Growing Within Your Company:
Key Strategies To Achieve Success Right Where You Are

by Pam Lassiter, Principal of Lassiter Consulting

Pam Lassiter"What was I thinking?" Have you ever felt that way after straying away from something that you liked, whether it be a relationship, a city where you lived, or even your favorite ice cream, to discover that the alternative isn't so great after all? The grass is not so green? Reverting back to chocolate chocolate chip isn't so hard. Reverting back to a job or company that you've left behind is tougher. There may be some options for you to consider before you take any leaps that set you up to achieve your goals closer to home. Aren't they worth exploring first? Your search for The Ultimate could be waiting for you right where you are.

Coming Attractions

The next six issues of the WITI Career Newsletter will explore six different strategies for growing within your job and/or your company:

  • The Inverse Security Monster: Recognizing and defending against it

  • WIFFM and BOSOC: Alphabets that spell "Career Success"

  • The Yogi Berra Approach to Career Planning?

  • Killer Competitiveness: Becoming a job magnet

  • Nurturing Networks: Building and sustaining both dragonflies and pelicans

  • Reputations that Last: The 5 points of being a star

These six topics all build on each other so get in at the beginning, e-mail this to your friends, too, and watch what happens. You'll build a core competency in career management that will let you start shaping where you head and what you do at work that will be meaningful and rewarding.

The Inverse Security Monster

Let's start with recognizing the Inverse Security Monster and how that can affect your career today. Remember the first day you came into your current company? You were probably about as hot as you can get. You knew about the competition, the trends in the marketplace, and how your competencies could add to the bottom line. Your company was proud to have snagged a competent technical professional woman and you were delighted to be out of the job market and to have found a company that had potential for your and its growth. Time goes on.

After a while, you master your job and people trust you, so you keep doing what you've been doing. You seldom think, "Will I have this job next year?" or "How can I increase the success of the company?" because there's enough on your plate today to keep you busy and you're looking down rather than up and out. As you become more engrossed, your relationships outside of work may diminish. "I don't have time to go the professional association meeting/trade show/conference. I'm buried!" Sound familiar? This is the onset of the Inverse Security Monster. The more you feel secure because you've been at the company a long time, the less secure you actually are. Skills can become obsolete, competencies dulled and relationships withered when they're not nurtured, and those are your pathways to growth both inside and outside of your company. As a professional in technology, continually re-inventing your skills is critical. "You are so Web 1.0" is not where you want to be.

Taking control

What does this mean for you? This means taking control of the wheel. If you have a vision of where you'd like to head with your work, what skills and competencies you need to get there, and are growing your career management skills at the same time, you're conquering the Inverse Security Monster. Start thinking about the first part, where you'd like to head, then come back next month as we talk about strategies for achieving success right where you are. You might be able to have your chocolate chocolate chip and eat it, too.

About the author

Pam Lassiter is the author of "The New Job Security," a Wall Street Journal, careerjournal.com Award Winning Book, and principal of Lassiter Consulting, which provides senior-level outplacement and retention services to companies and executives internationally. Pam hosted ExecuNet's New England regional networking meetings for 12 years and makes appearances on national television and radio programs. Her articles on career management appear in human resource and business publications including Fast Company, Fortune, The Financial Times, Bloomberg radio, and CFO.