Help your manager help you improve your job skills

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Yesterday, I noted that management is not set up to be your career coach if you work in a cube. In Beware managers as career coaches, I noted that your manager is mostly concerned with reaching department and/or company goals — not your career goals.

Use that to your advantage.

There are usually many job skills that you need to perform the work you like to do. If you work with the concept of job skills + job performance = more opportunity, job skills are very important.

The best way your manager can help you reach your career goals is to work with you to arrange class or on-the-job training to round out your skills for your current position or the next level up from your position.

Think of writing code for your job but then asking your manager to help you become a loan officer because that is your career aspiration. That is a very difficult request to both justify and provide as a manager.

Yet, your group may be using one programming language now and shifting to another later. Makes much more sense to be asking to learn the additional programming language as part of your job skills, doesn’t it? Easier for the manager to implement as well.

Consider what you are doing now and what skills would make what you are doing now more attractive to the company to achieve their goals — and help you reach your career objectives as well. That’s what to ask from management. It is a win for both the company and you.

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