Aug 012014 2 Responses

Stop Waiting On Your Boss

It’s not your boss’ job.

If you have a boss, hopefully you have one who is sincerely concerned about you as a person. They care for you, your family, and your career. If you have one of those bosses, give thanks because not everyone does. Many people work for bosses who care nothing about them personally. Employees are seen as tools to be used until they no longer have value. If you have a good boss, be grateful and realize the rarity of your experience.

Yet even if your boss is good, your career is not their job. Hopefully they consider it. On occasion they might even assist you with it, but make no mistake—it is not their job. (See: Three Things Every Employee Should Do)

Your boss has too many responsibilities to be in charge of your career. While they have a moral obligation to assist you where possible, they are not responsible for it.

Too many employees believe their careers are in the control of the people for which they work. This makes employees feel:

  • trapped
  • helpless
  • unable to change their situation

That might have been the case forty years ago. There was a time when an employee worked for one company his entire career and one boss could make or break him, but that is no longer the case.

You are in charge of you. (See: You Chose This)

While we all need assistance from others, one boss will not make or break our career.

The only person who will make or break you is you.

This is the problem for many employees—they want everything handed to them.

They believe if they wait their turn, put in their time, and do what they are told to do, they will get the promotion, raise or responsibility they think they deserve. They think they are waiting on their boss.

Chances are, their boss is waiting on them.

Without a doubt, their career is waiting on them. (See: A Secret to Productivity)

You are in charge of you and that is especially true in a culture where there is so much freedom for employees. While the choice is not solely up to an employee, they do play an equal role in agreeing to a working relationship. I am not forced to work for a company I do not like, a boss I do not respect, or in a job I do not love. I am free to quit anytime I choose. And I can pursue other opportunities at my own desire.

There are three major areas where my boss should assist me with my career, but in the end I am completely responsible for my own growth:

Knowledge. Never has there been a time where learning new information has been so readily available. If an employee isn’t growing on their own in the area of knowledge, they are doing a disservice to themselves and their company. A boss might advise a good direction to learn new concepts, but an employee is fully responsible for doing the learning. (See: You Always Have an Excuse)

Experience. This is the area in which people tend to be the most dependent on a boss. We think we can’t gain experience until we are given an opportunity. While there may be some truth to that, experience can be gained in many ways. First an employee should ask for more responsibility and experience. This will make their desire to grow evident to their employer. Yet even if their boss says ‘no,’ they can gain experience in other areas. Leadership skills can be developed by assisting non-profits or volunteering at church. Understanding can grow as you learn from the experience of others—listening and evaluating what they are going through.

Skills. If you are waiting until you get a job to develop the skills necessary for the job, you will never have the skills or the title. The world has changed greatly and employees cannot delay learning new skills. This should be an ongoing process. Good companies assist the process, but good employees are always learning new skills no matter the expectations they have at work. Communities, colleges, universities, and non-profits are always offering free or inexpensive training. Some are technical while others apply to any profession. Leadership, communication, public speaking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are things which should be learned no matter what your job. (See: 10 Communication Posts Your Co-Workers Should Read)

Many employees have believed a lie regarding their career. They think their future is dependent on a boss or company. That might have been true a few decades ago, but that is not true today. You are in charge of your career. Learn, grow, and expand whether your boss helps you or not.

2 Responses to Stop Waiting On Your Boss
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