My close friend was frustrated at his job. He felt that he was being constantly overlooked for a promotion to Team Manager. He was hardworking and got along well with his peers. His peers saw him as their leader, and the logical choice for the job. Yet over the last four years, he was overlooked three times. Two of those times he was not given an interview.
As he relayed to me over drinks his desire to move on to another firm, I felt that as much as I saw the talent and potential in my dear friend, I had to play devil’s advocate.
“Why do you think you’re the one for the job?” I asked.
“I’ve been there almost 10 years now. I work hard and I know the job inside out. I really like what I do and I have the leadership qualities they are looking for,” he said.
“That may be true, I said, However, it may not be enough.”
I probed again. “Do you meet the minimum requirements for the job?”
“I don’t have some of the professional qualifications, but I meet experience criteria.”
“That may be the problem. You may think you’re the finished product. Others may be telling you that you’re the finished product. But do you really have all the skills needed to be noticed as the person to add value as the Team Manager?”
“You should look into learning more.”
We may not be earning more because we aren’t learning more. Think about it. The more skills we have, the more we can monetize these skills. The more we can ask for salary increases, earn promotions, and more opportunities are afforded to us. When you learn and invest in learning, you are obligated to go out and earn more because you have more to contribute to others.
Experience alone does not cut it. We may have ten years experience, but if we have not learned anything since starting, we only have one year of experience ten times.
Learn, learn, and learn some more. Don’t stop learning.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty…