Maybe it’s the time of the year but a little known service we provide has been running hot. Career Coaching. A confidential one to one for people in our network contemplating their next move.

But before I get to that, one myth I would like to dispel up front is that our Executive Learning Set programme is the pool we draw on to place people in to executive roles across Australia and New Zealand. Not true. Most people in Sets say quite openly it is a powerful means to sustain them through the good the bad the ugly. Meaning they stay in roles longer!

No. The majority of people we place in roles are within our wider network of some 15,000 and they tend to draw on our Career Coaching service.

Just this last month I have provided that service myself to a number of executives and at the outset I am invariably asked “Do you think I am doing enough of the right things to get ahead?

I never answer that. Instead I ask the same three questions to kick things off.

  1. How would you describe your personal brand?
  2. Does it match with how others describe it?
  3. Do you have a great manager who wants to see you get ahead?

In many ways its anathema to those of us who trained and worked in health and human services to think in those terms. It’s not like we work in advertising right? Hey and we’re people not products aren’t we?

Well guess what, while the term personal brand may not be the exact turn of phrase used one thing is very clear – every single recruitment briefing and subsequent interview panel I have been part of does just that in one shape or form. Sum You Up.

  • He’s solid, isn’t going to set the world on fire but gets the job done
  • She’s brilliant, gets the job done but tends to lose a few people along the way

The trick of course is making sure there is alignment between how you see yourself and how others see you. That takes honest self -assessment and insight.

It helps too to have a great manager in your corner who will hold a mirror up to your blind spots. Not from a place of criticism, nor to push you down. From a place of support, to aid alignment and help you get ahead.

Can you get ahead without a great manager? Sure. But who, other than you, is holding the mirror?