Corporate Girl faces up to - The Progress Strategy
The corporate environment just loves their processes and pieces of paper. And news flash! If it is a physical piece of paper or a digital piece of paper on a screen, it is still a form that someone needs to fill out. The most recent process about a piece of paper I have encountered is a 'progress strategy'.
In Principle a 'progress strategy' is a great idea. It means employees are able to have help and support to achieve their career goals and generally you know... 'get to where you want to be'. But in practice what tends to happen is that it gives support to awful managers who have in most cases stumbled into their positions, who don't know how to or refuse to have invested interest in the people working for/ with them. They have filled out a piece of paper and so they can tick that task of their list and stop being hounded by HR.
At work you have to play a game, the political nightmare game. Setting up a company in your spare time, even though it doesn't impact the day job (other than giving you a whole other level of perspective and experience which actually they benefit from) is generally 'frowned upon'.
When I have to answer questions on my 'progress strategy' I sit there, hold my tongue which is desperately trying to explain "its ok, I have my own 'progress strategy' thanks!", and fill out my 3, 5 and 10 year goals.
I just think things may work a little easier if we were all able to be honest about our dreams and aspirations:
"Actually in 5 years time I hope my other half and I will be married and we will be planning our second child. No that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider me for that promotion, wanting a family doesn't mean I can't do my job brilliantly."
"I am really happy where I am at the moment, I think there is a lot I can develop within this team. No that doesn't mean I have low aspirations, it means I'm seeing some Progress Strategy is needed here and now thanks."
"Honestly, I am following my dreams in my spare time, which I fully intend to run with, so in 3 years time you'll probably be seeing our faces on the front of Forbes magazine. No, that doesn't mean I don't work my butt off for this company everyday."
So what are your Progress Strategy truths? What would you say to your boss, manager or colleague if you didn't think you would be putting your 'game' at risk?