Bran is the perfect ingredient for this story because we need movement. Our lesson includes poop or get off the pot wisdom mixed with practical advice about how to be less annoying while preparing for the big promotion. White chocolate amaretto cream rescues these muffins because bran is as tasteless as the imaginary story of what is holding us back from actualizing our dreams.
You’re going nowhere fast. Everyone aspires recognition, rapid promotions plus maxed-out bonus dividends, but if your personal fast track resembles an unrelenting traffic circle, a pause for self-reflection is in order. Reflection does not imply commiserating with sympathizers nor blaming others for frustrating circumstances; rather, let’s review the genuine state of affairs. The goal, direct access to the freeway and putting that roundabout in the rearview for good as you zoom off to the next chapter of your career.
Let’s begin with a couple questions about the final destination.
Are We There Yet?
1. What are your long-term goals? Are you the heir-apparent Senior Sales Manager or CEO of the world’s largest company? Contemplate the level of know-how required for your lofty goal. If the tiny home movement and European-style 30-hour workweek is appealing, your route will differ from a person aspiring to manage a 6,000-room behemoth hotel in Las Vegas.
2. What experience precipitates the next step? Can you grow in your present work or should you be interviewing for the big chief position now because the corporate ladder is not applicable to you? Ambitious folks see ways to contribute overstepping the traditional boundaries for their role which ruffles feathers but is an excellent catalyst for promotions. More often though, I meet managers that don’t see the possibilities smack in front of them. To paraphrase Thomas Edison on opportunity, it’s dressed in a pencil skirt and looks like work.
With clarified future goals, what can you do right now?
What does success look like in your current position? Does the supervisor agree with your assessment? We tell ourselves that we are marvelous at everything, but that nagging predicament you’ve been dodging is a missing skill requiring further development.
The irritation doesn’t go away; it shows up at your new job with a different name and hair-do.
If satisfactory growth potential exists in the organization but you are feeling restless, then perchance you have contracted a case of EntitlementNgitis.
Hampered by emotional drama and plagued by elaborate conspiracy theories going well beyond the normal ants-in-your-pants impatience, entitlement is viperous and transmittable. Symptoms include aggrandized sense of self, incessant grumbling and criticizing innocent bystanders for hierarchical corporate systems and indomitable mediocracy. Suffering massive bouts of entitlement myself, I know it’s curable with steady doses of get-over-yourself affirmations plus a prescription for a reality check. Have plenty of chocolate cake on hand for medicinal purposes through the convalescing period.
Innumerable opportunities to advance your skill set will materialize but how you seize these moments decides your unique path and speed of progression.
Stay or go?
1. Professional growth can be a painful experiment of grit to slog through challenges not to mention wrestling the ego into submission. Slow down to give yourself the space to learn or even step back when you realize the dream assignment is a nightmare disguised in an esteemed title.
2. Time in a role does not guarantee promotion. We visualize the pace of advancement but it doesn’t mean it happens the specific way we’ve predetermined. Sometimes the topnotch results manifest but you must fly the cliched coop to promote yourself because no next steps are available for the foreseeable future. As it may be, open positions exist but you have been such a pain in the rear that you are persona non grata. Oh, crap! It’s a blessing in disguise so take the hint when passed over and strive to be more discerning in the future. Or, select a team talented enough to embrace your novel approach as well as a company that can keep pace with your advancement goals. Interviews are a two-way street.
3. Test the waters. If you think you are promotion-worthy but thwarted by a nemesis, jump out into the marketplace and inflict yourself upon another unsuspecting organization. (I mean “inflict” in the warmest way.) A word of caution; you may not have the qualifications but a brave soul might award you the job, regardless. Mesmerized by a prestigious-sounding title they presume will be the envy of their peers, managers should sense the responsibility of said title looming. Head-first landings when reality comes calling is unpleasant but as long as a few scrapes and bruises are tolerable, it could be the character building exercise required. I say, go for it! Better to go big than continue to torture the team with round-the-clock whining as to how magical your powers and how unfair the circumstances. While fantasizing the boss intimidated by your intellectual acuity or stunning beauty, he/she is likely dropping your name to every recruiter in town hoping someone, anyone hires you. Keep in touch, little unicorn!
If jumping into a job, without qualifications makes you queasy, consider the
following ideas to build your confidence and resume.
1. Volunteer for stretch projects. While mastering the current role, keep a keen eye open for extra credit. What does your business need? Ponder that and appreciate the awesome obligation your executive team considers on the daily. Expect such an exercise to be challenging as most passively await direction then resent the hell out of it. Envision three consequential ideas you can contribute, gird your loins and pitch to your boss.
2. Ask for a job description for the assignment you are aspiring. This sounds obvious, but folks imagine they comprehend what a role requires because they sit near someone with that job. Because knowing-by-osmosis method has pitfalls, do your homework instead. Try not to judge the person (s) observed in the position, at least out loud. In the same vein, skip attempting to sell yourself as just as bad as so-and-so in the role altogether because it’s not a compelling argument.
3. Speak to your supervisor with respect to the feasibility of training and what he/she believes you need for advancement. There might not be enough resources, in the world, available to catapult you to Sir Richard Branson status so dial back your mentoring expectations a tad. The entrepreneurial route may be a better fit or the ever-popular lottery fantasy. Start saving for scratchers because you can’t win if you don’t play, right?
Eagerness for promotion is commendable and fidgetiness expected, speaking to the freshman here, but try not to be an annoying nuisance while gaining more skills to prepare you for the next position. The solution, pick a lane. You’re either staying and obtaining more training or leaving and learning with a new group. Either way, making a choice will signal an exit of the traffic circle of indecision and a commitment to the next adventure. Bon voyage!
Recipe for Sir Richard Bran Muffins
Use the bran muffin recipe of your choice or purchase them, as I did in this case from Dupar’s. I’m not a fan of bran. Cinnamon rolls are more my speed; however, Dupar’s version of a bran muffin tastes like a honey cake with raisins which has my full support. Enjoyed them as is or gussied up by inverting the muffins and drizzling them with white chocolate amaretto cream. Make the sauce by warming heavy whipping cream to just before boiling point and add white chocolate. Allow to melt for a few minutes and then stir until the chocolate is combined. Add amaretto, almond extract and vanilla extract to your taste. Drizzle over muffins or sip if nobody is watching.
Disclaimer: The story and recipe above should not be considered advice as the readers and users of Chocolate Cake Mondays are not clients and therefore CCM is not liable for reader’s reliance on the information herein.