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2014-2015 was a lean period in my career
I was at VP level, but it felt as if I was not growing
It almost seemed like I had plateaued
The work itself was challenging, but career progression was not happening
In 2014, I had excellent annual appraisal
So I was expecting promotion ( no one has said it to me, it was in my head )
But when the list was out, my name was missing....
I felt completely dejected, even bitter to some extent
I thought that I deserved better
I even ended up questioning why others are moving ahead
"Why not me?"
So I ended up blaming the system
But it did NOT lead me anywhere
All this got me into a negative loop for sometime
Same story repeated in 2015
Getting into this negative loop also meant that I lost precious time
And then one fine day, I decided enough is enough
I asked for a meeting with my manager
I asked very directly about what I need to do to grow
Why am I not getting promoted
What am I not doing well ?
Where is the gap ?
It was a very open and candid talk
My manager told with straight face that this was the first time in two years that I was actually asking this question, which was focused on myself ( rather than complaining about others )
And she gave me very direct and tangible feedback
You know the difference ?
It was the first time in 2 years when instead of questioning others, I questioned myself
Instead of worrying about someone else’s career, I was ready to take charge of my career
Instead of looking for explanation, I was looking for action
And when I got that feedback, I almost felt foolish
It was so simple and clear to me
I was doing really well but I had to focus on 1-2 areas as per the opinion of my stakeholders
Here I was wasting my time and energy every year, without understand what I really needed to do
Based on the feedback, I prepared an action plan
And took action !
What happened next ?
I got promoted to SVP !!
So here are my key learning from this experience :
1) Don’t blame the system and others for your problems. No one out there is planning against you or wants to pull you down. You make choices, you are responsible
2) There is no point worrying about things that are not under your control. It sucks up your time and energy with absolutely no result
3) Why other are getting promoted is not your concern. They are doing something right for sure. Why you are not getting promoted is what you should focus on
4) Take ownership. Career, relationship, life – whatever it is. You want a change, then do something about it
5) Seek out for feedback when in doubt. And be open about it.