to perform at a level above your next level.”
I was expecting to hear “perform at the next level,” which is the standard reply. Well, my managers want me to do that, but beyond performing at the next level, they want me to understand the roles of a level beyond that. There are several reasons why this is great advice. Not only does it prove you are more than capable of handling your current assignments, it shows you are demonstrating knowledge or doing work at a level well above your current position.
This advice is also great because your employer knows that not only are you performing at your current level or higher, but that you are always looking to improve your performance and act in the best interest of the company. If you deal with customers or clients, your service to them will improve as a result.
In addition to the standard career advice of “improve functional knowledge and client relations” the main advice I was given was to:
- Learn more outside my current workstream
- Coordinate tasks with other workstreams
- Learn more about the company’s methodologies and approach
- Learn and understand how our strategic plan aligns with that of our customers and understand our customers’ strategic plans.
I think the overall lesson I took from this review was not to look at my own performance within a bubble, but to know and understand how my role aligns with that of our company and our clients. This is my new career focus and my promotion plan.