Is the Holy Grail of Development You?

Online ReputationI’ve never been one to mince words about workplace topics. I’ll admit  this may cause a bit of momentary stress for some of my clients. However, our work lives are far too important to take lightly or “baby”.  (For some reason, “walking on eggshells” almost certainly leads to more problems and fewer solutions.) By and large, it is simply more advantageous to lay the cards on the table, than to “bluff”.

Which leads me to the topic of development – that often nebulous career goal that we all seem to seek. We all want to improve and progress career-wise. The problem is that we often sit back and wait for others to craft that path and send us an invitation. Why wait? I am giving you permission to take responsibility for your own development.

Some things to consider:

  • Master competition. Get a hold of yourself. Just because your colleague was recognized – doesn’t mean that you are doomed. Becoming effective in today’s workplace requires being able to process the ever-present notion of competition.  (You can read “7 Ways to Deal with Workplace Competition” here.)
  • Reflect on your failures. Yes, I said it – dwell on your failures. Whether the failure was an overlooked opportunity to collaborate, or a missed client deadline – go back and re-visit them. It might be uncomfortable, but it will be time well spent. You’ll likely learn something that you can apply toward the future.
  • Think big. Think of your industry carefully and name the 5 skills or traits that anyone would need to succeed going forward. Imagine you are speaking to an intern in your profession – and that your guidance is the only career advice they will ever hear. What would you tell them that they will need to succeed? Then take your own advice.
  • Pinpoint obstacles. The only real expert of you, is you – so get to know your career “self”. I find that utilizing exercises to reveal hidden issues (and talent) is a great option to explore. Try the one explained here, by renowned coach Marshall Goldsmith. Who knows what you’ll uncover?

What role have you played in your own career development? Tell us your story.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is a Workplace Psychologist and coach. She also writes for Talent Zoo and Linkedin.

2 thoughts on “Is the Holy Grail of Development You?

  1. I completely agree – I was able to move up from a clerical level to a mid-level manager by taking an active role in the company and showing my willingness to learn and tackle new things.


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