Provided you have a team that wants you to succeed, it will take hard work but you can keep your head above water.
Even in a less trusting work environment, help from the right people and the right places can make a difference. This is what happened to me at one bank where I worked as an analyst — my skills were there, but I had colleagues who for their own reasons did not want me to succeed. The combination of an internal sponsor and an external coach made all the difference. No matter how good a swimmer you are, when the sharks are circling, you are dead meat.
get in over (one's) head
Sometimes then, the only way not to drown is to get out of the water. To paraphrase T. The best will dive where no one is swimming — or wants to swim. Swimming in unexplored waters means you will sometimes get in over your head.
I’m in over my head
I announced it before I even had a venue. Living an ambitious life means being perpetually in over your head. Whitney Johnson is an executive coach, speaker, and innovation thinker recently named one of the most influential management thinkers by Thinkers You can download the first chapter of Build an A Team here.
Managing yourself. Whitney Johnson.
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In other words, none of my work was touched while I was gone. I prepared a binder outlining just about everything I did on a daily basis, including contacts and how to handle common issues. Once it was ready, I presented it to my boss and asked if he would mind reviewing it and providing input.
Not only was he pleased with my foresight, he was able to easily get a better handle on the nuts and bolts of what I did.
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Which not only made him appreciate me more, it ended up making him a better manager. Chances are, your manger has more responsibilities than she can count, and learning what everyone does is part of the process.
When used too often, it can send a negative message to the team, and it does little to foster a collaborative environment. Several years ago, I was working on a high-profile project with my manager.
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Everyone from the head of our office to the CEO of the company was carefully monitoring our progress. It was incredibly stressful for me, but I knew no one would blame me if things went wrong—that honor was reserved for my manager. After a grueling week of intense meetings, I expected to see her mingling with the team and making sure things were running smoothly.
But instead, I found her almost constantly behind closed doors, despite the fact she had no meetings on her schedule. From that point on, I made a point of stopping by on a regular basis each day, giving her succinct updates on my progress , and making sure she was aware I was available to help while still acknowledging she may just need some alone time to power through, of course.
After the employee in question had made several pretty major mistakes, I finally bolstered the courage to do my own bit of confrontation and shared my concerns with my boss.
Even managers. Jennifer Winter is a freelance writer, editor and career consultant.