What to Do When Given a Career Opportunity Before You Are Ready

“Success is never guaranteed, especially if you’re not career-ready.” Jeannette Seibly

Congrats! You’ve received an offer for a new career opportunity. The problem? You’re not ready! Here’s the dilemma. Taking it can cause potential failure. And not taking it could limit future opportunities. It’s a difficult decision to make.

Samantha accepted a position as a manager of her department. She had the administrative skills required but lacked the experience of leading a team, having always been a team member. Instead of asking for help and guidance, Samantha faced potential failure when she complained about the same things to her boss as when she was a team member! Samantha failed to realize it was now her responsibility to provide the solutions, not complain about them!

Accepting new opportunities before you’re ready can derail your future. Too often, you’re in a big hurry to get a new job title, make more money, or enjoy the prestige of moving up in the company. But suffering through the struggles of being unprepared is not worth sacrificing your peace of mind and derailing future career opportunities.

Tips to Prepare for Future Opportunities

Job Fit. According to Gallup, over 80 percent of people don’t like their jobs. They blame their boss, the company, and their co-workers. The truth? They don’t fit their job responsibilities! To avoid this, use a valid job-fit assessment. The reports provide objective awareness of the strengths required for your new position before you say “yes.” It also provides insights into your challenge areas. For example, as an account manager, you may have been fearless in talking with others (strength). But as a sales manager, this same strength can get in your way of listening to the sales team (weakness).

Get Real. New opportunities require moving forward outside your comfort zone. They also will require new levels of communication, project management, and emotional intelligence, which are hindered by leadership blind spots. Because many of these job requirements are unwritten, shadow the incumbent in the job. Ask questions. Don’t assume you won’t have similar challenges. (You will.) Before you say “yes,” ask them, “What did you do to overcome these issues?”

Hire an External Coach and Seek Out an Internal Mentor. Be coachable! Ask for help and seek guidance immediately before you get mired in sticky situations or political relationships that sabotage your current and future career opportunities.

Do the Real Work. While mantras can keep you focused, they don’t replace doing the actual work. For example, if you ignore team conflict and respond with mantras (e.g., “Patience is a virtue.”), you’ll be sidelined or fired. The resolution requires having tough conversations, making difficult decisions (unpopular), and holding others accountable (your team may not like you). Work with your executive coach now to avoid these types of career derailments.

Emotional Intelligence. Mindful awareness and resilience are required in many positions today, especially as a boss and leader. There will be mistakes made and failures, too. Your ability to handle and learn from them greatly affects your career opportunities.

Leadership Savvy. Microaggressions, playing favorites, and not listening to others are the downfall for many in new positions. Instead, set a positive example. It starts with you and the team being trained. These training workshops should include conflict resolution, brainstorming, diversity, project management, critical thinking, and execution of projects. Now, develop the habit of using these skills.

Project Management. A critical part of project management is the ability to conduct effective meetings, both onsite and remote. However, many overlook the people and logistical sides of getting everyone on the same page. Both are critical to any project or program’s design, process, and execution.

  • People side: Develop your team members, focus on their strengths, and include everyone when brainstorming. Allow everyone to develop their talents.
  • Logistical side: Develop and incorporate budget, technology, operations, sales, and marketing into every project or program.

©Jeannette Seibly 2022-2023 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is a champion for success. As a leader, do you have bosses that are difficult for teams to work with? Jeannette’s depth of experience and wisdom can transform those bosses from hated to respected! Contact Jeannette for a confidential discussion.

A note from Jeannette about taking and accepting opportunities before you’re ready: Taking a new job before you’re ready is a surefire way to derail your career. Prepare now and enjoy your new opportunities! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation about being career-ready! 

The coach is in! Are you ready to build your confidence and success as a boss? A great boss is not easily annoyed and effectively addresses team and project issues. I have extensive experience and wisdom guiding bosses to hire, coach, and manage their teams. Along the way, they achieve unprecedented results. Contact me to learn more about my in-depth, one-on-one, customized coaching programs.

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