My annual review / development planning period is coming up and I'm wondering whether or not I should disclose my frustrations.  I have outgrown the role I'm in (Snr Director) but don't see any prospects to fulfill my ambitions to develop further. 


  • I work in a small regional office which reduces advancement opportunities
  • Company is not growing, which reduces advancement opportunities
  • I have been in current role for 5 years getting best in class results compared to rest of world results
  • I have been volunteering for addtional projects a lot and getting good results
  • I know I am well regarded and put in the high potential/high performer category last year 
  • Have been studying and now certified in Lean, Project Management and Business Administration

I would be more than happy to stay at the company provided there was some prospect of advancement.  So what do I tell the company?  I don't want to leave in 6 months time and hear - 'why didn't you tell us?  We could have put something together for you'

I'm thinking of saying something like.

I feel I'm ready for advancement.  If you think otherwise, then please tell me where else I can improve in order to be ready.  I am aware that opportunities are scarce.  I am willing to consider any opportunity, including sideways, if it is suitable and may lead to progression.  

Any thoughts would be highly welcome



williamelledgepe's picture
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Short answer: yes, you should disclose - but No, it shouldn't be about frustration - it should be about opportunity.

I like the sample statement you made above, but I might change it to some open ended questions and leave off the bit about scarity. Maybe something like:

I would like to discuss options for my advancement. [Or: May I ask you a couple questions about opportunities for my advancement?]  I feel I am ready for advancement and have a couple questions for you. [Pause for concurrence if you don't ask the question above.] What opportunities are available and what skills do I need to develop?

This starts the conversation, but your listening skills and ability to respond will be key for the rest.  You could use the bit about sideways opportunities as a follow on. Also, at your level you may have to consider a relocation.

At the Sr Director level you should have some responsibility for the growth of the company.  You could propose solving the lack of growth by taking an opportunity to be responsible for growth of a new business unit/geography/product line. The result of this conversation could be you preparing a business case for growth.    

You definitely need to have this conversation before deciding if you want to change companies.

TNoxtort's picture

<p>I would frame it as much more positively about your desire to make greater contributions using your expertise. Not frustration.</p>
<p>I remember&nbsp; was in tis position about 14 years ago. I was running out of things to do at my manufacturing plant, and my boss had left about a year before. I approached by CFO and he agreed I could do more and he wanted me to do more and told me he wanted me to lead this new acquisition they were making. </p>

kank's picture

That helps.  A lot.