Managing Great Expectations

Expectation is defined as the act or state of looking forward to something.   Anticipation, hope, and trust are all affirmative words synonymous with expectation.  Throughout the course of our careers…we tend to have great expectations.  When those great expectations don’t happen in the time frame we’d like things go awry.  The situation didn’t turn around.  The hiring manager selected another candidate.  The board didn’t recognize your contributions.  You had such great expectations and find yourself overlooked for a promising opportunity.  As a result, your pleasant disposition changes.

What happened?  Its possible that you didn’t manage your great expectations.  You have to be sensible when it comes to great expectations.  Your biggest career move may not come over night.  Here are some important factors to consider when managing great expectations.

  • Assess your skill set.  Specifically, identify strides and gains you’ve made (professionally) on the job.  Pinpoint how you help to improve processes at your organization.  Be honest with yourself and describe your flaws.  Now look at your job description or description of the job you’re seeking to determine how well the position (roles, project management capabilities, interpersonal skills, technical expertise) fits with your skills.  Determine if there are significant gaps with what you offer and what the organization needs.
  • Examine the full scope of the situation.  Study the pattern in which employees are elevated at your organization.  Find out how supervisors, department heads, and managers advanced up the career ladder.  Recall whether or not you initiated talks with leaders about your growth, and readiness for a bigger position.  Start to think about your last employee evaluation.  Identify how you have worked to eliminate some of the issues your manager referenced.
  • Contact your support system. Comb through your contact list and reach out to career coaches, mentors, and sponsors.  These people will always be brutally honest with you. And they have the best intentions.  Be transparent with them about your career, the highs, the lows, and your great expectations.  Ask them if you’re on the right track.  Seek their advice.
  • Pay your dues.  Spend the necessary time working your way from the bottom to the top.  Commit to doing the not so attractive grind work.  Take pride in making copies, getting coffee, and being the go to assistant.  Be realistic about the time its going to take for you to make certain advances in your career.  Give yourself the appropriate amount of time to really master your field and move up the ranks.  Eliminate weaknesses.  Conquer smaller goals and then focus on bigger career goals.
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Categories: Growth & Development, Workplace Inspiration

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