I have been very fortunate in my career choice. For me, the right manager is someone who has confidence in my abilities and lets me build a capable team. I have enjoyed situations where I have been brought in to either build or improve operations.
When I went off to college, my father gave me one piece of advice: “Study something that will enable you to get a job.” For me, that meant accounting and business, rather than literature or social science. The technical skills I learned proved to be a good foundation as I was able to move from entry-level accountant to controller to vice president. Moving from technician to manager was a transition prompted by rapid growth in companies where there were limited staff and unlimited opportunity.
As a dual-career couple, my husband and I relocated six times in 15 years, with nearly every move providing me with a good opportunity to take on more responsibility and develop managerial skills. In addition, changing jobs exposed me to a wide variety of situations and people. I also was able, in one case, to move my job from New York to Illinois, having established a good reputation as someone who gets things done and earned the trust of a CEO who had confidence that I could make it work.
My advice to others seeking career growth or those just starting out is to always look to do more. Think beyond the scope of your own job to understand how your role fits in making a company successful. As a manager, it is your responsibility to develop the skills of those working for you. The best accomplishment I have had is developing people who I want to take along with me.