Career Leaps & How to Make Them | Is This Mic On?

In this Is This Mic On? We tackle the question of, “How do I make a career leap?” Read on to hear what SNP had to say about trust and high-performing teams.

Dear SNP,

I’m feeling stuck in my current role and want to explore newer ponds, but I’m not sure what or how. I’m good at my job, but I’m not fully fulfilled. Other areas of the business seem exciting, I just worry about the risk. Should I stay in my org and try leapfrogging up the chain? Should I get out of my comfort zone and make a lateral leap? I’m at a crossroads and in need of some forward momentum.


Leaping forward

Dear Leaping Forward…

I have some 80’s Frogger visuals in my mind, wherein this tiny, two-dimensional, pixelated square leaps from log to lilypad, in between cars and general chaos. It’s about survival for that little creature. A visceral understanding that they can’t stay in one place, they must move, and they must get to the mysterious other side. That other side, obviously, being amphibian nirvana. 

Career nirvana, in this case…the job that leverages all of your skills, eliminates all of the stuff you don’t want to do, and recognizes you for your skills, strengths, and unique talents. 

And the kicker: I can’t tell you what to do. 

3 steps to take before making a career leap

You have to do the work first…

  • Articulate what you want to do (versus what you don’t want to do). 
  • Do a Venn diagram of your skills and your dream job; see where they overlap, identify the gaps. 
  • Match the things you want to do with the roles that are available in your company (love that you are already looking at other areas of your current company).

Those main points are a few things to consider – but let me add another idea.

Go start the conversation…

…with your manager. Your leader. Go share all of this with them. 

Lead with trust. Seek mentorship. Have a point of view.

Controversial, right? Some might tell you to now keep this career leap questioning a secret. Write anonymously. Create a wall between you and your company. Turn that on its head.

Because letting them be part of the conversation makes you partners when it comes to making that career leap. They likely have perspective on the internal space that can help guide you in search for greener ponds and if it comes to forging through new waters, now you’ve prepared them for a celebratory bon voyage and smooth sailing.

Here at SNP, you can’t resign too early. Some have resigned for a year. Two years. Some for six months then decided to stay and do amazing work, and then became an alumnus three years later. It’s magnificent. It’s because there is trust and authenticity. 

Transparency. You’ve built that via your good work. Now: trust in it. 

Common sense prevails when making a career leap

And of course, know your audience/common sense prevails (you’ll also hear both of those a lot at SNP).

We are writing this with the assumption that if you are reading this: you are a high-performing team member, working for a high-performing leader, within a high-performing team, creating a high-performing culture. Transparency, authenticity, and psychological safety are core tenets.

It also means that you’ll prepare before you go into that conversation. Jot down your outline, and start by putting yourself into their shoes: 

  • What does my manager care about? 
  • How will they feel about this topic? 
  • What is happening in and around the team right now? 

Then, what would the three main takeaways be? What are your main points? Maybe one of them is how you can ensure you are planning for the future of both you AND your team – put ideas on the table for a transition plan. Or, as in camping: ensure you are leaving the place better than you found it. 

The days of a secret search, a surprise career leap, and a two-week notice: let’s leapfrog beyond that. Communicate. Share. Make it a win/win. Talk about the team, the role, and what’s next. It’s the right thing to do for you, for your team, and for your organization. Abundance. Or: a win/win/win. 

So, there you have it leaping friend. There will be opportunities in front of you. You’re incredibly employable, is my guess. Let your advocates, your champions, your leaders, be a part of that next step. 

Lead with trust. Seek mentorship. Have a point of view.

And really, imagine if that little green dot frog had a coach, or someone helping them get to the next level…leaps and bounds.

Looking for the best way to hop into what’s next? Need professional advice? Check out our 1:1 coaching to get practical advice and skill for reaching that next level.

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Back in 2013, Asana was still a young company and some of their managers were experiencing leadership roles for the first time. So they needed to learn how to be, well, leaders. Like how to be more influential, directive, confident, and how to deal with conflict. Because if they could flourish then Asana could start to scale even faster (and without so many growing pains).

Enter SNP.

We started with just one 1:1 coaching relationship. But the good word spread fast. Soon enough more people from Asana’s management team were seeking our unique third party perspective, skill-based approach, and communications expertise to build their personal brand, strengthen their careers, and achieve more. (And did we mention the coaching program was a perk that attracted new talent? We didn’t? Well…) Eight years later and Asana is still scaling. And we’re still by their side helping them do it.

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