Are You Being Overlooked in Your Career?

If you answered “yes” to the question above, you’re probably thinking, “I work so hard and I’m barely (or never) recognized for it.” Or possibly, “I’m more competent than my manager. Why is s/he the boss?”

My advice: Develop your leadership capability.

Not only is that my good counsel, but it’s also the title to one of the thought-provoking leadership courses at Northeastern’s Charlotte campus. If you’re on the fence about enrolling in the M.S. in Leadership program or taking it as a specialization, perhaps I can offer you the tipping point you need to join.

I, too, was overlooked. Nearly three years ago, I quit my job at a large insurance company. While I earned a decent salary, I had become frustrated with being stuck in the same role for my entire career. It wasn’t the profession I aspired, but simply fell back on as a means to make a living. So I left the company telling my co-workers that I was going back to school in search of inspiration and vowing never to be an assistant again, despite not having another job in the queue or any idea how I would pay for school. My husband was furious. I suffered a few financial woes. Three months later, I was an assistant again. Yet unlike the past, this time that simple stand I took for myself was the first step to leadership.

Northeastern University had opened a new campus in Charlotte and needed someone to assist the regional dean. Having worked in a similar situation prior, I knew the role. Within two months, I enrolled in an on-ground leadership class offered at the campus—Developing Your Leadership Capability.

I almost resisted the class. My past professional experience cast a rather stereotyped view of who engaged in leadership. And after sitting in so many senior leadership meetings (where I only took minutes) witnessing power struggles, listening to failed risky ventures, and hearing the “same old same old,” I had been completely disenchanted with any participation in that function. Entering the class, I was unsure how the curriculum would fit my current role and if I could even apply the lessons learned to my job. However, the class—and program—have transformed my decades of exposure to what leadership is not, it helped me identify and appreciate leadership in my own manager, and it makes me more confident in my own ability to lead.

This opens up a new chapter in my life because I no longer feel I need to hold back a great idea. I no longer feel hesitant to take action on something I believe will help the organization or my professional life. The leadership competencies I’ve identified and worked on in the program are things I can apply immediately, and I no longer have to wait for the executive to come up with the idea. With this perspective, I have already changed my career to one of greater leadership and greater contribution.

So what are you waiting for? Take action. Get out of your comfort zone. And explore your own personal leadership. Join us in Sample a Class, learn more about the leadership program at an Information Session, or give us a call. If you need a coach to get you started, I’m here.

About the Author:

Roxanne Ward is the Campus Administrative Officer at Northeastern’s Charlotte campus. She manages administrative functions for the campus, to include technology, human resources, and finance support, as well as support to the CEO and Dean. Ward has a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland University College and is a current graduate student in the M.S. in Corporate and Organizational Communication program with a specialization in leadership at Northeastern University.

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