Fast Company

No Day Like Today to Grow Your Career

In his blog, "Vacation Time is a Great Time to Establish Yourself," Bud Bilanich sites the opportunity presented for a person to get noticed by taking additional duties when co-workers are on vacation. I agree with this sentiment, but the opportunities do not stop there.

There are many more instances where a person can take that step to move beyond their positions current boundaries. Besides co-workers' vacations (or even maternity or disability leave), it can happen when a colleague is overworked or overwhelmed by a new project and needs assistance with duties. Of course, these duties may appeal to you and attempts can be made to take them on permanently. It is a similar thing with the instances a colleague leaves for another company and there is a hole left in the organization.

Looking at the bigger picture, these rare events in your company should not be the only time a person takes on new duties. Every day should be an opportunity for such growth. Pitch a new idea to your manager and explain how you could implement it with only a minimal hit on your daily duties. Or volunteer to manage new work when a new project comes up. And if someone else gets the new project, you could always propose an addition to the project that you could handle.

Careers are living things and they can only grow by the amount you feed it.

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3 Comments

  • Barbara Pagano

    WOW. I started with Kevin's blog then went to Bud's then back to Kevin's. What great thoughts for growing careers! The benefits to grow, learn a new skill set and step up a career via a vacation or volunteer opportunity are smart. But don't forget about sabbaticals. Sabbaticals continue to have steady growth in organizations today. The payoffs obviously happen for the one taking the sabbatical (refreshed, new perspectives, higher engagement upon return) but those left behind have tremendous possibilities to grow their own skills. Through the work coverage process in place- a bidding system for the chance to take on a part of a person's job or volunteer - an individual can try on part of a job for a longer period of time (4-6 weeks is about average)than a vacation allows. And there's usually a process in place to get feedback on how they performed the task. Yet another opportunity for talent to grow.
    Glad I found you guys. Good stuff.

  • John Agno

    Of course, an alternative way to advance your career is to through a new job at a different employer.

    75 percent of 150 surveyed senior executives from human resources, finance and marketing departments say they would be comfortable looking for a new job while still employed at their current position. That figure is up from 69 percent in a 2002 survey according to Accountemps, Menlo Park, CA.

    When you move to a new position in a new company, expect to increase your salary by at least 10% to 15%. That can be more rewarding than a pat on the back at your current employer.

  • Bud Bilanich

    How true. Thanks for taking my thoughts and expanding on them. The old idea of "don't volunteer for anything" just doesn't work any more. You can accelerate your career progression by being willing to step up and help out. I once got a promotion because I offered to coordinate my company's United Way campaign.
    Great post. Thanks.
    All the best,
    Bud Bilanich
    The Common Sense Guy
    www.SuccessCommonSense.com