Something I have noticed throughout my career is that in many organizations there is a disconnect between doing a job well and being prepared to succeed. This disconnect leads to frustration as employees, on every level including management, fail to meet the expectations passed down through the chain of command.
Having worked in the education industry for many years, I have been exposed to others' frustrations many times. A lot of the professionals who experienced frustration in the workplace did so because they failed to make the connection between their job and their ability to do that job. I am not talking about the simple day-to-day tasks but more so about the ability to take an assignment and turn it into a game changing success story.
The College Network partners with major universities that are recognized for having some of the best college programs to offer busy adults with a variety of professional certificate programs in areas such as; Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Paralegal, Human Resources, Leadership, and Food Service Management that can all be completed 100% online.
Most of the people we work with realize they have the ability to get the job done but fail to reach beyond the norm, because they don’t focus on professional development (i.e. themselves).
I would like to share a brief story that might help shed some light on what I am saying… In my story there are two people responsible for cutting wood (person A & person B). Over the course of a week the two wood cutters are being evaluated against each to see why there is a big discrepancy in their production. Their manager sends someone out to evaluate each wood cutter. The outcome of the evaluations is noted below:
Evaluation Person A: Person A works tirelessly throughout each day barely ever stopping to take breaks. Their hard work and dedication is the best I have seen and there is no way anyone could keep up!
Evaluation Person B: Person B was diligent and hard working but often stopped to take breaks. Person B had it down to a science but I fear their productivity will not be as good because they seemed to work a lot less.
The manager brings both of these people into the office to go over their evaluations and match them with overall productivity. As it turns out, person A was 30% less productive then person B and both the manager and person A were shocked at the results. Person A yelled out, “How could you cut more wood when you sat around taking breaks all day...” With a confused yet confident look person B replies by saying, “I wasn’t taking breaks; I was sharpening my saw!"
The moral of the story is that you can get ahead in your career and achieve amazing things but it takes more than just plain hard work.
If you are looking to move into a new industry or move up in your current industry then you should seriously consider seeking out professional development opportunities. Being committed to developing and/or diversifying your skill set (i.e. sharpening your saw) can help you achieve personal and professional satisfaction.
At The College Network, we specialize in helping busy adults achieve personal and professional satisfaction through education. If you’re looking for Paralegal training courses, a lean six sigma certification course, a PMP preparation course or other courses in project management, we can help.
The one thing I ask from the people we work with is that no matter what you do please don’t just do nothing. While there may never be a “good time” to take on more responsibility by getting started in a program, I can assure you that there will never be a “good time” to suffer the repercussions of not developing yourself when you had the chance.