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Career Circle: Obvious Choice

The Career Circle Blog Series focuses on developing your HR Career Strategy through Career Search, Company Integration, Company Advancement and Independence.


Now that you know your next step toward your career strategy, you must develop yourself as the obvious choice for the role.

With workforce planning, companies will consider succession planning. Who will be the best person to take the role that is currently in the organization? Ideally, you want your name to be added to this conversation. How do you get your name included in succession planning conversations?

There was a time when I wanted my name in the succession planning conversation. My goal was to be the head of talent acquisition for the organization. I knew about the meetings and would ask questions about the meetings with my manager to gauge how I could be added to the list. Here is what I learned from my experience of becoming the obvious choice.

  • Let it be heard: If you do not speak it, it will not happen. If you don't communicate your interest in the role, decision-makers may not be aware of your aspirations during the succession planning process. Make it a point to express your interest in the role to relevant individuals within the organization.

  • Ask for advice and feedback. Assess your skills and experience to determine your readiness for the desired role. When expressing your interest to decision-makers, ask for their advice on how to build a compelling case for yourself. Additionally, request feedback on areas for improvement and what you can do to become a more effective leader. You can ask them the following questions to gain feedback.

What should I start doing, stop doing or continue doing to be a more effective leader?
  • Take the advice and feedback and go. Act upon the advice and feedback you receive, and follow up with the individuals who provided it. Demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow by implementing their suggestions. Schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss your progress and seek further guidance if needed.

  • Raise your hand. Be proactive in seeking out projects or activities that can showcase your leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. If you aim to transition to a different department, consider joining projects that involve collaboration with that department. By actively participating and contributing, you demonstrate your value as a team player and leader.

  • Expand your network. Connect with individuals within the organization who can serve as mentors, advocates, or potential mentees. Cultivate relationships with these individuals over time, as strong connections can provide support and guidance throughout your career. Networking is an ongoing process that requires nurturing and maintaining.

  • Be a top performer in your role. Continuously strive to be a top performer in your current position. Consistently meet and exceed expectations, and make a positive impact on the organization. Showcasing your skills and dedication in your current role increases the likelihood of being seen as an asset for future positions.

  • Brand yourself as the obvious choice. Develop a personal brand that aligns with the qualities and attributes sought after in the desired role. Showcase your expertise through presentations, thought leadership, and active involvement in professional organizations or industry associations. Curate and share relevant content both internally and externally to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and credible professional.

By following these steps, you position yourself as a standout candidate for the role, increasing your chances of being recognized as the obvious choice for advancement within your company. Stay committed to your goals, remain adaptable to changing circumstances, and continue seeking growth opportunities throughout your career journey.

A great time to discuss your career strategy and next steps in your career is during the performance review.