Where is that time anyway? When we are pursuing a Ph.D., juggling life as a student or mid-career professional, so often, we only catch ourselves off course a bit later than we would have liked.
The world of work, as we have known it has been changing for a long time now. If you are in the United States, the change has been visible…
- The highways we paid tolls on used to have people manning booths and giving out change. Now, we have EZPass and exact change lanes!
- The supermarket and grocery store checkout lines had cashiers and more lanes open. Now, we have self-checkouts!
- The number of supervisory (aka people management) roles are decreasing. A great example, next time you go shopping, look out for the robots (yup, I am serious) that now perform repeatable tasks of checking “status” and reporting up.
- And so many more…if only we paused to take it in.
Thanks to much-needed automation and business process improvements, essential for the evolution and optimization of business, the current workforce (yes, that is us!) are directly or indirectly in the path of changing work models that offer significant growth opportunities and yes, challenges.
The way I like to think about it is this: a challenge is an opportunity to rethink and reimagine the possibilities previously undiscovered.
As individuals, we spend a tremendous amount of time at work and put our hearts and souls into doing our very best to deliver stellar results, and look to grow with and within the organization. Passion, purpose, and growth are essential contributors to happiness. Happy employees find intrinsic motivation to explore, experiment and excel in their work through moments of Flow. That work happiness is abundantly positive and contagious in a way that radiates through every interaction with every person.
In the landscape of robots, robotic process automation, and AI that look to optimize work environments, there are naturally fewer vertical job opportunities as organizations realign to provide abundant lateral growth opportunities and training for their employees.
In the fast-changing world of work, it is natural to feel disappointed and frustrated when conversations with the manager on career-growth prospects either do not exist or are bland and uni-directional. We are human. It’s natural to want recognition and additional responsibilities that offer growth to learn something new.
When things go South, there are early warning signs in conversations such as “why you are not qualified” rather than “how you can acquire skills needed.” Then, out of the blue, that position you aspired to have and worked very hard to get goes to someone else.
Yes, it happened. You just got passed over for a promotion, and the only thought that fills your mind is that you must quit and find a new job on the internet!
How about we change the situation to our advantage? It is in moments of utter despair that we are closest to finding our success. But that can only happen if we can recover fast and find our inner strength to ReEmerge stronger and more resilient than we have ever been before.
- Easier said than done, yes, but why not consider this event as a welcome sign for us to get out of our comfort zone and try something new in another part of our organization?
- Start by identifying your passion and your purpose. Find alternative applications in emerging fields and cool new projects. The human mind has unlimited potential, so believe in yourself. You will be amazed at the strengths you discover within yourself.
We are amazing Individual Centers of Excellence (I.C.O.E.), and we own and drive our career to define our success.
We can grow in any direction we want and go as far as we choose to and do so at the pace that works for us.
Yes, take that vacation time off or mental health day to relax, recharge, and reactivate the inner core strengths that propel you forward. Identify new areas of growth within yourself and the organization.
You can leverage your tenure, experience, and expertise to your advantage and help support your organization’s business goals. Cross-pollination provides an excellent opportunity to add your uniquely human perspective.
Continuous learning is critical to personal and professional growth and helps to future proof your career, so keep learning! There are so many free and low-cost online options including Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and also check for learning options within your organization.
Yes, there is hope, and there are new areas of growth…just not where you expected to find them.
- Go North! Yes, get out of your comfort zone and explore opportunities in other areas of the business operations using your translatable and scalable skills.
- Go East! Look at job opportunities posted on your organization’s career portal. Set up a quick 15-min conversation with that hiring manager to discuss their expectations of skills, responsibilities, and business outcomes to see if the opportunity is for you. Is that not cool?
- Go West! Quickly learn a brand-new skill that is in demand and explore lateral movement in your group by asking your manager to expand your role to increase your responsibility.
Please, invest in your career success. Build on your tenure and grow with and within your organization.
So, have you identified any early warning signs? If so, have you looked at your career portal to initiate a conversation with another hiring manager?
Oh, the places you can go, if only you keep driving. Best of Luck!
(Originally published on LinkedIn November 4, 2019. Republished with permission.)