toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

August 29, 2012

advance yourself!

Stagnating in a job, not learning anything new, is a common annoyance experienced by many new recruits, but while Tammy admits to being bored doing the same thing day in and day out she is focused on the main chance and is willing to put in the hard yards in order to get where she wants to be.

"I have come to the conclusion that if I am to advance myself then I need to take charge of my life," says Tammy. "My employer is not going to do it for me."

"Having a wide variety of skills - or the highest qualification for one particular skill that is in high demand," explains Tammy, "will get me places, and eventually I intend to get a far better job than the one I have now."

While some employers prefer the hands-on approach - seeing what you can do - others prefer seeing a piece of paper telling them what you can do.

Tammy wants official certification, and she’s wise.

"Never underestimate the value of a piece of paper that officially certifies your skills," laughs Tammy, "and you can't rely on workplace training to get you what you need."

"Some companies have excellent training programs and opportunities, and not just for task related skills," says Tammy, "and I'm really envious of friends who work in places that offer all expenses paid team-building weekends, where everyone relaxes, gets together and performs bonding exercises."

She would love this type of job because learning skills to get along with other people is useful in one's private life, too.

"That same company, though, also goes overboard with training programs," says Tammy. "My friends are forever being required to attend some in-house or external course on some new application, procedure or product."

"There is only so much anyone can absorb - on top of doing one's daily tasks - and most people suffer information overload after a certain point has been reached."

"The real trouble with workplace training programs is that they do not always present you with a certificate of competency after you have completed the course," says Tammy. "Quite naturally, having gone to the expense of training you an employer is not going to give you a certificate to enhance your employment chances elsewhere!"

And this is where Tammy’s friends are disadvantaged.

"Being stuck in a job that has no opportunities for skills advancement - and, in my case, a place that doesn’t even allow time off to study," says Tammy, "is a far worse situation to be in."

Tammy realizes that the only way she can advance herself is by studying in her own time, after work.

"The advantage of studying in your own time, of course, is that you can choose your subject and it doesn't have to be related to the job you are doing," explains Tammy, "and I'd like to study real estate."

"It has no bearing on my present job at all. I'll be doing it because I would like to enter the field one day. It's where the big money is!"

"Ideally, the best time to advance your skills is when you are between jobs with no commitments, or working part-time or casually," says Tammy, "and I appreciate that I have a hard road ahead of me - but I'm ready for it."

"I can't take the risk of quitting my job and studying full time in the hope of getting a job in real estate at the end of the course," says Tammy. "I need an income and solid working experience more than I need qualifications!"

Tammy is well aware of the gruesome statistics for people who work full-time during the day and study part-time at night.

"I don’t have a boyfriend or much of a social life," confesses Tammy, "and I live at home with my parents so I feel I should be able to cope."

Many people in full-time employment do manage to succeed at this monumental commitment, and Tammy expects to succeed because she is genuinely interested in real estate and has a natural aptitude for sales.

"It's no use complaining if you're stuck in a job where your employer does not allow you days off to pursue training - even if that training is related to your immediate job and will benefit the company in the long run," says Tammy.

"Don't complain about other people making life difficult for you. Follow my lead and just do it!"

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