What's your problem?

My job doesn't offer any opportunities for training or development. I've been doing the same thing for two years and feel the need to learn some new skills, or at least to take on a new challenge.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Should I speak to my boss, or will she assume that I am a troublesome employee who should be more grateful for the job I have?

A. However considerate employers may be, and however genuinely committed to the development of their staff, they'll never be as concerned for your own career as you are. There's nothing surprising or reprehensible about this; the person who carries the greatest responsibility for making the most of your only life is you - and it's not something you can subcontract.

There's no need to be ashamed of your selfish gene.

So you should start to take things into your own hands a bit more. When talking to your boss about it, make sure you look at the business through her eyes as well as your own. Don't dwell on the benefits to yourself of change, challenge and development: identify things in the business that you believe could be done, or could be done better, and volunteer to take them on.

They needn't, initially, be hugely significant things. Once you've demonstrated what you can do, you'll soon be invited to take on more.

Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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