One of the questions you are always asked as a manager is “when can I get promoted?” Let’s be honest, I used to ask my bosses that all the time. But there was always one answer I would give to my team, and that was anticipation. Knowing that every organization is different and tangible goals will vary, anticipation is an aspect I hope can reach many.
So what do I mean by this? I, personally, always knew that my team was ready for the next level when I no longer had to ask questions. They had begun to grasp the seasonal calendar and knew what was essential prior to meetings. So before I could ask for the recap and samples it was already done and organized for me to review.
That kind of “anticipation” doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. It takes you and your boss working together, figuring out what the priorities are when several tasks are pending. It’s being observant in meetings and asking questions afterwards so that you are even more prepared next time. Most importantly though it’s making mistakes and learning from them. Connecting the dots within an organization and understanding what each department needs from you is no small task. Mistakes will get made- just make sure you learn from it and apply it as you move forward. Your boss will notice, I promise you.
I can only speak to the retail industry since that is my background but typically you are thinking and working on four seasons at a time. It can be quite daunting to say the least. Not only do you have to be on top of your business but you have to stay flexible, as things are always changing. So for me, when an Assistant or Associate Buyer is preparing sales highlights, making store visits, and reaching out to cross functional teams (in anticipation of major meetings) a light bulb definitely goes off. It’s a sign that they are not only dedicated but ready to take on a test run for more responsibility, which is a big accomplishment for any of us.
My hope is that this advice will hit home with some of my dreamers and doers right now. As a manager, there is nothing more amazing then seeing your team thrive and continue to achieve their career aspirations. So for all of you who I have ever worked with, this if for you. I couldn’t be more proud and wish you the very best, always.