When you got out of university and started working, there might have been times when you felt that you were stagnating. This is the seed feeling that could eventually get you questioning if that job is for you.
Most millennials, most of whom would already be working by now, have the least staying capacity in their first job. They feel disillusioned fast because they had high hopes after graduating. But the problem could have been the lack of a better perspective. The world doesn’t automatically open itself up. You need to find the doors of opportunities and open them yourself.
These are some simple things that you, as an employee, could do to keep improving your skills and consequently leverage yourself in the company.
Internalize the company’s values.
If you think of your job mechanically, as something that would give you a paycheck every month, it would be difficult to find the opportunities. Several leadership methods, such as the intuitive approach to achieving excellence explained in miick.com, place great importance on knowing yourself, or for this matter, your company.
What are its goals? Why had it been established? Where is it heading? Once you know the answers to these key questions, you will be able to situate yourself within its momentum. It will give you a sense of importance, that what you’re doing is relevant for the company to get to where it wants to be.
Hopefully, this will also be enough motivation for you to want to improve yourself. You feel that you are part of the company’s movement, and you would want to contribute more.
Learn about the functions of all the departments.
Employees are often just focused on their work and don’t know the other people’s significance in the company. Knowing what others do is not being meddlesome. It understands how the company operates.
It’s also good in unexpected cases when you need to explain things that are beyond your department. There would probably be a designated person in your company who could explain everything, but it’s still impressive if any employee has a grasp of the company’s entire operations. Companies are discouraged from compartmentalizing work as it could limit employees from understanding the whole context of their work.
Check what staff development options your company is offering.
Often, companies sponsor workshops, training, and seminars on different topics throughout the year. Some of these are even certificated courses, while others are informal learning sessions. Don’t limit yourself to those that have certificates only. Take part in all that you could use for your work. Even those that are only vaguely related could come in handy one day.
Be sure, however, that you don’t overload yourself with self-improvement initiatives. Feel free to join these staff development sessions for as long as you’re not behind your work. Don’t make your life more stressful. Prioritize what you must get done first before looking to supplement yourself.
Don’t hesitate to request to join skills enhancement activities outside your company.
If you are hoping to specialize in a line of work, grab all the opportunities to advance your knowledge of it. A separate institution could offer it. Ask whether your company is willing to send you, and maybe even pay for the expenses. If not, see if you could take it on official orders. Even if you pay for it, there will be no salary deductions. Neither would it be counted as a leave of absence.
Your company might ask for some trade-offs, like you would be required to share what you learned with other staff, or you might be asked to do additional work related to what you’re attending.
Volunteer to share your skills with other staff.
Learning is not only a one-way process. When you transfer knowledge, your colleagues who are not experts on that topic or skills would have a different perspective. They could make you see how you’re doing things in ways you haven’t considered before.
For example, your expertise might be in making audio-visual presentations. One of your colleagues might not be well-versed with new applications and programs, so you would have to explore how to do the same effects using old or basic computer programs. This could refresh you with your skills on that or discover ways to control old programs.
Volunteer to take on new assignments.
You learn best when doing hands-on work. Don’t be afraid if you have never encountered it before and you might face some problems. Overcoming the challenge would mean you have leveled up your skill.
Whether the job you have right now is for you or not could be a simple matter of perspective. No position is ever stagnant. If you are looking for quick recognition and monetary compensation, then that’s another matter. But if you focus first on improving yourself and making more contributions through your work, it’s up to you to make the best of what you have.