So do you know how to see opportunities for growth inside your own company? That’s the subject of this video. I talk about how intermediate level analysts can spot opportunities for getting into senior roles.
Related Video: 3 Attributes of a Senior Business Analyst
What Does Your Opportunity For Growth Look Like?
I want you to take away three things from this video:
- How your manager will offer a more senior role implicitly
- Things you can do to make yourself open to having “Job Offer” types of conversations with your manager
- How to manage the risk of accepting more work
Imagine you’re in this situation:
You’re performing as an intermediate level business analyst and your manager comes to you and says:
- “We have a new project starting up. It requires a more senior level analyst than you’re at right now. But I want you to take this on.”
Do you view that situation as a burden? A situation that your manager is putting on your shoulders because he or she is asking you to take a more senior role than you’re currently working at? <u>Or</u>, do you see it as a potential opportunity for growth?
The Nature Of Many Growth Opportunities Looks Like This…
Opportunities for growth or opportunities to take on more senior positions in your company are not always explicit. Often times there won’t be a situation where your manager comes to you and says:
- “Hey, we have an opening for a more senior position. I want you to apply for it because I think you’re a good fit”.
That happens but there are many more instances where your manager will come to you and say:
- “Hey, we have a project that’s starting up that is a more senior level than you got. I want you to take on this project”.
That’s the nature of many growth opportunities. Depending on how you see it you may or may not be able to capture that opportunity.
How To Capture The Opportunity Of Senior-Level Work
Be Aware, Don’t Turn Down The Opportunity
If you were to turn that down, well, you would essentially be saying to your managers:
“I’m not interested in growing my skill set”.
“I’m not interested in taking on more senior level positions”.
And if that’s really what you want then there’s no problem there. But if you’re the type of person who’s looking for growth inside the company and you’re looking to get into more senior positions and you say:
“Hey, I’m not interested in taking on a more senior role”.
What you’ve just done there is you’ve actually turned down a potential opportunity to grow inside your own company.
What Is Succession Planning?
All companies have a process for what they call succession planning. Succession planning is a company’s plan for trying to figure out how to fill more senior roles as those roles become open.
Take this situation:
- Let’s say there was a senior analyst on your team and they took a job somewhere else or they retired and that position just became open.
Every company will have a succession plan to say:
- “How do we fill that role to get somebody who knows who?”
- “Who can still perform at that level that the last person was performing”?
That’s what a succession plan is. When you’re manager comes to you and they say hey we have a more senior project that requires more senior skills.
Pass The Succession Planning Test
What they may be doing in that situation is their way of testing:
- Whether or not you’re interested in that opportunity.
- Seeing whether you’re capable of performing in that opportunity before they actually give you the role of a senior analyst.
If you turn that down right off the bat you’ve basically closed the door to a potential opportunity that may have been open in your company for you.
Implicit vs. Explicit Job Offers
Recognize the fact that succession planning is something that management in your company is constantly doing for the roles that they have to fill and recognize the fact that many of the opportunities that pop up are not going to be explicit.
There’s not going to be a job posting. They’re going to be a lot more implicit.
There’s going to be things like your boss coming and telling you:
“Hey, I want you to take on a little bit more senior level work”. And that may be their way of testing whether you’re capable of doing it or not.
How Do You Position Yourself To Have Your Manager Approach You?
Positioning is something that you do on a long term basis. It’s basically what you do to give your manager the message that you’re looking for growth opportunity.
If your manager has let’s say 15 or 20 different employees, how do they tell who is actually interested in a more senior position? The way that they know is by how people express their interests. How they position themselves for growth.
What are some of the things you can do to position yourself in that situation?
- Express your interest directly. If you have a good relationship with your manager then there is no real risk.
- The other things you could do is to really start to support other people inside your group.
You can have a conversation with your manager to say:
“Mr. or Ms. Manager, You know I’ve been doing this job for the last 3-4 years and I’ve gotten really good at it. I feel like I’m not at my full potential and I am looking for growth right. I want to stay as an analyst and I want to start to do more complicated more complex work in this role.”
Being explicit about it is the best way you can go about it if you have that type of relationship with your manager.
If you have a senior manager that needs some tasks to be done and nobody has really asked you for it, then you can say:
“Hey, I’ve got a couple of spare minutes you know, I can help you with this or that if you need it”.
It tells people immediately that you are a person who’s looking to do additional work right. Especially if you’re targeting the more senior analyst, it tells your manager, it sends the message that you’re looking to get into a more senior role.