Framing the Role: A Guide to Better Workplace (Part 2)

Last week we discussed how ideal human resourcing assesses the inner man not only in hiring, but in training and development.

This week we’ll continue our downfield drive by focusing on marketplace education, specifically how employee and employer should approach deeper learning and training opportunities…

  1.  Make Deeper Learning Equal Evident

I’ve been blessed to serve under some laudable leadership over the years.

For instance, during my first summer with TDOT, my supervisor would make sure I understood concepts not only in correspondence, but also behind-the-scenes whether taking inventory at local garages or database management courses online.  Whatever the project, whatever the assignment, he wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. As a result, not only did I feel regularly encouraged, but I felt driven to reach beyond expectation.

Unfortunately, after a season of turnover and transition, the ‘extra opportunity well’ would dry leaving certain endeavors in the dust; however, though the narrative of my role would change, I ultimately realized the emerging lack of definitive pathway didn’t have to determine my deeper learning trajectory.

Rather if I simply took the time to seek the opportunity, I would eventually be able to find and pursue it. All I needed was initiative and direction to compliment my resolve.

Perhaps some of you find yourself in a similar situation. If so, whether or not deeper learning opportunities are knocking at your door, it’s important to stay persistent and patient regardless of where you think you are.

‘Cause truth is: expecting possibilities to fall into your lap is the least effective way to advance what you know.

Should your employer have a clear guide/available resources for assistance? Absolutely. I’m not sayin’ veer clear of troubleshooting personnel; however, I am sayin’ rather than succumb to a ‘rich get richer’ mentality (like I once did), focus on devising a plan, developing a timeline, communicating intentions to your supervisor, and adjusting them according to your means.

Granted, you may be unsatisfied with your title/role, maxed out within your salary grade, or in a situation where you can’t move up unless you take out a loan to get a degree1.

Yet, when I think back on smart decisions made during my TDOT tenure, no question pursuing open doors where I could mature skillsets usable inside and outside my work arena rank towards the top.

So for those wrestling with the ASAP advantage mentality, know while the pickins aren’t guaranteed to be plenty, sometimes the best move is to invest in what will benefit you down the road as opposed as to what could benefit you right now. After all, we were made to continually advance in some form or fashion.

As for the employers, understand the bond between deeper learning and morale. While it makes sense certain classifications will feature more learning/training opportunities, when employees within each classification are aware of what they can do to heighten their intellectual ceiling, you essentially heighten your quality control ceiling at the same time. Thus, as long as learning/credentialing opportunities exist, dare to be unconditional in conveying them to those you’ve chosen to hire. In doing so, you better frame the roles you seek to define.

Bottom line: When it comes to marketplace education, one of the best ways to steward awareness and morale is through in-house learning opportunities; however, like classification, a title should never drive deeper learning opportunities. Rather, deeper learning opportunities should drive the employee.


  1. I know you can’t paint this subject with a broad brush.

Cover photo creds: Actively Learn