We were recently faced with this conundrum from a public sector employee and thought it might be nice if we shared the advice we provided in response.
"I work in the civil service in a very flat organisation. Within HR it only is me (HE Officer) plus the Head if HR so there is no scope for promotion. I took this role as my first HR job with the expectation that I would gain a lot of generalist experience. Since there are only two of us, I mainly perform a basic admin role, for both HR and wider corporate services. Consequently, I have not been exposed to any 'real' HR duties. I am currently completing the Level 5 Diploma but without real world experience I do t think this counts for much. I am looking for HR Advisor roles at present."
Here's our advice in response
In realising our full potential, we need to look at three things: opportunity, skill and will. Traditionally, people look at the first two, and then sadly forget the third. We would argue, however, that this is the most important aspect, as it comes down to your motivations.
When we feel motivated, we are more resourceful, more flexible and ultimately happier. When our motivations aren’t met, it’s easy to feel stuck. So I would ask you, do you know what actually motivates you?
It sounds like learning is a key motivator for you. So, have you explored this ‘want’ with your manager? Do they know that you are keen to take on more? Have you given them examples of what you could do which would meet your motivators more? The more solutions-focused you are, the easier it will be for them to consider your proposal. Not least because it will be delivered with a positive, can-do energy.
You also mention promotion. What is it about a promotion that is important for you? Do you see promotion as a means of increasing learning, or is it having more responsibility, pay, or status? The answer to this question will tell you what else motivates you. Ask yourself: ‘What ways can I have my motivators met from this role?’ Think laterally: you could potentially have motivators met through work shadowing, working on special projects and so forth.
Also consider what your basic ‘needs’ are – the non-negotiables. ‘Needs’ are about having ‘enough’ – for example, having enough money, enough security. If a role can’t meet your basic ‘needs’ enough, you may have to move on as ignoring ‘needs’ causes dissatisfaction no matter what you do to meet your motivators.
Put simply: are there other opportunities for meeting your motivators at this organisation, whilst still meeting your basic ‘needs’ enough, and so will stand in you good stead for future moves? It’s about putting yourself in the way of positive opportunities that align with your motivators and the skills you wish to build.
Did you find this interesting? Do you have a conundrum to put to the Motivational Leadership team? If so email us today and we would be happy to help.