Move Up or Move On!


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Each time I get one of those “congratulate Bill Bloggs for x years at y” notifications, my heart sinks. 9 years. 12 years. 18 years. There comes a point when – putting it bluntly – there’s just not a lot to congratulate.

The dinosaurs were great. In the Jurassic era. But nobody wants to employ one. If you want to get my congrats, then serve a good stint for an employer, learn what you can, implement a few changes – then move on. After a few years, that rolling stone is just a mossy mass, and no amount of weed-killer can save it.

Of course, working for the same employer and moving up through the ranks is a different matter entirely. Impress those around you. Get a promotion or three. Take on a bigger team or a larger turnover department. Or diversify into a different part of the business.

I see it as the McDonald’s workers and the stars on their badges (one for frying chips, one for cleaning the toilets…) – get those stars, try different things. As the world of retail changes so dramatically year-on-year, employers are no longer looking for square pegs for square holes. They’re seeking pieces of mouldable plasticine for an irregular shaped gap that is evolving organically…and the people in the company need to change with it.

Wind back to the days of Grayson and Mr Cholmondeley-Warner (I’m hoping I’m not alone in my Harry Enfield love?), and it was a JOB FOR LIFE. With the carriage clock or canteen of cutlery upon retirement. We’re just not there anymore. Change brings new skills, new system exposure, new ways of working and challenges us – and that slight sense of fear of the unknown is a good sensation to experience from time-to-time.

So take my advice: make like Gloria Gaynor and just go, walk out the door. Get your job search underway, get interviewing and commence a new job in the new year. You owe it to yourself!

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