Leaving Yongsan Station. (c) Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

You Can’t Move Forward In Your Career Until First You Leave

Forrest ChristianCareers, Wilfred Brown Leave a Comment

You complain about being stuck where you are, thinking it can somehow work out. To find right-fitting work, Hidden High Potentials have to move forward and leave their past behind.

A quick comment from Wilfred Brown, at the time retired both CEO of Glacier Metal Company and Minister of State at the Board of Trade (UK), makes the point that you aren’t going to get ahead at your current job:

Men [or women, when you think of it] whose ability is greater than is called for by their job have to leave one employer and seek a higher level of work with another company. But this is difficult to achieve because they cannot cite experience on that higher level of work. In any case it is a risky procedure if there is unemployment. [The Earnings Conflict, pp. 19.]

If you’re needing to get ahead, you need to be able to leave your firm. This isn’t always possible (for reasons that Brown outlines in this chapter) but it should be as possible as possible, as it were, so that we as a society can have a greater chance of getting the full value of your ability to work.

Sign leaving Brooklyn on Williamsburg Bridge -- Oy vey! Leaving Brooklyn! Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0. Picture by gill from Glasgow, uk (http://www.flickr.com/people/21324809@N00)
Picture by gill. cc-by-sa-2.0

Keep in mind that Brown knows exactly what he means by “ability is greater than is called for”. This isn’t someone talking about “giftedness” or “intelligence” without knowing how these things work out. There may be lots of room for development in what Lord Brown knows about development and the mind (coming from his work with Dr. Elliott Jaques) but the starting point is solid.

Since you develop over time, what works at one point might not work later. You may cross over one of these state boundaries, like going from water to steam: Trying to contain steam with the containers you used for water often has explosive results, Similar effects can be seen in employment, which is why my colleague Michelle Malay Carter says you should never hire someone who will overpower the job.

There’s more here than meets the eye. Lots to come, as always.

Because you are the killer app.

quotation is from The Earnings Conflict, pp. 19.

Image Credit: Leaving Yongsan Station. © Danleo (CC BY 2.5). Via Wikimedia Commons.

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