Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

~Will Rogers

I came across this quote and it made me stop and think.  Even when one seems to be in the right job at the right time with the right organization, one needs to continue to grow in order to stay relevant.  Doing the same tasks, the same way, every year will get you “run over” in the end.

Being “run over” in one’s career can mean different things to different people.  For some, it may mean being passed over for a promotion because your competition has developed in areas where you have stayed stagnant.  Others may find themselves being replaced by outsourcing or technology.  Think of assembly line manufacturing roles – many employees were replaced by automated machines or had their jobs outsourced. Others have found their jobs altered because the processes of 10-15 years ago are now antiquated and the individual has not kept up with emerging technology.  I think of those in the marketing and retail – social media and online shopping have redefined those industries in the last 10 years.  Others may have been blind to trends they saw on the horizon within the industry and thus may be shocked when they find their role is no longer. Don’t let this happen to you. We all need to continue to grow or risk being passed by.

Continuing to grow does not mean that one has to continually be promoted at one’s employer or continually seek out outside opportunities that are of a ‘higher’ level.  I use ‘Career Growth’ in a very broad sense: improving one’s skills, taking on different projects, learning new aspects of one’s role, and seeking out ways to improve performance and efficiency.  If you cannot think of one new project/idea/skill you are proud of that originated in the last six months, take this as a hint to check if there is moss growing around you.

By evaluating the landscape of one’s field (trends, competitiveness, etc.), hopefully one can see when the train is barreling down the tracks at you.  It is imperative to grow to ensure you don’t “run over”.


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Job Search and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Advancement

  1. Terrific advice, Kevin. This matches what we know from psychology, that people always have an innate desire and need to grow. It would make sense that companies, too, would expect continued growth and development from us.

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