Sun | Dec 10, 2017

Glenford Smith | Develop your own career curriculum

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM

In today's highly competitive arena, the clarion call is urgent for the best chief executive officers, managers, and line staff to help keep their companies abreast of the technological race. And one way to do so is the development of your own career curriculum. That is not to say that the company does not bear any responsibility for staging its own in-house training.

But no one should leave their career to the mercy of corporate trainers. They will train you to perform tasks that are of interest to them. If you should be let go, you will find this is very inadequate training. You will need more than that.

Every worker will need to take responsibility for his own education. Andrew Grove was interviewed by Fortune magazine some time ago and asked a question. It was about what he felt had been the biggest changes that had taken place in the world of work in the past decade and a half. His answer is illuminating.

"In my estimation, the two most important changes were these: First of all, every person today is now the architect of his or her own career. Each person has to see himself or herself as completely responsible for everything that happens to them, especially for their own work habits, and their own training and development. No one can rely on a company to take care of them throughout their career," Grove said.

ADD VALUE EVERY DAY

He said that his second observation was even more important. Today, the key to success in your career or just about any job is to add value.

At one time, you could get a job, reach a certain level of accomplishment, and then coast for months, and even years, on your previous accomplishments. Today, however, you must be looking for ways to add value every single day. Your company no longer cares what you might have accomplished in the past.

So what does your curriculum for career success look like? It consists of several things and unless and until you implement these into your schedule, you may be in danger.

First of all, your curriculum must consist of formally obtained knowledge. This is what you get at a university or college. I have heard people say of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, that they both dropped out of school to pursue entrepreneurship. What they fail to grasp, however, was that both men were steeped in schoolwork before they thought about quitting.

Then you need to get excellent wisdom from your and other people's experience. You get this by daily reflecting on what you see and hear around you. Much of the knowledge we need is right before us, if we were to take the time and mine them for the wisdom they contain. Especially, learn from the mistakes of others.

Invest very heavily in your own education in terms of books, audios, seminars and workshops. Don't wait for your company to send you to these events. You seek them out and try to get the company to pay for it, and if they won't, then you use your money and pay for it. This kind of knowledge gives you perspective, and you get to stay abreast of what's happening in your industry.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email glenfordsmith@yahoo.com