You can be equipped for a job but ill-equipped for success beyond that job. The reason is that most companies will train you to be great within the confines of that organisation and the way they work, not beyond it. This is why if you stay with one company for too long it can sometimes go against you because some employees may feel that you are too used to another companies way of working and may have difficulty adapting to theirs.
I value loyalty and personally I’m not one to change jobs every five minutes but I also believe that variety is valuable and the more varied you’re working experiences are the more equipped you are to handle a variety of situations and people. I think the reason why many people are frustrated and bored in their jobs is because they’ve simply stayed too long. Many people are too scared to look for something new; a job might be mundane and boring but many will say ‘at least it’s safe’. Staying in a job too long can knock your confidence and give you the feeling that you can’t do anything else and find anything better. I’m reminded of something I heard recently from a Pastor I know; “Never be afraid to lose your job to find your calling/purpose in life”.
I believe we all know in our hearts when it’s time to move on and look for a new challenge but many times we ignore the nudge and settle for the safe option, in this post I want to encourage you to embrace the ‘nudge’.
I’ve always made it a priority to train not just for where I am but for where I’m going this has meant that although I haven’t made many career moves they’ve tended to be big career jumps, because I’ve been prepared for promotion, for example:
|Secured my first marketing job 3 days after my last university exam, before I had my results||I knew what employers would be looking for, tailored my CV accordingly and applied for jobs while studying for exams|
|Promoted from Marketing Coordinator to Head of Marketing within 8 weeks of arriving in a new job||I had the necessary experienceI had industry standard professional qualifications not just a degreeI worked to the standard before I had the title|
Equipping a team as well as yourself
As a manager I also train and coach my team to equip themselves for success within the company and beyond it in the following ways:
- By sending them on trainings that are relevant to their work as well as the direction that the industry is moving in
- I deliberately get them to work to goals tied to the company’s success as well as their personal development goals
- I encourage them to stay close to the industry and build their own networks in and outside the company
- I constantly challenge their assumptions and encourage them to ask better questions, after all, the quality of learning is determined by the quality of our questions
In this way my role is twofold, both manager and a mentor.
So here are my 6 top tips for equipping yourself for success inside and outside the walls of the company you work for:
1. Build your own networks inside and outside the company
LinkedIn makes this a whole lot easier than it used to be
2. Stay close to your industry
This includes connecting with key influencers, becoming a member of relevant trade organisations and attending industry events. For me this meant becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing very early on, through which I am now Chartered and sit on the local non-executive committee. I also connect with marketers I admire across social media.
3. Read broadly
For me this is crucial it’s almost impossible to stay ahead of the game without reading; everything from, books to blogs and biographies
4. Be committed to continuous development
Continue your training and remember that ‘a degree is just that a degree of knowledge’ as my Pastor recently said. With the rate of change and knowledge increase in most industries, you cannot afford to stop at a degree. For me the CIM CPD program has been invaluable in this regard. It’s not your employers responsibility to keep your knowledge relevant and up-to-date, it’s yours so live life learning.
5. Have a balanced life
Make time for a range of interests, research shows it makes you better at your job as it broadens your vision and improves creativity.
6. Always be preparing for where you’re going
Focus on the future not just where you are today, remember a job is no longer for life it’s just for a season
Finally, don’t live to work, work to live.