Here we are, almost at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2010! One quarter left to go to fulfill your professional goals of 2010.  It is important to stop and take inventory of where you are and to have those important conversations regarding your expectations about promotions or new assignments.

As you prepare for the discussion, you must do the following:

  • Review your personal agenda and the “report card” that you agreed upon with your manager at the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010; Everything that you agreed that you would accomplish this year should be COMPLETE by the end of the 3rd quarter.
  • Make a detailed list of your accomplishments as well as a list of the one or two things that you will complete by Sept. 30th
  • Schedule a quick meeting 15-30 minutes with your manager where you review what you have done during the first three quarters of this year and agree upon those things that are remaining for the year. This is also the time to reiterate that you are focused on your promotion or new assignment. You want to understand from your manager that you are on the right trajectory. Obviously, he/she cannot make any guarantees at this point (after all there is still a quarter of performance to go), however, this conversation will open the door for them to give you a heads up if things don’t look good for you, or if there are some previously unforeseen obstacles that you need to be aware of and will have to work through in the 4th quarter.  You should also ask your manager if there is anything else that you could do to make their job of sponsoring you for promotion any easier.

This is also an excellent time for you to check in with your sponsor to understand if there is any data in the market place that you should be aware of concerning your candidacy. You should also make sure that your sponsor (assuming your sponsor is different than you direct manager), is VERY aware of your key accomplishments and ANYTHING that you think could potentially be an impediment with an explanation of why you don’t think that the issue is insurmountable.

Assuming that that you get the tacit green light from your manager and your sponsor is also constructive about your prospects, plan to finish your annual plan by September 30th and then focus on the 4th quarter with continued strong performance, a great attitude, adequate time spent continuing to invest in key relationships, and looking for opportunities to do something extraordinarily value add.