Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Professional Mentoring Started With One Question

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about professional mentoring and my initial ideas on how I would execute a program at work. I also mentioned how a well established, and highly respected, guy asked if I would be open to receive career guidance. Absolutely! I replied.

Since that initial discussion, he and I recently talked about how this arrangement would begin and hopefully mature over time.

It started with a question, "What is your 3 to 5 year career plan?"

A Little Context Please!

Hmmm, what does my plan look like? Let's see, that would put me in the 40-42 year old range.

I'd say that by 40, I should finally have my doctorate and comfortable with long-form writing. Professionally, I would have gained over 8-10 years of management experience with 16-18 years in higher education.

I subscribe to the idea that the position seeks the man, the man doesn't seek the position. However, this doesn't mean I'm blind to opportunity or void of aspirations. Trust me, I'm not.

Prior to my role as IT Manager, my goal was to obtain management experience. I wanted the chance to hone my leadership skills while doing something meaningful. I believe that's happening now.

While I knew the path to leadership wasn't going to be an easy one, I find great pleasure in learning about myself and the areas that need improvement. Take for example my recent communication faux pas.

Looking forward, there is still so much I can learn about how to successfully manage what I have been given.  Whether that is financial resources or personnel, am I doing all that I can to maximize on that?

Today, I feel confident that within the next few years I will finally tighten up on my own discipline and best practices. As a result of this, I believe the team and I can make greater strides in whatever we do.

Without further ado, let me just chart some broad strokes for the next 3-5 Years:

My 3-5 Year Career Plan

By this time in my life, I would like to have greatly improved my leadership and writing abilities. The leadership experience would grow from pursuing challenging projects and tasks that allow me to test myself and grow. Enhancing my writing skills would come from the finished dissertation and a subsequent book on organizational management.

Along side these activities, I plan to increase the number of presentations I do a year to help establish myself as an expert in the management space.

Together, these skills would help me develop into a seasoned candidate for an executive position within a company. In this role, I would like to help the organization become more efficient and productive. I would lead through inspiration and a shared vision.

While my energy would be focused on supporting the company mission, I long for the day when I can return to my own empire building. Entrepreneurship is in my blood.

Final Thought

I guess that's all I have for now. Not sure I'm ready for my mentor to read this, but it's a good start. What do you think? Doable? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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