On the surface it may seem a little odd that I am suggesting that you should maintain 100% control over your personal and professional development.
The reality is that too many people hand over the responsibility for their development to their employer. They have a parent-child view of their relationship. Their employer ‘the parent’, will look after them and make sure they are properly developed.
The problem here is two-fold.
1. What if the employer doesn’t develop you? and
2. What if they don’t develop you properly?
The answer to both of these questions is that you suffer. No doubt the organisation will suffer too, but the organisation can get rid of you and then you really suffer. The risks associated with handing over 100% of the responsibility for your development are far too high. Yet that is exactly what most employees do.
Even if your employer is a ‘good‘ employer and provides lots of opportunities for you to develop, be prepared to go outside your organisation to develop the things that you need to develop. Be prepared to invest in your development. Treat the opportunities that your ‘good’ employer provides as a bonus.
This way you’ll continue to develop your talents and you will continue to be the best that you can be. Your talent won’t be at risk of being reduced over time.
Not developing your talents is guaranteed to cut your employability and long-term security. Not an outcome you want!
What I find interesting is that I spend about 30% of my time working with talented undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD university students. These students give of their time to get access to the various development programs that I facilitate. They don’t have to attend these programs. They are in control of their development.
Yet when they get a job, these very same students then hand 100% of the responsibility for their development over to their employer. It sounds crazy because it is!
My message is simple. Maintain control over your development. Forever. Period.