I was talking to someone today at a networking event and said, “I’m a Stayer”. We were talking about the economy being at full employment and people changing jobs. I was directly addressing the fact so often people think the next best thing means you must leave your company. Often the next best thing might be at your current company, if you’re actively looking for ways to grow and add value.
Employers also are guilty of thinking that new directions or new tasks at a company must be handled by a new, outside person. Often within the ranks of your company, there is a person aspiring to learn new things and grow their bank of skills. Consider this a new avenue in employee retention; i.e. helping existing employees grow their skills.
“Love the One You’re With”, the classic song by Crosby, Stills and Nash, says it all. Instead of looking to jump ship or hire on new talent, look around and see what skills and ambitions are right in front of you. Each change in duties does not always mean a promotion or increase in pay, but by incrementally adding on skills and abilities, promotions and raises have no choice but to follow.
So how do you go about “loving the one you’re with” as an employee?
• Express interest to your boss about your desire to ADD to your skills and learn more about different areas of the company. Approach the subject maintaining you will continue your current duties and add some duties at the same time. Over time, if you are successful with this, duties will have to be removed or perhaps another you manage will take some of your previous tasks. Don’t mention your ambition once and forget it, talk of it periodically so you are top of mind.
• Any chance to lead a project where you currently reside as a member, take it. Moving up in a company means taking on pivotal roles and duties. It helps you learn more than you would as a group member and develop leadership skills.
• Be a team player. While we are all working for our own best interests, your mantra should be doing what is in the best long- term interest for the company. Your decisions affect co-workers, subordinates and the products or services of your company. Earn respect by working to solve problems with an eye towards the best interest of the company.
• Use the right attitude when expressing your interest to learn more and grow with the company. People respect people wanting to learn new skills. People may not respect a selfish tone whereby your desire is presented as only wanting to learn skills to build a resume’ so you can leave the company.
• Be resilient! The best indicator for success is resilience, not where you went to school, not your gpa, not how you were raised. Career success is based on resilience. Opportunities may not present themselves over night and you might need to be patient. You might need to point out a task here or there you would like to work on before the go-ahead is granted. Stay patient and be resilient.
Whether it’s phrases like, “the grass isn’t always greener” or “Love the One You’re With”, don’t miss the ‘forest for the trees’ and pass up opportunities ‘front and center.” Enjoy a career of learning!
Renee Fulton is President of Talis Group, Inc., a boutique Staffing & Executive Recruiting Firm that’s been around since 1995. We recruit for our clients in the areas of Accounting, Administrative & Clerical, Human Resources, Engineering, Legal and Manufacturing Management such as Plant Managers. We are a Female Business Enterprise. Take one thing off your to-do list today and call us!