I guess that at least it happened once to all professionals, independently of seniority, experience or responsibility, thinking about autonomy at work, most of all if you are covering a new one. Consequently reaching autonomy in a role, or at least perception of achieving it, means start thinking about your career and what are next career steps (inside or outside the organization) .
Much literature has focused on this topic going to look exactly what conditions define step or status of the so called “autonomy” . Several articles have been pointed that the key is time spent in a new role; actually this finish line fits between 18 and 24 months from starting , but clearly it depends on cases, career paths and background. The second main idea is based on perception of the team and / or the boss that the person does not need team’s support and then is able to work “alone”. It should be emphasized that when the person becomes more autonomous , his/her role becomes fundamental.
My idea ti is a bit different, because it is based on personal measurement or perception of being autonomous more than external evaluation. Being a fan of theories that see organizations as ecosystems where people regulate themselves and live in more or less structured processes, in this case I think that autonomy is linked to the completion of adaptation’s process; specifically autonomy is completed only when a person feels that he/she is really able to express himself/herself naturally, without political masks, showing strengths without mental limits. But how can you check if you reached autonomy ? Honestly, it is true that checking how many emails you sent to your boss in comparison to past months can be an objective dimension, but each period of time in organizations is not comparable to others. The best way is just personal assessment of how you feel at work and if you feel yourself ; I see therefore autonomy on our own creation ” comfort zone ” (which among other things it is topic that I do not like at all http://goo.gl/e7e80M) . Why is it so important feeling comfortable at work ? Because you’re ready to break defensive structures activating your personal attitudes that enable your energy and skills to achieve your goals and interpretate role at best.