It wasn’t that many years ago when having and keeping ones’ job was the desire and intent of most. Due to a suffering economy we didn’t worry a lot about advancement up the success ladder because success came to be defined as ‘holding on to my job’. That was then.
Today, with a healthier business environment, employees are faced with tremendous opportunities to advance … if that’s one’s desire. And if it is, the ‘question remains … whose job is it to make this happen? It’s a question that has been contemplated for decades. In coaching individuals within many types of companies, the answers I hear fall into two distinct groups of people. It’s either viewed as ‘their’ job or ‘mine’. Allow me to explain.
If you are one who believes your advancement and related success is ‘their’ job it probably looks like this. You are dependable, you work hard at your job, you’re participatory as you need to be in working with others and meet all expectations of the position. And what you expect is that acting as such, you will be noticed and then rewarded … with salary increases and advancement. This doesn’t sound like a poor employee in any way and yet, the control of their success has been handed over to others. Granted, this may work, however, what this person doesn’t know is when and if their performance will be noticed and rewarded as they hope it will be.
The one who sees their success and advancement at work as ‘mine’ is going to be the same type of employee when it comes to work ethic, effort and cooperation. However, there is one distinct difference. This person also accepts and takes on the responsibility of making their success happen. So what does this mean? In addition to performing well in their work, the ‘job is mine’ individual devotes effort and time to:
- Letting it be known that they have the desire, willingness and intention of making themselves eligible for advancement by learning and using the necessary skills required
- Getting clarity from ‘the boss’ or HR as to the specific skills that, once mastered, would allow them to be considered for the next higher rung on the ladder
- Determining and taking steps to learn these needed skills … some of which through training willingly provided by the company and some that one may need to learn externally and on their own time and perhaps at their own expense
- Letting it be known to the right people that you are available to fill-in where and when there is a need in another area given you are a fast learner
A dozen years ago, author Jack Canfield wrote a book entitled “The Success Principles”. The underlying foundational step is that if and when we want something in our life to happen, we must take 100% responsibility for it happening. In the book he quotes Jim Rohn, a noted business philosopher. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.
As a coach, much of the work we do is to help individuals become ‘unstuck’ in terms of their growth and overall success. The magic key is to support them in their transition to ‘Mine’. Then, the world … their world … has a much greater likelihood to truly become reality. It’s all in the attitude that makes the difference.