What Gear Are You In?

You are the only person in total control of your career.

You are the driver.

So which gear are you in right now?

Development is something we want, some even crave it, but often takes a backseat in our busy lives. Your life balance is a unique blend of activities aimed at succeeding both within and outside of the workplace.

I am a believer in the saying that you “work to live, not live to work”. So how do you get the development to help you along that journey and improve the life that you live?

Let’s countdown to your development traffic lights turning green.

  • Map your route. Think about where you are right now and where you want to be. What does the route look like and what might you need to do on the journey? Think about the tasks, duties and expectations of your current role and evaluate what more could you be doing in this space to develop knowledge and skills to demonstrate competence to move towards your goal.

Once you know what the journey looks like you can start to plan what activities you need to take part in to bridge that gap. This could be knowledge, skills or a blend of both.

When you know what your development gap looks like you can identify activities and opportunities to bridge that gap.

  • Get your car pointing in the right direction.  Is your current role going to help you get to where you want to be?

Stephen Covey summed this up perfectly by saying “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

So which wall is your ladder up against? Evaluate where you are right now. If the role you are doing is not going to get you to where you want to be then your ladder may well be up against the wrong wall. Your ladder is against the right wall but it is missing some rungs? Can you get support external to your role which will get you climbing?

Have a look around you and adjust the ladder so it is leaning against the right wall.

  • You are in control, only you can drive it. Are you ready? Nobody else is going to be your chauffeur. Act now. Fasten your seatbelt, start your engine and put your career into gear. Start planning activities to develop your career, fill the gaps and evaluate your key learnings.

You will be amazed how many people are eager to help you once you have recognised your development need and your traffic lights are on green.

So which gear is your development in?

Hopefully not in reverse! If it is though, put on the breaks and think about what you are achieving.

If your development is in neutral then take the first steps and pop it into 1st gear, you will find yourself shifting gears before you know it.

If you have momentum in your development and are cruising in 3rd or 4th gear, what do you need to do to get into 5th?

You control the speed, which passengers you want to bring with you and which diversions you think are worth taking and which are just a distraction.

Great people will help you along the way and create opportunities for development so talk to people around you and identify sponsors that will help.

Above all, just keep focused on bridging the gap and remember that you are the driver.