“I have years of experience managing people and processes. I’m looking to move into a VP role from Director and struggle with determining the steps I need to take to stay relevant. I also want to know if my skills can transfer into other fields.”

This week, we launched a new program called Manager Mondays so that those who lead and manage others have a place to bring current challenges and get the perspective of seasoned leadership and executive coaches with no investment other than their time and sincerity. Today, we addressed a couple of concerns that are representative of many managers who are looking ahead to their next career move: relevancy and transferable skills. 

Here were some beginning questions we would ask this client:

  • How are you achieving relevancy in your current role?
  • What is the primary driver for wanting to move to the VP role? Is it more alignment with purpose and vision? You want to make a broader impact? Financial goals? What is missing in the current role?
  • If you close your eyes and imagine yourself in the VP position, is it easy to imagine? What are the strengths and skills that serve you there? If you cannot picture it, what is the missing element?
  • How congruent is your current role with your personal brand and how would the VP role change that? What actions might begin to position you as a stronger leader even before the formal change in role takes place? 
  • Who are two or three people you trust that are familiar with your work that you might ask whether they can easily see you in the VP role? Have them share what they see. If it is easy to see you there, why, what are they basing that on? If they have a hard time seeing it, what is the missing element for them?
  • How confident do you feel about your leadership ability? If needed, where might you gain the leadership experience that would buoy your confidence in leading? If you get creative, where besides your current role might you offer your support as a leader? 

In this particular session, the client was not present, but provided a written question for us to discuss. Had that person been present with us in the virtual meeting, other questions and ideas would have been explored, like what strengths she/he might see calling upon more in the VP role, and naming the skills he/she sees being transferable versus what skills need to be added. We might have looked at ways that person could determine what the role of VP would require, based on research they could undertake online. 

We will be meeting virtually again each Monday from noon to one PM, Eastern time. If you’d like to have this kind of support from a group of experienced leadership coaches, sign up today for one of a handful of spots for next Monday at this Event Brite link. If you cannot be there in person, submit your challenge in the comment section and we will try to respond to as many as we can.

Teri Johnson is the founding partner for Personal Best Partners, a company that helps business and civic leaders build teams that perform at their fullest potential. 

Charlene BurkettJean Strosinski and Lyne Tumlinson contributed to this article. 

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