My boss keeps suggesting that we sit together and “figure things out,” e.g., what I want to do next. While I was initially thrilled to have a boss take an interest in my career, now I’m wondering if I should trust her and what this is all about. Am I being paranoid? N.M., Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ
First, why haven’t you had the conversation? You say “[she] keeps suggesting”. When your manager wants to talk to you about your job responsibilities, prioritize it! It sends the message that your career is important to you and that you value her input. What message are you sending now by avoiding and creating scenarios that may/may not be true?
In terms of wondering what this is all about, have you been asking to talk to her about “figuring things out” or expressing the feeling that you’re dissatisfied? Is your boss’s behavior out of character for her? Is this consideration for your career coming out of the blue? If it is, then I think you’re right to wonder. Her behavior suggests that she either has a plan or idea for you/your career that she wants to sell you on. Which could be a very good thing so keep an open mind. It sounds like she values you and you have a good relationship.
While it’s nice to have a boss weigh in on your career, they’re doing so through the lens of your current employer. If work will be a significant part of your life, plan to put some effort into figuring out the best fit for yourself.