Grow out of your Shoes


During my training and coaching sessions with my clients, a number of times, a frustrating comment or question is shared by one or more participants. This comments, in fact comes forward when they listen to different processes and techniques for personal and professional growth and enhancing their productivity. The question is something like this “i am working on the same position for many years (5 to 15 years is usually the duration), but “MY COMPANY” does not promote me. Why is this so”.

At the outset this is a very genuine concern of any person. Every one thinks and wants growth in one’s professional career and life. But if one is sitting at the same position and doing the same work for years and years, this does not look good on one’s resume as well as does not provide any energy to the person to attend the office daily. That is, perhaps the case, most of our office staff just take work as work and no pleasure is left in the work for them, and hence HR needs to arrange motivation and engaging training sessions for them.  

However, when i listen to such a frustrating question, on the one hand i try to sympathize with them. But on the other hand I, throw back a question at them. “THEY” have not promoted you……right?…….What have “you” done in the past so and so years that “THEY” could have promoted you”.

Looks like a direct question that provokes a direct answer. And it happens so as well. The answer comes “I worked here, did everything i was asked for, never skipped a day, never came late, never went early, did what was required by me in my JD (job description) and I happen to be a loyal employee of the company”. “That is true my dear”….i usually answer…….”but this is what is required of you “anyway” and you are given monthly payment (salary) for this”.

I stop here and ask them to write down on a piece of paper, what have you achieved in your job since you have joined…..e.g. what, how many and how significant assignments have you completed, what changes you have brought in your and company’s operations, what new courses have you attended, what next level professional certifications have you done, how have you delighted your customers and exceeded the expectations of your client/manager/peers, what positive change has happened because of you in the company or in your operations, whom and to how many have you taught all that you have learned and done, how much verified cost saving you have given to the company, how much revenue generation you have done for the company, who is ready to take over your position if you are promoted to the next level and so and so forth.

Interestingly, very few, even negligibly few are able to write any such thing. The point, comes forward that one is asking for something from the employer and company, whereas one is not willing to go an extra mile to the company. The point when further elaborated, enlightens us with the fact that if we are not interested to grow out of our shoes, the company may not be willing to buy us a new pair.

While i attempt to look at both sides of the picture…..i also advise them that if you have been able to write all positive aspects and development, that you have done in the past years (other than your JD or basics) for and in your company…..and nothing has happened……reconsider your job with the current company. The company may not be worthy to have a person like you and you should/may move out. Any other company will be happier to offer you after seeing your consistency of efforts. What you need to do is to just grow out of your shoes.