- It’s been said that a job is what you make of it. In most organizations that has never been truer than it is today. Organizations recognize that in a knowledge-based economy their greatest assets are not hardware or bricks and mortar … but people.
- You can take advantage of the prevailing economy by asking for opportunities to learn and grow in your job. You might have to keep asking, but chances are good that your continued requests will meet with success. This is especially true if you can indicate what you would like to learn, and link that with a benefit to the organization.
- Learning can take place in a variety of ways. It isn’t limited to a set course in a classroom. For example, you could suggest to your manager that you would like to be mentored — taken under the wing of a more senior person who could bring you into a new circle of activities. Explain what benefits you see accruing from this, and what precise activities would help you learn new things.
- If you find your job has lost its appeal to you, take responsibility for thinking of some realistic actions and activities that would rekindle your interest. Then present your ideas to management as a career plan … not an ultimatum. This may include training, working on a special project, or developing ideas to enrich some aspect of your current work to make it more challenging. Always have at least three career paths worked out in case you hit a real roadblock and need to shift gears quickly.
- The fact is, most organizations do care about the people in their employ and would much rather see them happy and productive. If you can identify what you need to further your career and then link that with the interests of the organization, you have a case to make to your team leader.
- You have the right to be “mentally engaged” on the job. But no one will know if you are challenged by your work, or what new challenges you need, unless you let them know. No matter how good even the best managers are, none are mind readers.
- Change has changed. As hard as this may be to hear, no one owes you anything … not your boss, not the organization you are currently working for … no one. We are all pretty much on our own when in comes to managing our careers. If you do have a supportive boss right now who takes the time to coach and help you with your career, consider yourself blessed. And take advantage of, and appreciate, everything they do for you. Next time, you probably won’t be so lucky.
Remember: No one will ever care as much about your career as you do.