Organisations have many reliable people who get things done, but they are not seriously considered for promotion. They are taken for granted – dependable anchors in the company but who have unused capabilities and unfulfilled potential. And the longer they are stuck, the lower their self-confidence about their ability to apply for new opportunities that arise.
The problem is that nothing stays the same. companies don’t stand still. New markets, new technology, new bosses, new strategies, new employees, all change the company and the work context. Also you change through those stages of life, where life is asking different things of you. Few things are clearer about working life today – that few jobs are for life. So if you are stuck in a job that you can do almost automatically or if you are coasting on a wave of good fortune, there is one thing you need to do: work on your career. Nobody else will do it for you. Many companies will use you to the limit and drop you when it suits.
I was advised early on to “Say what you’re going to do. Do it. Say you’ve done it”. So many people, so many subsidiaries of transnational companies omit the last bit – “Say you’ve done it” i.e. raise the profile of your achievements. Have your enthusiasm, expertise, willingness to take responsibility, noticed. Then you may be invited or you can go for that new project that extends your network. If not, plan for a job change. Not any ol’ job but one that fits with what life is asking of you and that gets you closer to your ideal job. Any new job or promotion should be a step towards a longer term career objective. So try defining your Ideal Work Preferences.
Ask “Why would an organisation hire me?” and do something to develop your personal and professional capabilities. As the man said – ‘Luck is Preparation meeting Opportunity’