Monday, October 5, 2009

Want a seat at the table? Be a problem solver.


A line from a recent Bad Pitch Blog post got me thinking: “Be a shining star—not a whiny burn-out bulb.” As a young professional I have aspirations to one day be a part of my firm’s management team, ideally as the Director of Digital Services, but how do you get a seat on the table? Well, it starts with a little confidence, a great plan, and a tool belt equipped with solutions.

Often times people just complain about a situation, get angry and nothing gets accomplished. Managers have a lot on their plates and are constantly juggling current clients, bringing in new clients, participating in management meetings, and meeting the bottom line. If you are faced with a situation that is challenging, before running into your boss’s office to whine and complain about “the problem,” take a moment to think about a potential plan to solve it. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it. Nothing makes you shine brighter than presenting a problem or challenge directly followed by an amazing plan of action.

If you constantly bring up problems and offer no solutions, how can you expect to ever be a part of the management team? As YPs we have a lot of energy, endless ideas, and a different perspective. We can’t be shy. We need to speak up and be counted. Even if your ideas and solutions aren’t always implemented, the fact that you were able to add to the conversation will make upper management take notice.

If you don’t let people know what you want and show them what you’re capable of, you’re selling yourself short. So my advice is simple: Go get it, whatever “it” is and make it happen. With a positive attitude and a strong work ethic, you’ll be moving up the company ladder in no time!

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