By Emile Biagio, CTO of Sintrex
Twenty years ago, “Brain Drain” articles were common and I remember thinking that I’ve chosen the right career. Forecasts at that stage predicted that in ten years, most companies would struggle to find or retain the right tech skills for their businesses.
Fast forward to today – we know that the struggle is real. We’ve literally built a business on providing skills where our clients struggle to retain them.
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However, I don’t want to reflect on how to attract skills or delve into the impact that organisations face as a result. I would rather share some of my experience. It’s a conversation that I’ve had with many of my staff and younglings that are eager to become MD’s, CTO’s or Managers in their first year of employment… We all have these employees: they are ambitious, but are unfortunately the ones that are aggressively targeting the position and not the knowledge or experience.
I’ve always said that if you work for an organisation, work for one of two things: work for money or work for your CV. If you can do both – jackpot!
Let me explain…
We are employed at a certain cost to company for a specific job function. Once employed there are many things that hopefully keep us engaged and make our work experience a positive one. There are also times when our work is difficult and challenging and other times when opportunities present themselves. These are the times that I say you should buckle up and react positive to the challenges and grab the opportunities with both hands!
Not only will you grow and learn, you will also show your colleagues that you have a “can do” attitude and are willing to go the extra mile and help save the day. And if your company’s leadership invests in their employees, they will recognise this and (hopefully) promote you or increase your salary to “retain your skills”!
…and if they don’t?
Well, this is where the CV part comes into play. Keep doing the positive things and grabbing the opportunities. If you don’t, you will remain somewhere on the scale between dead-weight and average. Any project, task or challenge that you can learn from or complete can be added to your CV. You’re investing in yourself and even if you do not currently get the recognition for your inputs, then at least you’re growing your skills and experience, which results in a solid, strong CV. That CV will help you step up to the next environment that might be more appreciative of your skills, experience and track record.
It’s a strategy that’s served me well over the last 30 years and also serves a motivator to keep recognising the good that employees do within our company.