The path to leadership is certainly not always linear. Career paths can sometimes Zig when you want to Zag. Sometimes, it may mean taking lateral positions or even taking a step back, so long as the purpose is to take 2 steps forward. When it’s happening, it can be hard to see that you’re on a journey, and that the journey is unique to you.
In this Jam Session, I sit with leaders Melissa Manner and Heather Stitely. Both Melissa and Heather are Area Business Managers with a fortune 500 biopharmaceutical company, and they both have this in common; their leadership journey was not linear.
Taking a lateral role or moving from a people leader role back into an individual contributor role is not moving backwards. It's just moving you toward a different direction, that in many cases, moves you forward.
Every decision we make, every role we move into, is a learning experience that will help us to move forward.
When deciding your next career move, be open-minded to the potential you can gain from that experience.
When considering different roles, make decisions that are right for you and will put you in a better position (skills and competencies) for the future.
Find the right blend of formal leadership training while leveraging the resources around you, i.e., mentors, other manager's experience, reflecting and learning from your own experience.
It's ok to show humility by admitting when you don't have all the answers.