I took a dream job at a big global company. Up to that point I had worked in increasingly larger organizations, but their smaller size (less than 1,000 employees) meant they all shared two things: They had a lot of heart, and they were under-resourced. I was not getting the opportunities I was looking for to develop my career. I had great experiences at all of them, but I wasn’t growing.
I LOVED my time at the big global company, they were a fantastic organization, but there was one flaw in the dream: I had an invisible boss.
Not only was my boss located in another country (same time zone, thankfully), but they were an incredibly busy person, completely consumed by meetings and travel, almost never in the office and juggling many competing demands. I learned two things really quickly:
It was a big disappointment to me, because I’d purposefully targeted what I thought was a resource-rich environment for development. Looking back on it, having to find ways to thrive in that circumstance was an opportunity for career development in itself. I learned a lot of things, but here are the 2 key take-aways that helped me to thrive with an “invisible” manager:
I credit my time in that organization with helping me build skills and awareness that still support me in what I do today (even though what I do now is very different). Which points to the importance of finding, and using, ongoing coaching (formal and informal) as a way to keep your stress levels down, and your professional effectiveness at peak performance.
Of course, back then, career coaching wasn’t a thing. Looking back, I would have invested in a coaching program (if one had been available) as another way to thrive in an unwelcome circumstance because the big investment I was making in moving to that multi-national was in myself, and I knew I was a great investment.
And so are you.