Your career path won’t always be linear. If you’re worried that you don’t want your boss’ job, don’t panic. We’ll provide some guidance to help you navigate your next steps.
Much of the time, we have a black-and-white view of our career progression: get a good job with a good company and then take the obvious steps up the corporate ladder. But that doesn't have to be the case. There are myriad reasons why you wouldn’t eventually want your immediate supervisor’s job, and it won’t necessarily hurt your overall career. In this article, we’ll discuss what you should do if you don’t want your boss’ job, including:
If I don’t want my boss’ job, do I need to find a new career?
Red flags about your current career status
Not necessarily. While we often assume that if we don’t take the most obvious step up it means you lack ambition, but perhaps you’re happy with the work you’re doing, you don’t want to take on additional responsibilities, or you’re just not ready to make a change. These are all valid. Whatever your reasons, you can take steps to ensure that while you’re staying where you are, your career isn’t stagnating.
There are other ways you can progress your career without moving into your boss’ position:
Expand your current position by developing new skills and seeking out new challenges.
Consider a lateral move within your company.
Specialize! Figure out a skill that is relevant to your position and become the “go-to” person for it. Not only does it increase your skill set, it makes you more valuable to your employer.
If all else fails, you can consider moving on to another company that better fits your values and goals. Even if you’d be moving into a similar position, you might find you are more interested in moving up in a new environment.
The increase in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected employee’s career trajectories. A survey of over 4,500 workers showed that nearly 70 percent of the respondents would pass up a promotion in favor of being able to work from the location of their choosing. So instead of moving up, more and more people are prioritizing flexibility and personal choice.
While it’s fine if you’re not interested in making a step up right now, it’s important to understand why. There are a few things to look out for that might indicate problems with your current career path:
You lack interest or engagement in your work.
You feel your current work environment is “toxic” and exhausting, and you don’t want to shoulder more of that burden.
You’re afraid of change or accepting new responsibilities. This might indicate a fear of failure. Consider working with a therapist or a career coach to work through these issues.
You don’t feel valued as an employee. Taking on additional responsibilities may only exacerbate this.
If you're not 100 percent sure your current career path is for you, it's okay to change employers or find a new career field entirely. Remember, you don't have to accept a promotion just because it's offered to you. You might find yourself quitting because you're miserable — which can harm your professional reputation. Maybe you don’t want your boss’ job because you know that a bigger and better opportunity is waiting for you elsewhere — be patient, keep developing your skills, and remember to network.
Ready to take the next steps in your career? Check out Career.io’s Job Search Strategy tool, which will provide you with tools, expert coaching, and guidance to successfully navigate the job market with confidence.
If you don’t want your boss’ job, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to quit. There are valid reasons to stay in your current position.
You can stay in your current position without career stagnation by learning new skills, considering a lateral move, or finding a way to become “indispensable.”
You might consider leaving your job if you are no longer interested in your work, you’re afraid of failure, your work environment is toxic, or you don’t feel valued.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.