Pigeon hole 101

Do you see your job as “just a job” or is it something you really enjoy? Now, how long have you been at your current position? A few weeks? Months? Years? Decades? Do you feel you have limited opportunities to take on more responsibility? Granted, this might bring back some negative memories for me, but I feel this is really important to write about. Regardless of how much time you spend in any one job, there’s always room for improvement.

Don’t let anyone put into a pigeon hole once you are in a job, as it is hard to get out. The good news, however, is that there is a way out. So that moment comes when you ask your manager for something more challenging; you have worked yourself up to having the talk, making the request, and making sure it the right time to ask. Now, what if there is road block that is standing in your way? The road block could be your manager not letting you do certain things or even a co worker.

It is natural to think that you can grow from a negative experience — in this case, being told that you cannot build out your role — but some of us are not so lucky. That is okay… don’t be too hard on yourself. You can make a plan of action.

One way to get out of the pigeon hole is to be active in your own skill set. If you are not getting what you need from your current job, it could be due to a number of reasons. Your peers don’t have enough time to train you. They won’t pay for your training or to take a class. What ever the reason is, you can work around it. Let’s just say you need to improve on your communication skills. So how can we tackle that? Easy — there is a ton of great information out there. We can listen to podcasts, read books, even reach out to a professionals who makes a living in the communications field. Even better, start asking friends who they might know who is a master of communications. You will be surprised what you will discover. Once you find that person, ask them if you can pick their brain over coffee or even on the phone via email.

Recently I listed to “How to be awesome at your job” with Nick Campbell as a guest. Nick Campbell is a motion graphic artist who started his own company. Not only is he a brilliant artist, he is a very positive and upbeat professional. In this speech, he said, “Be the worst one in the room…. be in better rooms.” This really stuck in my head and you know he is right! Everyone that you worked with started from some place, but what we also have are different time starts. This is not a race! Make room for the new you and the new goal. Yes, it’s easy to sit back and get complacent, but the best part about everything is that we have to pick ourselves up by our boot straps and keep on moving. If we don’t move, nothing will happen nor it will change. Take charge in your career. Ask your boss what you want to do and if you don’t get what you have been looking for then you know it is time to make a new move to another place that will help you grow. If you don’t want to move another company or job, then you have the option to at least change or improve your knowledge, skills, and abilities in your current role.

There are a lot of books, podcasts, and networking events available to you, so find the right one. Start talking to the people in your network, start reading different articles from your favorite periodicals, and maybe audit a class in a subject that interests you and will help you in your career. Get out there and start to look around!

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