That is obvious right? If you want to walk somewhere, you must put one foot in front of the other. The business application really hit home this week.
I was thinking of the woman I had worked with that never went beyond on-the-job-training (OJT). She had been to college for a couple of years. She had not developed marketable skills other than waiting tables. She got an office job and was trained to file folders alphabetically. She got a job with a super market and was trained to run a point of sale system. She worked for a pizza restaurant and learned to make pizzas. She was asked to become a manager and refused. She never went beyond OJT.
Here is what hit me this week: If you limit yourself to OJT and never step forward, your skill set will always be minimum wage. You can move laterally and get a broad range of skill sets like the woman I mentioned. They will all be minimum wage.
Compare to Stormy Simon. She also didn’t have a college degree. She started with Overstock.com as a temp. The secret to her success? “I raised my hand.” She became president of Overstock.com.
Certainly there is a huge difference between the capabilities of the two women I mentioned. However, Stormy could have sat on her hands and done nothing. She could have remained a temp. The other woman could have tried a higher level position. The job was offered. She would have been trained. She didn’t want the responsibility.
If you try, you might fail. That is life. If you don’t try, you will never grow beyond fighting for the lowest level position. The first woman is now competing with teenagers to get a job waiting tables. Her life has been one of stepping sideways. If you want to get ahead, you must step forward.
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