Recognise your OpportunitiesWhen I realised that we had an issue at work regarding application user interfaces, I saw an opportunity. The company was keen on me learning about UX and how we could adapt to create solutions geared towards the customer, they didn't, however, want any time devoted to this during working hours.
This is not necessarily a stalemate; I want the skills, and the company wants to have these skills in-house, but they are not in a position to help me acquire these skills. The answer, go get the skills!! These new skills will open up opportunities for you to work on a wider range of projects, and as a bonus you'll get that lovely post learning bliss once your course or home project has been completed.
It Always WorksThere are two scenarios that can come from this, and believe it or not, they are both positive.
- You help your company excel through your excellence - Everyone's happy.
- The company decide that it isn't interested in the new skills that you have acquired - It's possible that either you missread the signs, and they don't actually want those skills in house, or that the company is a bit self centred.
If it's the later, it doesn't matter, you haven't wasted your time. You have a new skill. By understanding the relationship that you have with your company, you can focus on what is right for you to be the best that you can be. Ultimately it is up to you to make this happen.
Our day-to-day job will throw up these opportunities all the time, all we need to do is pick one, gauge interest from our employer (they may wish to invest time or resource), learn something and produce something. I would always suggest that reading a book or attending a course is fine, but you should produce something to prove to your self that you have made tangible progress.