You are a loyal employee who does the very best at your job. You exceed goals, focus only on what you are supposed to do, and no one can ever say, “You don’t know what you are doing.” Although this may sound like a proper approach to career growth, read why this behavior can do more to harm the future of your career.
Limiting career potential
People generally grow by doing things outside the realm of what they normally do every day. If your focus is solely on “getting one job done”, you will never learn anything outside of your learned skill set required for one particular job.
If for some reason your job task is somehow automated and made obsolete, you will find yourself with an outdated skill set. A mid-career change will be much more difficult, if not impossible.
Tip: It is highly recommended to take business courses online, in a school after hours, or on the weekend. You have a job now, so you have the money to pay for it.
You cannot continue to be the best at your one job
As technology rapidly changes the way we live and work, new tools are entering the workplace every year that makes completing tasks easier. There may come a time when the job it takes you a full day to complete can now be done in less than an hour due to technology.
As managers and new employees come into the workplace with their new theories of increasing productivity and cost-saving, you may still be using outdated tools for completing tasks. Focusing on your one job limits your ability to find new tools to complete tasks more efficiently.
Tip: Always learn new technology coming into the workplace that is being used to complete your tasks. Investigate technology and fall in love with learning it while embracing the changes when they come to your office.
You lose your connection with people
If you build a fortress around your job and let no one in only doing that one job you do best, at some point, you stop communicating with others. The danger here is that you have neither the hard skill nor the communication (soft) skill, and definitely not the network to help yourself find new jobs when the time comes to find new work.
Today’s workforce can be considered job hoppers compared to the traditional 20th-century workforce. Changing jobs 10 to 12 times in a career and working longer requires staying in touch with people. Anti-social behaviors to keep others from communicating with you will hurt your ability to grow a network, thus making job changes more difficult.
Tip: Stay connected with others on LinkedIn, as you are working. You will need the people in your network one day.
Getting stuck in a “Single Loop Learning Cycle”
A single loop learning cycle is a learning model identified by Chris Argyris and Donald Schon that states, “When learning, due to experience is modified behavior while thinking does not change.” It looks something like this:
Image by Organizational Learning
You may be great at your job of removing symptoms, but you never took the time to learn the root causes of why the symptoms happen. Therefore, you are not a “problem solver”. You are a person who does one task to get one result, or you find a way to do one task and get faster results. So, when that job disappears you are ill-prepared for the job search ahead.
Tip: In your career, you should focus more on “double loop learning”, which looks like this:
Image by Organizational Learning
In a double loop learning cycle, you become more of a manager and less a person who is great doing tasks, by changing the way you think to explore other opportunities you may enjoy.
At the end of the day
Your career growth will take a new turn for the better the moment you recognize the importance of self-awareness, honesty, commitment to career education, and taking responsibility. You can do more than one job in your career