Imagine the scenario – it’s appraisal time again and the plaintive cry of a hard working administrator – let’s call him Ahmed for the sake of argument – can be heard echoing through the office – “Hey boss – how come I never get promoted? Ahmed is very upset and feels he deserved to be promoted recently but was overlooked yet again. He argues that he has performed consistently well for years and yet never seems to get noticed when opportunities for promotion come around. One possible reason may be that poor beleaguered, passed-over, Ahmed may not understand that his personal development is actually his responsibility. It’s not enough to work hard, you need to be stand out from the crowd.
Our personal development is the responsibility of each one of us. Yes, I’m afraid your boss is likely to have enough on his or her plate without taking on your career development as a project too! So grasp the nettle, be proactive, don’t wait for your employer to source a suitable training course – find one you like and bring it to the attention of your employer. It is likely your employer will pay for a course if you can make them see the benefit to the company of you attending it.
Additionally your personal development can also include increasing your knowledge and skills by taking the initiative to read appropriate books and trade magazines. If your company has a mentoring scheme, ask if you can have a mentor. Volunteer to take on a project next time the opportunity comes around, and keep yourself up to date with what’s happening in your company.
If you don’t already have one, put together a plan for your own personal development. In this way, you’ll be able to focus on definite objectives as well as track and measure your progress. When you take responsibility for your own development, it shows others that you are serious about your growth and your career.
Also take on board any feedback that you’ve received. Be open to it even if it wasn’t exactly flattering! See it as an opportunity for you to become more self aware. Self-awareness is an essential first step toward maximizing your management skills and is also a first step to becoming emotionally intelligent. Self-awareness can improve your judgment and help you identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth. Don’t be downhearted to discover you have some areas of weakness – we all have them. Make a plan to try and become better but remember none of us are equally good at everything. You will definitely have strengths too and focus on developing these areas even more. Very often, even if our overall feedback is positive, the sting of criticism lasts longer than the balm of praise! Multiple studies have shown that people pay disproportionate attention to negative information. Try not to fall into this trap.
So next time that opportunity for promotion comes around, be ready for it!