When companies hire, they do because there is a need. And as companies continue to grow and develop, their needs grow and develop. A needed skill today can mean a pink slip tomorrow.
So, take stock of your talent and do a gap analysis. What skills can you add to your talent toolkit that will keep you on the cutting edge of your specialization?
I started my career on the OD side and branched out into a generalist role so that I could learn more about the HR function and touch each piece of the pie. Doing this allowed me to gain valuable insight into the profession in its entirety. Fortunately, I was working for a phenomenal company who realized that people were its greatest asset. They valued talent development, cross-training, employee rotation, an on-the-job training. While not all companies are this progressive with their HR practices, more and more companies are starting to do this. Here are some ways in which you can take stock of your talent gaps and work together with your manager to find ways in which you can fill them in.
Working in the HR function, you often times get to know other areas of the business well as you serve your client groups. However, just because you can speak IT language doesn’t mean that your company is going to offer you a cross-training opportunity to be a Network/WAN Engineer. Stick with what you know and fill in the gaps.
Pitch In and Help Out
Most of us are swamped at work. But if you put in the time and effort now, you will reap the rewards of your hard work later, and be glad you did. Look at opportunities to pitch in and help another employee on a project, ask to be on a task force, discuss with your manager if you and another employee in your department can swap roles (assuming the other employee is on board with this). Rotational opportunities should be a priority for everyone, which means managers need to be flexible if their employee is doing a rotation or if someone new comes to their department for cross-training. Many companies offer such opportunities; however, even if your company hasn’t supported this in the past, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Be the Authority
Find ways in your day-to-day tasks to be inclusive of others and help to teach others what you are doing, so in turn they extend that opportunity back to you. After all, you are the authority on your own talent skill set. My experience is that most people are swamped and welcome the extra help.
Many companies today take part in succession planning; sadly, some only do it for the top 5-10% of the company. If your company is one that is invested in your future, make sure to let them know what skills you are hoping to add to your talent skill set. If they don’t know, they can’t help you. Career discussions are a great way for your boss to learn about your next career step and can determine how to assist in getting you there.
While I realize that all companies may not offer such a supportive environment or see the need for on-the-job career training, many companies today do recognize the importance and value. The cost of training a new hire versus training a current employee can sometimes be very costly. However, if you find yourself feeling “stuck” in your current HR role with no upward or lateral movement for talent development, then give us a CALL. You may just be a phone call or email away from your next great opportunity.