What’s Holding You Back?


Anna is unsure if she made the right move. After 5 years in a role as a learning and development consultant for her organization, Robust Inc. She applied for an internal job posting in the corporate communication team. Robust Inc., a leading player in the education business has operations in 5 cities in the country and provides online support for 10 countries globally. Anna has been keen about corporate communications and believes her passion for writing and engaging employees will hold her in good stead in her new job. During her interviews with senior leaders she convinced them of her capabilities to operate in completely new environment. However, after starting out she is beginning to feel that the role doesn’t give her much satisfaction. She calls her friend Paul to discuss her concerns.

Anna: “Paul, I am in a dilemma and thought I could get your advice.”

Paul: “Sure Anna. What is it? How is your new role?”

Anna: “That is what I needed to discuss. I spent 5 years with this organization and wanted a change. This new role looked exciting and I applied for it and got the job. Now, after meeting with stakeholders and listening to what people had to say about my predecessor it seems I may have made a mistake!”

Paul: “So what have you heard?”

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Anna: “From what I hear this is a back-end role with no visibility or respect. I need to be pushing out communication and reviewing badly written drafts. Also, the person handling the role wasn’t the best suited so she became a note-taker for many leaders. That further eroded the credibility of the role. In the end no one takes this role seriously.”

Paul: “That’s unfortunate. Do you know what the job description of the role states?”

Anna: “It does read impressive and calls out how the individual can champion key initiatives for the company. It also explains one can grow into a larger role. Somehow it doesn’t seem to match with the expectations on the ground.”

Paul: “You mean people see the role differently? Does your manager think differently too?”

Anna: “I guess so – basis my conversations they feel this role is over engineered and no one has the capacity to do anything meaningful. It is just an ordinary role and there are many obstacles which come in the way. My manager is supportive and has been telling me to give it time and focus on what is on hand. He encourages me to think differently and make an impact.”

Paul: “That’s great. There is no reason to fret if you have such a supportive manager. Are you interested in this role or not? Do you think you want to do something meaningful?”

Anna: “I am completely interested – just that I feel people think otherwise and therefore may not cooperate. I may end up not contributing enough or making an impact.  I don’t have the professional degrees to back up for this role.”

Paul: “But, you are just starting out. You can learn the ropes, can’t you? You can also get the certifications you need. What’s holding you back?”

How can you help Anna get a hold of her new role? What do you think is preventing her from getting ahead? How can Paul coach her to get started?

Share your views. Keen to hear what you think.

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