The title of last week’s blog was Are You Walking Through the Smoke of Career Development?1 Myra commented, “The worst thing a person can do is leave their career development to the mercy of the employer. I have seen it.”
Myra’s post made me think of the many ways an individual’s career development may be hindered by an organization, whether intentional or unintentional.
In what ways may your organization chain down your career development?
- A lack of funding in the training budget. Depending on the circumstances, the training budget may be the first one sliced and diced either limiting or eliminating your chances of attending any training outside of your organization.
- You and twelve other coworkers may wish to attend a leadership development course, but there are only two slots available. Consequently, you are competing against others from your organization to get into the class. What are your chances?
- Unfortunately, you may be the person the boss doesn’t like, or you work for someone who doesn’t think you need to attend a course benefiting your career development. After all, they learned it on the job so why can’t you?
Break the chain
The picture shows an M-60 tank on static display chained to an eyebolt in the concrete. I find this rather humorous because if the tank is operational and someone knew how to start the engine, the sheer power of the tank would pull the eyebolt out of the concrete.
How can you break the chain?
- Heed Myra’s advice and don’t solely rely on your employer or organization to provide career development.
- Fire up your engine and break away from the chain and concrete that is holding you back. This means that you must invest in your development which often means a financial investment.
- Determine to be a high-performing employee and not the average Joe Schmoe who is content with not developing their career.
- Seek opportunities to attend seminars and classes, enroll in coursework, read relevant books and journal articles, and do not expect your employer to pay for everything.
Before you say, “I don’t have the money to do those things,” look outside and see what rolling stock you have i.e., four-wheel drive vehicles, an RV, boat, etc. I am not against those things, but I will call anyone out who has those items, spends money on cruises and theme parks, and then turns around and tells me they can’t afford to invest in their career.