How to develop yourself in areas that are outside of your job description and responsibilities, especially within a big company?
Wang & Li Career Expert Answer:
When it comes to your development, think of a big company as just an environment of resources and opportunities. The advantage of being in such a larger, developed situation is there are experienced people and processes for you to access and learn from. But they’re not necessarily going to just offer themselves to you when you want or need them.
The big mistake that many people who work in big companies fall into is that they rely too much on others to manage their career development. They expect their boss or management to arrange for their training and opportunities, whereas in a smaller company you learn to be more proactive. Rather than wait around, you learn to ask for and go get what you need. You learn how to go after and take advantage of the situations and opportunities around you.
As a result, my advice to you is to apply this same mindset to your big company situation. Be proactive to get involved and participate in the situations available to you. Often, your boss or management may not tell you what to do, but they’re not telling you what you cannot do either. They don’t say you can't get involved in this or participate in that. In many cases, this is more up to you.
More specifically, the first thing I’d do in your situation is to really try and understand the key success factors of your company and the priorities of your top management. Because if you express your interest to support these areas there's a good chance that others will help you to do so. Why wouldn’t they help you to participate in an area that the company views as very important for its success?
I also highly recommend that you talk to your boss and let him/her know of your interest to do more. If a subordinate of mine showed his motivation and interest to me in this way, I’d definitely put some thought into identifying more opportunities for him.
So if you want to develop faster, align your development interests with the key success factors of your boss and company. Then, just be more proactive to pursue what you want to learn. As I always tell my staff, you’d be surprised what you can get just by asking for it.