Lack of Career Growth Depreciates Your Value Over Time

A week after I came back from vacation, I was ready to look for a job again. I updated my resume and e-mailed it to job banks, job recruiters and companies. A week later I was asked to go for an interview. A week after that, I was offered the job. The hiring process was pretty quick. It took about a month to go from being unemployed to employed. I felt blessed. I felt valued.

Three years later, that value I thought I had depreciated. The annual income raise I get were always at minimum. Perhaps my efforts were not enough to justify a higher raise. I wanted to do more but it is difficult to do more. The company has established standard operating procedures that made the company very efficient with its operations. The higher its efficiency, the lower the number of potential mistakes I can make. The less the mistakes I make, the less I learn. Those operating procedures have caused my learning curve to plateau. I’m tempted to blame the current system for my lack of learning but the truth was — I wasn’t creative enough to find other ways to learn more and create more value.

A Robot With Natural Intelligence and Emotions

My supervisor that time was really REALLY good at filtering pretty much every error in my work. I admired him for that. But it dulled my ability to think and solve problems. If I don’t fail, I won’t learn. Every time we go over my annual performance review, I always ask him which area of work I needed improvement on. The answer I always get goes along the lines of “Everything is fine but you just need to be more proactive”. I tried to be proactive — but it wasn’t easy.

The company is big — well managed. Information is filtered from employee to supervisor to manager to department leader, etc. Therefore, new ideas are hard to implement because it has to be filtered through all the management levels. It makes sense. The company doesn’t want to waste its time doing something that’s not worth it. But that’s exactly why it’s discouraging to implement and suggest new ideas — especially for some average employee like me.

So what am I left with? Do and finish all the tasks I’m given. I do that. I get paid. There’s no need to do more than that. Besides, it’s difficult to do more when things are done very efficiently.

Working for that company made me feel like a robot/machine — just do what you’re ‘programmed’ to do. I don’t need to think. There aren’t a lot of problems to think about. I’m no different than a factory machine — all the thinking/programming was already done for me, all that’s left is to execute what was asked. Again, it was difficult to fail. But it came with a price — the lack of learning.

Read the rest of the article at Improvement Curve

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