‘Tis the season!! There are two things that I look forward to during the holidays — hearing “Silent Night” by the Temptations and watching the 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” on TBS.
Oh, nothing says Christmas like watching Ralphie beat up Spike and beg his parents and Santa for a Red Rider BB Gun.
Everyone that heard Ralphie’s wish warned him that the BB gun wasn’t a good fit for him. That it was too dangerous for him. That he was a bit over his head and that maybe he should wait until he could better handle it.
Like Ralphie, we all want things that we probably aren’t ready for. Not ready because we haven’t experienced enough, maybe because its not a good fit or maybe even because we haven’t prepared ourselves for it. Promotions are kinda like that Red Rider BB gun. They’re not meant for everyone. Every promotion or new job posting that comes up isn’t meant to be applied for…at least not right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if you haven’t done a particular job before that you shouldn’t try it or be given the opportunity to make the attempt. But know before taking that step if you have the strength and responsibility to handle the power or “kick” that this new opportunity will offer and deliver. We must know our own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we can’t even handle where we are now. It tickles me when employees want promotions or more responsibility and they aren’t even disciplined enough to do their current job well. Prove yourself where you are and the opportunities will present themselves. Decision makers will take note of the discipline and drive and they may even offer you something when you least expect it.
Managing (people or projects) require more than just being good at what you currently do. An employee that is the best at what they do may not necessarily be able to teach and motivate others to do that job. Top performers need to ask themselves before considering moving into a supervisory role:
- Do I even LIKE working WITH people?
- Can I effectively communicate the techniques that make me successful?
- Can I identify and communicate the techniques that will make YOU successful?
- Have I already been a positive example and do my coworkers (future employees) already have respect for me?
If a position or company aren’t a good fit, rather than focusing on trying to be successful, you’ll be too busy trying to get out!
It’s not just enough to want more. Those who want more must put themselves in position to receive. Positioning oneself means being educated about what it is we want. Educated by picking the brains of those that have done it before. Interviewing them about the pitfalls, challenges, benefits of making the move. Reading what experts have to say, comparing industries and trends, helping to determine if its really worth the change.
There’s nothing worse than asking for something, getting it and not knowing what to do with it. Old folk used to say “Everything that looks good to you, ain’t good for ya.” Sometimes when those you trust the most tell you that you’ll shoot your eye out, they may be speaking from experience and it may be advice worth listening to. When reality or a falling ice sickle hit you in the eye, it’s feels even worse when you realize it could’ve been avoided by heeding a warning or two and being patient.
So be careful what you ask for because you just might get it! Ralphie did and got a black eye to show for it.
Today’s post was written by Justin Harris. Justin is an HR professional and cigar aficionado specializing in Employee Relations, Management Development and Organizational Behavior. He has spent the last 10 years helping managers in higher education, banking and the retail industry get the most out of themselves and their employees.
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