Q: “After working as a temporary administrative assistant for a small company, I was recently promoted to office manager. My boss said that she liked my professionalism. However, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve gotten in over my head.
“I’m being given unfamiliar tasks, no one ever explains anything, and I’m not sure exactly what my job includes. Now I’m constantly stressed out from worrying about whetheris unhappy with me.” Afraid of Failing
A: Your distress is understandable, because it’s a big leap from temporary assistant to office manager. Someone owes you a clear job description, but since nobody is providing one, you will need to make the first move. Draft a list of your apparent responsibilities, then review it with your boss and reach agreement on a final version.
Next, rate your ability to perform each duty with an A, B or C. For each B and C rating, propose a strategy for quickly improving your skill level. Possibilities might include formal training, online research, “shadowing” experienced colleagues or getting coaching from your boss.
Review this development plan with your manager, and schedule regular feedback sessions to discuss your progress. However, if she seems reluctant to support you through this learning curve, you may want to consider other employment options.
In every career, there are certain situations which can have a big impact on your future. Here are a few common ones: Ten Critical Career Moments.