Stretch Assignments Provide Career Insurance

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I was interviewed by Jill Gregorie of Ignites, the Financial Times site source for the mutual fund industry. Here’s a snippet from the article:

Employees may believe that they’re capable of a different or more advanced role, but many are unsure of how to demonstrate that potential, says Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching and editor of BeLeaderly.com. These workers often benefit from so-called “stretch assignments” — or projects that push them beyond their usual assignments.

“Raising your hand for a stretch assignment is an ideal way to show you’re capable of more than the role you’re in today,” she says.

Employees working at companies lacking formal programs should talk directly with a manager more senior than their direct supervisor to explore options. These leaders will likely have “greater visibility of new areas the business is moving into,” Miller says. They may also know of projects that need to be staffed on short notice, she says.

Workers should also look at the company’s business operations to determine whether there are any gaps in its product line or a potential client base that is being neglected, she adds. Making such suggestions can help prompt a dialogue about new opportunities, she says.

Stretch assignments can also make individuals more competitive in the job market, especially if the skills and capabilities they picked up are sought by employers.
“It’s like taking out a career insurance policy,” Miller says.

Click through to Ignites.com for more, for more, including how to say “no” to an assignment that would stretch you too thin (log-in may be required.)

Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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