Spoiler Alert: If Not You…Then Who?

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Looking for that promotion? Striving for success? Wanting to carve an outstanding career?

Because if it’s not going to be you, then who is going to gain all that recognition, success and reward?

shutterstock_372611689The employment game has changed over recent years. The employment contract between Baby Boomers (born 1950’s & 60’s) and their employers was a job-for-life.

This meant it was in the employer’s interest to push high quality training, coaching and support on to their high flyers as they would have a lifetime to see a return on the investment (ROI).

Then came along the millennial workforce and of course now there is Generation Z, also known as Post Millennials or the Homeland Generation. There are no precise dates for when this group starts or ends; researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the mid-1990s -early 2000s.

A significant aspect of this generation is the widespread usage of the Internet from a young age. Members of Generation Z are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socialising.

There is a suggestion that growing up through the 2008 recession has given this group a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity, we can only guess what might happen over the next few years as their impact is felt on the workplace.


In the new economy

The new employment contract is a job-for-now, meaning that Millennials (born 1980’s & 90’s) have to compete to pull developmental opportunities towards them. The ROI may not be realised until long after the high potential employee has moved on, changed career or started their own business.

So this means that you are, more than ever, responsible for your own learning and development, achievements and success because if it is not you who creates the opportunities then who else is going to make it happen?

I apologise if this might have come as a shock, however ask yourself these key questions to uncover your next steps to personal success.


Step 1 The Future:

The single most important consideration for career and development planning is working out where you want to get to. Rather than thinking about your career in terms of jobs, titles or salary instead ask the question:


shutterstock_157217147“What is important to me over the next five years?”

Your answers could include, Responsibility, Autonomy, Recognition or Freedom. This then informs your next question:


“What qualities do I need to make that happen?”

List out the 5 – 10 qualities, such as leadership, management skills or sales success that are directly aligned to your desired future state.


Step 2 The Present:

Once you know what you want to achieve and the capabilities you need to get there, the next consideration is to honestly audit your current situation.

How would you, your peers or your manager evaluate your current levels of leadership, management skills or sales success?


“How well do I currently demonstrate those qualities?”

This question asks not about knowledge or skills but how well you actually show off the behaviours. Score yourself 1 – 10 against each quality and see what strengths you have that can be banked towards making your future a reality.


Step 3 The Gap:

From the ranked list you can also highlight where you are scoring lower. These are the gaps in how you are currently performing compared to your ideal state:


shutterstock_448396822“Which of these gaps are holding me back from achieving my career goal?”  

Meaningful training and development planning should be focused on seeking learning opportunities that help you fill in the gaps on your way to achieving your ambition.



Step 4 The Resource:

Learning opportunities come in many different forms and it is valuable to explore the possibilities with a manager, mentor or coach. Formal training workshops can be incredibly valuable however might represent just a small fraction of what is available.

Meanwhile there is a wealth of free learning on offer through on-the-job experience, project working, secondments or on-line learning:


“What resources will best help me personally develop those under developed qualities?”   

With an ambitious career goal in mind, clear developmental milestones planned and resources available there is no longer an “if not you” – success becomes inevitable.

Excel Communications has a 30-year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people.

We have a team of over 45 expert trainers delivering programmes across 6 continents in 22 languages. Isn’t it time you got in touch? Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.