This made me think. It’s the first version, so I’ll be happy to hear your opinion. Do you think it makes sense? Can it be better (maybe even more simple or sharper)?
Whenever people consider going up the career ladder, there will be conversations about skills. How can this matrix help?
1. Going up usually comes with skills that you don’t have in your current job description. The easiest example is to go from a manager to a director. Do you have team management skills? Well, may be. But lets think about how it looks from a side.
2. “I’m ready” can mean different things. Most often, it sounds like a claim (5). Whatever powerful emotion you will put in those words, it will remain words.
3. If you are a fast learner and can prove it, your chances are growing. Still, you should probably go beyond the “I can learn” point into “I know, and I can do.” Well, you didn’t do it, so you need to at least explain yourself
4. Explanation is okay. Often, it is very obvious when a person is talking about something they don’t know or where they invested a decent amount of time. Of course, the interviewer’s job is to ask the right questions to reveal the difference.
5. The best position to be on “I didn’t side” is “I know, I can do it, and I can prove it.” What does it mean? Let’s get back to our people management example. You can explain your leadership approach and how you’ll build the team, but this will remain theoretical. The stronger point to make is to break the skill into smaller related skills and prove that you know them by doing. Is it hard to lead the team in your position? Well, go into cross-functional projects, or invent your own workstream and lead there. Use this to the fullest: lead, not just manage for the result.
6. Interview is the competition. Getting a new position is not about “I’m ready” at all (well, at least if you are not “I’m not ready”). It’s about increasing your chances by developing competitive advantages: growing your skillset, gaining the right experiences, and sharpening your story. No matter how good you are at explaining leadership (4), you can be easily beaten by someone in the leadership position (2). Somehow, in general, “I did” is more powerful than any “I didn’t”.
7. From an interviewer’s perspective, I see that the differentiation between (1) and (2) is usually missing. A person could be a manager by title, but that doesn’t make him a good leader by default. Sorry, but there are many leaders you would rather run away from. If a person from (2) can’t prove it’s in (1), you should probably take second thoughts on someone from (3).
8. When you are interviewing inside your org, there is a whole new layer to this, and it is “Known for.” This is where you want to be: known for your skills rather than telling stories about them. If you are known by the great “I did it” (1), nothing can come in your way. This comes with a downside. If you “didn’t”, you will be known for this as well.