Every company consists of employees that get the wheels in motion.
From a one man band, which is lonely and tough all the way through to a company with 500 people on a team without people, business growth and success will not happen. A lot of resources and training goes into new hires, induction periods, shadowing, meeting other departments, getting trained on systems and processes and then becoming embedded in a role takes time. The problem can be after the initial 6 months to a year, you might be rolling along, executing well, getting your job done but actually no longer learning the same way you would like to. Certainly your personal development is as much up to you as it should be to others around you. You may not want a senior leadership job, a massive progressive career but those that want to accelerate their potential and learn and experience new things will do so when they take charge of their own destiny. The world owes no one a living and enterprise is not for the faint hearted. Corporate careers are much more likely planned for you but equally you can take some responsibility of the future you wish to make.
What is personal development?
Development typically means training, growing your skill set and learning to develop new strategies and techniques to improve your work efficiency and boost your outcomes. More skilled people frankly get paid more. The more knowledge and experience you gather the more value you bring to a company. The more rounded and knowledgeable you are and respectful of the differences in each part of a company, of the value that each department and what it brings to growth momentum, these things matter. I believe every individual is responsible for winning the race for sales game. No matter what your title is, you influence the speed at which a business runs. Every person can bring ideas, prospects, innovations, better ways of executing each part of the company process from communications, to visual quality, to the way you boost the cultural atmosphere and to the way you personally behave and bring infectious certainty to the potential of your company. I have not been doing this as well as I would like to across my investments recently and therefore I learn, having repeated a mistake of over stretching myself that focus also adds value. Are you singularly focused on your key performance indicators? Do you even have clarity regarding what is expected of you in your role?
A lot of how we learn comes through the “being there,” part of work life but this too becomes challenging and more difficult without our own personal endeavours. As individuals are learning to combine both business and life approaches, as the dinosaur chief executives finally learn to trust individuals to work from where it makes sense the disjoint of working individuals in one room, one place means it is more difficult to absorb experiences an learnings from others. We ourselves are working harder to gather more consistently to gain mixed benefits but I also know as I have to be more distant, I have to encourage my leaders to gather their teams to gain from each other. I am not hierarchical, and I believe I learn as much from the younger in our companies as I can from the brilliant people I employ. As industries keep growing and new technologies rise it can be hard to keep up with the pace if you don’t look for specific courses, and training, indeed if you don’t put your hand up to ask for more. Shadow executives look for a mentor and learn to ask questions at the right time when someone more experiences can share their wisdom.
I heard a while ago of an exchange in the lift that happened between a senior executive being questioned as to why the company -believe it not – did not exploit the sales possibilities of Facebook…within weeks there was a new income stream which has not brought considerable value to that company. What can you bring in ideas, suggestions, questions and thoughts which could also see your own experiences accelerated, your own chances to grow, learn and lead come to fruition?
Why should you search to develop?
The current job marketing is extremely competitive in most places and keeping up, indeed being determined not to float along for me is a necessary of any business that want to lead to word class results. Your attitude, your determination not to stand still, your approach to adding value and growing your own value effect you whole life possibilities and the fact is money earned is the way to pay for experiences and an extraordinarily more interested experience on the earth. I think your personal accountability to drive forwards should be imperative to maintaining your job, but it will also open gateways to a better role or even a pay rise.
How should I ask for more training?
The first thing you must do before you ask anything of management is RESEARCH.
What skills are needed for you to improve your success in your role? And why will they do this? Have you set yourself your own personal life goals and life plan? This piece alone has changed all of the outcomes I have created as I built a life plan and then worked hard to execute it.
Having solid research and facts behind your request is the best way for you to achieve the training you want especially if the training you are looking to do is particularly pricey. (TOP TIP: Make sure you have looked at and tried other ways of achieving these skills, if there is a cheaper option, that isn’t as good make sure you know how to answer why you’ve chosen your specific one). Go to talks, apply to courses, shadow great people some of the best learning is seeing what others do on their job.
Do you know the BENEFITS to your employer?
Okay, so maybe the skill might benefit you, but will it benefit your team and the company in short and long term? This is particularly important if you’re asking for time in addition to funding. They might be losing manpower in the short-term but is it worth it long term? It also helps to build certainty but no guarantee that you will stay with the company and make use of your new skill…the good news is if things change you are more qualified for when you move on.
Depending on the cost of development, think about when you make your requests for personal development…is it the right time?
If the company is suffering from budget cuts, or very early stage making losses in a small company, things are very different from being on a corporate development programme. Now might not be the right time unless you are sure you’ll make the money back – quickly. Or if it’s a particularly busy period and you are needed at all working hours but you’ll need two days off for 4 months, you can bet that it won’t be the time to ask. Be aware of what’s going on around you before you make the request. I have worked very long hours in my career and when all things are equal the person that works both smarter and harder, the person that time manages well, that walks fast, literally moves with a dynamic attitude, these are the people that go further faster. Your attitude over your aptitude count. Expect very different environments from the world of corporate and the world of enterprise but in the world of corporate do not discount the value that executives give to those willing to innovate, those willing to challenge the status quo. I loathe the outdated fiasco of an idea that you have “be,” in a role a certain amount of time and although I am sure some roles with some sets of experience count I’d rather have rule breakers, those that prioritise by profitable outcomes, those willing to challenge the system s long as they bring commercial return on invested value. That I support all day long, but you have to give to get.
To summarise you want to make sure that it’s mutually beneficial, but all employees are assets to the company, and if you have a way to increase your value and put more into the company with a thoughout proposition for more training don’t put it off. Ultimately, no one but you can be responsible for your personal growth. (Just remember to communicate your new skills, what you have learned, how you perhaps can contribute differently and more, and don’t forget to speak out and volunteer to use new skills.)
About the author
Lara Morgan, mother, entrepreneur, investor in wickedly cool life improving brands like Scentered.com, Gate8-luggage, KitBrix, Dryrobe and Global Amenities
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