As we all know by now, the lockdowns of the Covid pandemic unleashed the dynamics of the new workplace: remote-only work is more common and workers mostly want hybrid working conditions, so they have some of the flexibility they enjoyed when they worked from home.
From an organizational standpoint, hybrids have also unleashed the switch from traditional hierarchical organizational models. Command-and-Control increasingly is rejected, and the Team-of-Team model increasingly is being adopted, since this connects people with people throughout the organization.
Liz Sweigart recently noted that such models, which focus on more diffuse organizations with weaker-links between individuals as key to success will have ramifications for career growth. In “When it comes to career growth, who’s really got your back?” She notes that the old model – one or two people serving to provide you with sponsorship and mentorship – is no longer sufficient. Instead within the team-of-teams arrangement, you will have several people who can play a key role in helping you build your career. In specific, there are:
- Mentors who are invested in worker development
- Sponsors who are vocal about a person’s performance
- Superfans who generally are at a higher pay grade of the worker and praise the person publicly
- Casual fans who are people within the organization and client organizations who can attest to the high quality of performance seen during encounters.
As a result, workers who are in the early stages of their careers and want career advancement should aim to build a coalition, over time, that includes individuals from each of these potential supporters at various levels of the organization. She recommends taking time periodically to reflect on and evaluate the matrix of support. Clearly, as the teams you work with change, and your career aspirations involve moving on to new teams, you should seek out other supporters who will have your back.
Have you thought about your career advancement in terms of these key players? Share with us your experiences as more and more people will be finding the insights valuable.