Time to take ‘you’ to the next level!


We know the story: you are amazing at your job, you excel in your work and you are a true team player! You are trusted to work by yourself and, best of all, if anything needs doing – they give it to you. You have become a master at multi-tasking, and you are involved in all matter’s ‘compliance’!

But then – you realise you’ve probably reached the top of your game where you are, so you pluck up the courage and broach the ‘what next?’ conversation with your line manager or boss.

Now I know bravery may not be your strongest quality, but you psych yourself up and request the meeting. Awesome work – stage one complete!

At this point, your options are likely to be as follows:

  1. Enhance your training and development plan to upskill even further
  2. Get agreement on an instant or promised pay rise
  3. They see your worth and you get the role promotion you’ve been waiting for
  4. … or you leave!

The problem that you will face, however – a problem that many don’t even realise they have until it’s too late – is that it is not the willingness of the boss to develop you or to support your growth and development. No? No, it’s the structure of the business and how it has been built that is often the real problem.

So, what can you do to reset and get cracking on a journey that supports your personal and professional growth?

The team and operating structure that are in place will most likely have been designed by accident, put together to serve the needs of the team, the business and of course the regulator of today, without any foresight to support growth and development.

Whilst many firms retain a firm focus on the regulatory needs of the business, they fail to see that the sustainability and scalability of the business should be a firm focus too!

So, what can you do to reset and get cracking on a journey that supports your personal and professional growth?

  • Understand the job before you start it


I know what it’s like when you are faced with the possibility of an exciting new role. You get some of the facts but often miss the small details that make all of the difference.

Ask questions like:

  • Who will I be working with and what are their skills and abilities?
  • How long have they been in the team and what are their positions?
  • What have been the biggest achievements of the team?
  • In what areas do you feel the team as a whole could add more value?
  • How are the team recognised and rewarded for their group and individual contributions?
  • Understand the organisational structure


Are you in a structure where there’s ‘one man’ at the top, or is there opportunity for growth in your role which could take you all the way to achieving your potential?

No one really wants to leave a company they love, but we know you will if you are stuck and going nowhere!

Ask questions like:

  • How has the team been built and designed?
  • What would be the next step in my growth, outside of professional learning and qualifications?
  • How long have other team members been in their roles? What are their next growth steps?
  • Do you foresee any changes being needed to the organisational and operating structure?
  • How future-proof is the team and the business?
  • Who is responsible for team development and growth? What skills and experience does this individual need, and do they have a clear view of what to do next?
  • Understand what’s behind the title


Many businesses are way too trigger happy when it comes to dishing out job titles. Manager this, senior that… half the time it’s confusing and often has very little substance behind it.

Ask questions like:

  • Can you clarify what you mean by [manager, senior, support, co-ordinate etc]?
  • How did this role profile become what it is today? Who designed it?
  • Was this role profile created in isolation or as part of a wider project?
  • Who did the role before it became vacant? Why did they not work out?
  • What is the biggest contribution that you are looking for from this role?
  • What is the biggest risk area for this role?
  • Training the techniques!


“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways!” – Robert Greene

So, you have the title and you are poised ready to take on the challenge! What’s the plan? Your training and development will be the only way that you can secure your journey from surviving to thriving!

Do check that your plan includes:

  • A firm foundation of academic and technical knowledge/learning
  • Input from third parties and a place for you to safely apply your knowledge and demonstrate your understanding
  • In house and on the job training to showcase your skills, abilities and experience
  • Time allocated to understanding the essential attributes of the role(s) you fill in order to align all areas of development
  • Bespoke and focused support to create the framework for your personal principles and behaviours
  • Understand yourself more than you understand anyone else


Now this is where the magic really starts to happen – don’t get too carried away with the prospects of a shiny new role or a promotion! Grab a mirror and take a good look into it. Your success is all down to you. It’s down to the perspective you have, the choices that you make and the passion you have for the role and the work that you do.

So, ask yourself:

  • Do I get a good feeling here?
  • Do I think this is a role that could keep my passion and my attention for a long time?
  • Do the company and the other team members fit and fuel my own values and ethics?
  • Do the people I work with inspire me and give encouragement and support when I need it?
  • Am I being asked to do too much, too soon?
  • Is this role placement/promotion really all about a quick fix for the business or do they really value ‘my’ contribution to it?
  • Does this role fit with my lifelong career and work goals? Does it effectively support my work/life balance?

So, in closing, trust your gut instinct (if you have one!); do your research if you don’t! Take a moment to reset before diving in, take a different view, don’t just follow the track laid out for you by others – know your own ‘you’ and your own mind and, most of all, enjoy the journey!


About Author

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We believe everyone has the power to realise their extraordinary potential. “Standards International is the powerhouse behind professionalism and operational excellence in financial services. We set the standards, we live the standards, we are the standards!” That’s us in a nutshell! We support the development of financial adviser business owners, their business partners, practice and business managers, and support teams in all areas of personal and business development. We have some super-exciting developments under way and it gives me such a buzz when I sit for a moment and realise what an impact all of this could have on our magical profession! Please be sure to keep in touch with us via social media, use our contact form or email us on enquiries@standardsinternational.co.uk to say “Hi”.

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