For many people they want to make a move from being a technical expert, it is the expected route for career progression.  Is this you? First thing is to ask yourself: do you really want to do this or is it because other people expect you to? 

An alternative route is to become the best possible technical expert and perhaps to move into a consultancy role.  Some companies are more enlightened and will have a route where you can still move onto a higher salary by sticking with your expertise.  I’ve known this particularly in sales and IT. Too many brilliant sales people become terrible sales managers,  Years back I was seen as a technical expert, I’m a psychologist, and found it hard to look beyond what I’m good at.  What helped for me was to get a mentor who encouraged me to think broader. I eventually lead a strategic business unit so it worked for me.  

I was encouraged to really understand the strategic direction of the company, to read the business plan to understand how my work fitted in with the strategic direction and to understand some of the wider organisational challenges.

Some action you can take: 

  • talk to your boss and look to widen your knowledge by spending either an hour or so talking to leaders in other parts of the organisation.

  • ask to be copied in on higher level communications to see how you can contribute.

  • get involved in some cross functional teams

  • either study strategic management or read some relevant books – Porter, Hamel etc.

Good luck,

Published On: September 22nd, 2007 / Categories: Career Management /

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