What critical skills do you need to manage your career and stay in work that you like to do?
It’s a hard, but critical question to answer if you are to be a Cubicle Warrior — a person who survives, and even thrives, in corporations.
Job skill is the sauce upon which careers are built over time. In every company I’ve been in, the employees will tell you on survey after survey that they don’t get enough training.
Some training, you need. A lot of what passes for training, you don’t.
If you examined what you wanted in your career, what skills would you need? Would you need to have a PMP certification? How about knowing code?
That stuff is easy to figure out, but surprisingly, few employees even go as far as creating a training plan for themselves.
The hard stuff to figure out is what your company wants from its employees so they can go after the “next big thing.”
If your senior management announces a company-wide plan to reduce costs, have you figured out how your department can reduce your costs?
If your manager asks for volunteers to support a project to increase productivity, do you volunteer — and come up with really good ideas to improve productivity?
If your department is having a tough time on figuring out X, do you independently go out and learn about X so you can help?
That stuff is “skills on the run” and hard to implement. But if you do learn and adapt, after a while your management team starts to see you as a person who knows what needs to be known and does what needs to be done.
Not classes. Not on-line training courses. Not conferences thousands of miles and dollars away. But right here and right now helping the team meet the business goals. That is the hard skill to learn.
Of course, you must have the right knowledge to do a skilled job. But you also must have the smarts to know what is needed by your manager, department, and company that can be done now in order to become a Cubicle Warrior.