What if like my current job and I don’t want to move for the next 5 years. How can I communicate that without leading my boss to think that I am not ambitious or assertive?
Congratulations that you are in a job that you love and it works for your life and your lifestyle right now. The operative word is now. In this dynamic world that we are all living in, work environments, managers, leaders, company objectives change quickly and in order to succeed in today’s environment you must be focused on forward growth and comfortable with embracing change. In fact, you must actively look for ways to grow and to improve the processes around you. If you endeavor to stay right where you are because today, the hours work for you and your family, the money is comfortable, and you like the person you are working for you, you will definitely be left behind in 5 years from a skills and experience perspective, and may not be competitive when you are ready to move forward. What if your boss leaves and you are now working with someone who is not supportive and does not appreciate your contributions? Suppose you are eligible for a big promotion because of your seniority and the new role would work even better for your lifestyle, but you are not competitive because you have not been expanding your experiences over the last 5 years. Are you really willing to forego that prospective opportunity to stay in the same seat or 5 years?
It is perfectly fine to communicate that you really enjoy what you are doing now and that you are learning a lot. However, it is also important that you communicate that you are always interested in growing and acquiring new knowledge and skills so that you can continue to contribute to the organization. If the senior people around you perceive that you have no interest in advancing, they will not make the extra effort to invest in you or to use capital on your behalf to help accelerate your career and you will stall in your career. This is particularly important if you are in the middle of your career, for it is at this level that many people stall and then are capped within an organization. If you have been doing what you are doing for 6-7 years, it is REALLY important that you keep a forward and upward posture and be very clear about your intentions to continue to be value add, to grow, and to ascend in the organization. You cannot afford to be perceived as content at your current level. Again, I am saying that is fine to communicate that you enjoy what you do, but you should never leave anyone with the impression that where you are is it for you. Those around you should always perceive that you want to grow, to learn new things, to add skills to your tool chest, for the career game is happening with the backdrop of a fast-paced world where change is happening quickly and if you want to play the game successfully you want to have all of the latest tools and skills with a posture of growth to compete.