A reader writes:
It really intimidates me that every time I submit any work to my manager, he forwards it to one of my senior team member to validate it. Initially I thought it may be because that I am new to the system. But Its been about a year now since I have started working with my manager and I feel insecure when he doesn’t rely on my work . I am a self motivated IT professional have started my career last year and have been meeting all my deadlines on time. Please suggest what can be done to make this situation better!
From your mail I understand that you have an inner urge to succeed in your career and you must be really passionate about it. As you said, since you are straight out the college and new to the corporate world your manager might have assigned the senior member of your team to mentor you, to bring you onboard to the system and to inculcate into their work culture. And this can last for 3 months to 6 months. Through out this time it would be always challenging and exciting to learn more about the work and get hold of it until you are confident.
Now that you have finished a reasonable time to show your capabilities and your manager is still not relying on your work, I feel that he may be lacking confidence in your work but he trusts your senior team member’s work due to his long term interaction with him.
If every time he is validating your work with your senior team member, he may have doubts about the quality of your work or chances are there he might have encountered mistakes in your work continuously. Check twice before submitting the work to him to ensure it is error free. Meeting deadlines is important but you should ensure quality of work as well.
Look for the opportunities to gain your Manager’s confidence in you:
Ask him feedback: Believe me, if it is your manger or some other person, people can gain the confidence in you eventually throughout the interaction with you. Buy his time, get feedback about your work, areas of improvement and understand very clearly- what is that he is expecting from you. Understand what went wrong, rectify it and move on. Then show your performance on a consistent basis.
Keep him informed: Keep your manager informed of the status of your work, what you have done and planned to do. Don’t give him any surprises that would require him to get someone else to wrap up your work so as to get it done within the expected time period. Remember your manger is accountable to his own senior management just the way you do to him.
Take your suggestions directly to him: Don’t just run your suggestions and ideas through your team members and expect it to reach your manager. Present it directly to him. If you feel that any process can be improved, inform him. This will make him feel that you are a valuable team member who can contribute towards the success of his team.
Don’t just stick within the Job description: What makes you a key team member is not just being a task oriented performer. Take the overall responsibilities outside of your assigned work. If a key project is in jeopardy, take initiative to support it even when not directly asked to do so.
Ask for more responsibilities: This is when your are confident in managing your work effectively and can contribute your time for more responsibilities as well. Don’t ask for more work if you are not able to commit to it. Make yourself irreplaceable by building his trust in you. That way you can be successful.