Learning new skills at work is one of the best experiences, especially for engineers starting in a new industry. It can be just the thing you need if you’re trying to climb up the career ladder. Some people stay for years on end with their company because there’s always something new, but what do you do when you’re no longer learning at work? It’s common knowledge that learning equals growth. If you’re aiming for a promotion, no growth means you probably won’t get it. Sometimes, you just get used to everything at work that anything you do becomes second nature. There’s no more spark, no more improvement, no motivation.
But before you do any further action, ask yourself first the following question: “what’s making you unable to learn?” This boils down to just three very distinct reasons; your workplace, your boss, or yourself.
‘Is it my workplace?’
Do you see yourself moving up the career ladder where you’re working? Are you aware of any employee advancement programs that your company may have? Does your company take care of you and support you all the way? If you’re saying ‘no’, it’s time to talk to the right people. Consult with your HR to see if there are any employee development programs or trainings centered towards your position. See if there are any evidence of coworkers moving to other departments or if they start moving up. If they can’t give you a clear answer, maybe it’s time to move on.
‘Is it my boss?’
It’s common to hear stories about painfully horrible bosses, but not all of them are bad. Do you feel that you’re getting the adequate support? Are you being motivated as you are in the company? Does your boss talk to you about your goals? If the answer is ‘no’, consider if your boss is new to this role. They might just be struggling with their new tasks, so cut them some slack. Try to talk to them about your goals career-wise and see where that leads you. It might allow them to think about your situation more. Worst case is that they don’t respond to you, that’s your cue to get out.
‘Is it me?’
This is the question most people don’t really want to ask themselves, because they don’t want to believe it. If your boss gives you all the support you need, and your company promotes employee advancement, then it might just be you. Does learning about how the industry works bore you? Do you feel that everything you do is routinary? Are you feeling stuck even though all the help you need is within your grasp? If your answer is ‘yes’, it might be time for you to reconsider your career choices. Take time to think about what you want to become and how you want to get there. In the end, your career is your own journey.
In the end, regardless of the reason, learning why you’re no longer learning might be the wakeup call your mind needs.