With my client’s permission, I’m posting some insightful comments about his career development needs. – Amy Wolfgang
I think that I’m a valuable employee. I’m a marketing manager – have two contractors reporting to me – and would love to be a Director some day… soon! I set my own goals for the year including:
- making my team operate more efficiently
- improving our working relationship with our regional teams
- adopting new technologies to improve our website and email engagement
- creating better documentation on how our internal marketing systems work and how to use them
- testing more effective marketing tactics
- using data and performance metrics to optimize our go-to-market plans
- educating myself better on the products we sell and our target customers
My job is driving me crazy
But here’s the problem, this job is driving me crazy! I’m stuck in meetings for a good chunk of the day. Usually, my day gets hijacked by some ad hoc reports or presentation my boss needs. Consequently, I’m not getting to all the initiatives I think are important and I’m not getting any closer to a promotion. Worst of all, at the start of the next day, I usually have the same priorities that I had the day before and few new ones.
It drives me crazy and, as a result, changes my attitude toward the job and my company. Instead of being excited to bring about change to the organization I find that I’m feeling:
- there’s no point in trying new initiatives
- there’s no point in putting in extra time to get my work done because I’ll never make a dent in the mountain of tasks I have to do
- no longer willing to sacrifice my weekends or evenings because I’ll have to spend it catching up on email rather than putting in time in on my initiatives
- keeping my inbox at a reasonable level becomes the only sense of satisfaction I receive on a regular basis
I know what I need to do with my marketing role – my ideas will make a big difference. However, I don’t know how to get around these organizational issues. So I languish in my role feeling unfulfilled and clueless about how to get myself out of this state. I’m calling this a career development issue because I need to figure out how to evolve my skills to move forward in my career.
I need a career development coach
I read about the benefits of having a coach or mentor and asked my boss about getting one. She responded, “Well, I’m your coach.” Unfortunately, she doesn’t get it. I’ve told her a bit about my struggles and she empathizes with me and says she’s experiencing the same thing. She’s given me two pieces of advice: 1) decline more meetings, 2) ignore email for a few hours each day (except hers).
My wife has been my coach a lot of times but I need someone who can give me at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time a few times per week. It’s my hope that a coach can help me see past my emotions and help me figure out the solution needed here. The solution is a full career development plan that helps me take action.
Until then, my company is squandering a dedicated resource. I’m willing to put in lots of extra time and desperately want to move the organization forward. I’m not engaged, not empowered and I don’t think my boss or my company realizes how much more I could deliver for them. I can’t talk this candidly to anyone at my company (maybe a co-worker) either. So I think I’ll go look for Marketing Director positions on LinkedIn or Indeed.