I have more than 20 years experience in Submarines but I haven't been able to make the next step into Management. I have done quite a bit of work to prepare myself but I feel stuck.
In reviewing you bio, it looks like you have good experience and currently have an assistant PM role which is a good step in getting your foot in the door. A possible strategy would be to chart out the roles/tasks the PM performs on a daily/monthly/quarterly/annual basis. Compare those to your experience and skills to determine if there are any gaps in your skillset that you need to close. You can ask to volunteer for those assignments that are outside of your comfort zone to help you build new skills and stretch yourself. One thing to keep in mind is that the gaps can be real gaps or gaps perceived by the leaders above you. It is a tough balance between being boastful and ensuring your leaders know the experience and skill you bring. You can be the best engineer/leader out there, but if no one knows it, it is hard to advance. Another thing to try is having an in depth discussion with the leaders above you on what they see as your strengths and weaknesses. That feedback will allow you to gauge the perception versus reality relative to any gaps you need to bridge.
Please feel free to message me if you want to chat more on this. I wish you all the best!
Hi, Dwight. My first reaction is that there may be an intermediate step between your role/level on the Navy and becoming a manager. That step would likely be in a team lead or supervisor role, one in which you are overseeing the work of others while also keeping your hands "dirty", so to speak. If you had such responsibilities in the Navy, even if it was more on an as-needed basis, be sure to highlight that in your resume and in any cover letters you've provided. You need to show prospective employers that you have successfully led a team on some project or initiative, as evidence of your ability to take on a team lead role in their company. Feel free to write back if you'd like to discuss this further.
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