Become an Apprentice at Your Workplace to Land the Best Jobs

Symptom:  You are wondering how to learn the things you need to know to advance your career.  Maybe you should go back to school?  You are not really quite sure what will give you the best return on your investment.

Cure:  Study the people in your workplace who are doing the best jobs, the jobs you want to do.  What do these people know that you don't know?  Go learn those things!

Why it Works:  Whatever you know about your job, it is not enough if you want to advance your career.  If you intend to advance your career, then you will need to know and do things that you don't currently know or do.  I hope this is obvious to you.  But where to go for these precious nuggets of information?  Open your eyes.  If you look around, you will quickly discover the people and behavior that gets rewarded at your company.

Take careful note of who and what is getting the positive attention.  What are they doing, or what do they know, that you don't currently do or know?  Set about to close this gap.  You want to be an apprentice to these people.  I am not talking about following them around, doing everything they do, having a master - apprentice secret handshake, and so on.  I mean you start from the assumption that these people are where they are because they know and do things that you don't know or do.  Hence you can learn from them.  You are an apprentice.
Observe who has gotten where you want to go and learn from them.
Who should you look to first?  Your boss.  A good manager will be very open and receptive to this sort of question, as long as it's simple and straightforward.  For example, "Can you recommend a book on ______, I know you are good at this and figured you would have a good idea where I could start."  And, your boss should have a pretty clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses -- after all, they are responsible for your performance review!

In addition, every good manager knows that she cannot advance her career unless there is a suitable replacement for her.  Maybe that replacement could be you!

Did this tip inspire you to look around your workplace to design your own apprenticeship program?  Then tell your friends!  Like, Share, Tweet, or Email below!

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