A rubber band never fulfills its purpose until it is stretched. Everyone loves to be comfortable. We hardly want to be disturbed, inconvenienced or moved. Once we become comfortable with a circumstance, process, situation or order we don’t want to change. We want to remain like that because it’s really easy to remain on the same spot.
The key drivers that would compel most employees to desire promotion and change in level are financial reward, power and control. Imagine a set up where hierarchy is not in place and the income is not determined by the level of responsibility, I assure you; no one would take on any new task or responsibility. If there’s no benefit tied to any position in cash or power or control, I don’t see anyone fascinated about taking up such roles.
For example why would I want to take on the role of a supervisor in a team if I won’t get additional income and won’t be in charge of the team or anybody? The additional responsibility as a supervisor then becomes a stress factor and not a promotion.
Meaning the will of any employee to take on additional or more delicate or tedious responsibilities is usually motivated by additional compensation or control.
I believe this could be the general orientation or believe for many employees. And this may be the case because many employees see their appointment or employment as a situation where they ‘serve’ the organisation and get paid for it.
They see themselves strictly from the perspective of building an organisation. Many employees believe as they go to work every day they owe it to their employers to work and do what is required and genuinely earn their pay at the end of the month without any sense of guilt which in its viewpoint bad thing.
However, this, in my opinion, is a myopic viewpoint of what employment is really about. For Audio Version Click here
Of course ,your employers engage you because there is a task that needs to be done within the organisation and they believe you have what it takes to handle and deliver the responsibility hence, they employ you and remunerate you. But if you have a full understanding of what career truly means and represents you will realise employment is more than ‘work and get paid’.
You see we exist in a world that is extremely dynamic and vibrant. Things are changing every day. New ways of doing things, faster, quicker and more effective ways of getting things done due to the ever improving technology and new inventions.
In today’s business world filing cabinets and paper are vanishing and giving way to computers and information software technologies. Hand written letters that travel by post are being replaced by emails and phone messages. In fact in today’s business world, the whole of a business enterprise can be in the palm of your hands thanks to the ever improving and exciting technology of information.
You can bank on line, shop on line, chat on line and even enjoy a real time voice and visual interaction with another person thousands of kilometres away. Our world is indeed changing and fast too.
Many employees today would never have enjoyed the privilege of connecting with this pace and trend of global change outside of employment and career.
For many, your job exposed you to all this. For some, your visits to other countries and places is as a result of your employment and there are so many things you’ll never have known or learnt but for your employment.
What should this tell you? It means seeing your job from the perspective of ‘I work and serve then get paid for it’ is an aberration.
An employment is much more than that, in my opinion where you work beyond getting paid salaries and all that is also a school, an oven, a nursery where you’re daily nurtured and prepared to meet the daily dynamics of our ever changing and evolving world.
Your new competencies, ideologies, perspectives, believe, capacities and abilities are mostly as a result of where you work. Think about it, all that you know how to do now, who taught you, where did you learn them from? Even your fashion sense and civility you probably learnt by emulating and interacting with a boss, colleague, customer or in your industry. Face it, your career is probably the number one influencer of your personality and approach to living life today.
Where am I going with this? I’ll tell you. You see many of us don’t find it easy learning new things, changing roles and moving across functions if there is no financial or power benefits tied to it.
For many we have mastered our roles and responsibilities to the point where we seamlessly deliver on expectations. We understand the process, we know the numbers and have a deep knowledge of the task and can handle anything it brings. Hence work is relatively easier, less stressful and more conformable. Once there is an impending restructuring and reallocation of roles we become anxious and agitated, hoping it won’t affect us. Some begin to pray; others lobby, suck up and snitch to retain their current position except if they really don’t like their current position, team, boss or department hence, they desire a change.
You see your career belongs to you and where you deploy it is 100% your decision. Every time you chose to disrespect your career and see it as merely a job you lose control over it. Your career is definitely not limited to where you work right now, it’s transferrable. You cannot transfer the financial compensation from one organisation to another though, but you can leave with all the experience and exposure from a previous place of work! It goes with you, it stays with you, and no one can take it away from you. Even for those who get fired, the firing company cannot strip them of the experience and exposure.
Real and enduring gain from where you’re currently employed is not in the salary and perks alone but also in the experience.
What do you know? What have you learnt? How much is there to learn within your whole organisational set up? Do you know everything about where you work from A to Z? Procurement, supply chain, production, inventory, manufacturing, R and D, shipping, haulage, packaging, branding, marketing, sales, customer service, strategy, corporate affairs, legal and admin, HR, and the rest, have you made these various roles and responsibilities your business or you’re sticking strictly to your area and core competence and thinking you don’t need all the knowledge?
If you’re limited in your interest then you don’t qualify for an oversight position. You can’t lead the business; you can’t even successfully lead your team as you may not fully understand how your team fits into the overall scheme of things.
Managing directors don’t emerge on the account of academic knowledge and qualification; it’s mostly based on exposure to every aspect of a business and experience on the job.
If you’re gunning for the top I challenge you this morning to stretch out. Cover the entire business in your quest for knowledge and understanding and experience. Sticking to your comfort zone won’t help you, stretch out and take the lead.
Besides a day is coming when you’ll be retired and you’ll probably need to run your own company, you surely need the exposure and experience, c’mon stretch out!”
Enjoy your day.