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Unastoppable Career Corner: Boss Troubles? How do I grow my career when my boss won't support it?


Question: I saw a question recently that I wanted to answer "I have asked for about 3 years now for her expectations for me to get promoted and she promises to help me with a growth plan and help me find opportunities but it has not been done. She will either table the conversation or continue to leave me out of things she promised she will bring me into. Therefore, it's been a vicious cycle - I can't get promoted because I don't have the experience or track record of success because I am getting left out of opportunities where I can prove myself".


Is it futile at this point to try and get promoted or should I look for a new job?



As a career coach, I have experienced first-hand the frustration when employees do not receive the support they need for progression in their roles. Oftentimes employees can feel powerless and stuck with an unmotivated manager. However, I like to remind them that they are in control of their own career journey — that there is power in understanding themselves and what unique qualities they bring to the workplace.


This week, here are three tips which could really help you unlock more clarity about yourself: set some time aside and take an honest reflection; reach out to mentors and ask them for insights and advice; and remember to find confidence in your own story, as there is no one like you who can tell it. With dedication and a positive outlook, these tips will help you open new doors of career opportunity!


Now that we've gotten some quick tips out of the way...If you find yourself in a situation where your manager isn't supporting your growth, it can be challenging to figure out how to move up in your career. However, it's important to remember that you can still take control of your career development.


Here are five tips on how to move up in your career with a manager who won't support your growth:


  • Take your ambition for success and career growth into your own hands – invest in yourself and show initiative. Have you decided what role you want to be in the next rung of your career ladder? Speak with your internal HR resource and create a plan to make it happen, including any necessary training, classes or other development opportunities.

Don't wait around for everything to fall into place – take the time to research and reach out beyond your organization. Speaking positively in all interactions with other companies or people who have achieved the success you're striving for will compose a powerful message that showcases your desire and readiness for growth.


Always remember that no matter how great a manager is, you are ultimately in charge of where you want to go and how you get there. Make sure to reach out for support from mentors within your community who have experience similar paths as well – they could be invaluable resources in guiding you on this journey!

  • As you work to build your career, don't underestimate the power of feedback to fuel growth - it can both encourage and inspire. And if you're not getting the full range of insights you need from your manager, believe in yourself and reach out to other trusted sources for their input. Seek out professional advice from colleagues, mentors and even other managers within your company - those who know you well may be able to offer valuable perspectives on areas of strength as well as constructive guidance for improvement. Taking this initiative does take courage, but it's a crucial step in refining what sets you apart and ensuring that you can achieve your highest ambitions.

  • Identify opportunities for growth, where you can provide value. Look for opportunities to learn new skills, take on additional responsibilities, or work on special projects. These opportunities could be within your current job function or in other areas of the company. By taking on new challenges, you can demonstrate your capabilities and show your value to the company.

  • Build relationships, Build Sponsers Around You. Building relationships with colleagues, mentors, and other managers can help you gain visibility and open up new opportunities. Attend company events, join employee resource groups, or volunteer for initiatives outside of your job function to meet new people and expand your network.

  • Take ownership of your career development. It's essential to take ownership of your career development, even if your manager isn't providing support. Identify your career goals, create a plan to achieve them, and track your progress. Consider investing in your own development by taking courses or attending conferences to enhance your skills.

  • Consider looking for new opportunities. When you've put in your best effort to advance your career with the same employer and nothing has come of it, it's time to start considering a change. This doesn't mean giving up on reaching your goals; it just means looking in new places where they may be more readily available. Consider what opportunities there are within the company before exploring the job market externally. In either case, make sure to invest in some personal research first. Thoroughly review potential employers and positions that are out there to ensure whatever you choose is going to bring you closer to completing those career objectives of yours!


Remember, moving up in your career requires perseverance, hard work, and a growth mindset. Don't let a manager who doesn't support your growth hold you back from achieving your career goals.


HOWEVER... if you do need to turn around a relationship with your boss here's how...


Having a good relationship with your boss can positively impact your job satisfaction, career growth, and overall success at work. If you find yourself in a situation where your relationship with your boss is not going well, there are steps you can take to turn things around. Here are two tips on how to turn around a bad relationship with a boss to a great one:


  • Effective communication. This is essential in the workplace and can make all the difference when it comes to fostering a healthy relationship between boss and employee. If you've been having trouble seeing eye-to-eye with your boss, do yourself a favor and schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns in a way that's constructive and respectful. Don't be afraid to express your honest feelings about any issues you're facing; just try to be as specific as possible about the source of any problems. Not only is it important to speak up, but also be sure to actively listen when your boss shares their thoughts with you. It's only through working together that you can come to an understanding and see each other's point of view. Stay professional throughout the conversation and approach it with humility - after all, communication can truly make or break relationships!

  • Focus on solutions, not problems. When discussing your concerns with your boss, it's important to focus on solutions rather than problems. Instead of complaining about what's not working, offer suggestions for how you can work together to improve the situation. This shows your boss that you are proactive, solution-oriented, and committed to making things work. By taking the initiative to find solutions, you can build trust and respect with your boss, and potentially turn a bad relationship into a great one.

  1. How can I inspire others to adopt the same mindset of excellence and hard work?


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