Throughout my extensive career I have heard many complain about this or that ceiling. At one time it was fashionable for women to complain about a “Glass Ceiling”.
Let’s be clear, no pun intended, about one thing when it comes to careers. They are encouraged, supported, and shaped…by your boss. So if you are bumping your head on any kind of ceiling, glass or otherwise, it is because you lack support from your boss. In turn, support comes in two versions, preference or coaching. Let’s deal with preference.
If your boss favors you, for whatever reasons, [ETHICAL REASONS, PLEASE], then your career is going to flourish. On the other hand, if your boss favors someone else, then that person’s career will flourish and yours will languish.
Now let’s talk about coaching.
If your boss sucks at being a good coach, you will have a ceiling imposed on your career as long as you report to that poor coach. A good boss is also a great coach. He or she will seek plenty of opportunities to test your skills, to help train you, to educate you, etc. Most importantly, a good coach will PUSH YOU up the ladder, not hold you back. Provided, of course, that you have the requisite skills and knowledge to move upwards.
Is your boss ACTIVELY growing your skills in the direction of meaningful, (to you), career path? Does your boss have a successful track record of growing others into careers that have flourished?
If you don’t see supportive signals and if you don’t have frequent coaching sessions, then either he or she favors someone else, or, worse… he or she is a terrible coach.
If you think your career is limited by a ceiling of any kind, then you have only one course of action: find a new boss who has succeeded in growing others, will be supportive, and who will actively coach you. And then who will place you front and center to showcase your growing capabilities to the rest of the organization and especially to management.
Busting glass or any other ceiling is not all that complicated. But you may have to throw the fist “stone”, so to say. That is, to make the first move, within your organization.
If YOUR BOSS doesn’t actively remove your glass ceiling, or any other ceiling, you may need to find yourself a new boss!