For a while there I was so bored and underchallenged. I desperately wanted to move up a level, have new challenges, finally feel stretched again.

That was 2 years into my job working in the consumer goods innovation department. I spent my time browsing job ads and being frustrated about the fact that within the company there was no new position I could’ve moved into.

It took me a while to see that the opportunity for growth and challenge was right there.


Maybe you can relate: If you’ve been in your job for about a year or two and figured out all the technical stuff, you might feel underchallenged or bored, too.

“Ok, got it. What’s next?”

And just like me back then you may believe that this means you have to move on and get a new job. Move a level up.

But as I discovered, that’s wrong. 

Because then you’d be overlooking a huge opportunity to grow and to contribute right where you are.


The trick is this: Instead of looking for a new job, you simply have to find other non-technical skills to build or ways to be innovative and make an impact.

I love this approach, because as a result you’ll be growing and developing the harder skills when you have the bandwidth (because you know all the technical aspects of your job). Just think about how this would be in a new position when you’re still occupied learning the technical competencies required for this new role. 

Plus, now you can really over-deliver in your current job, because you can go deeper. In the long run, this is how you build transferable skills that increase your employability … and you build a reputation that travels with you in the company, making it more likely to be considered for a promotion.


Here’s a list of transferable skills to practice before you move a level up:

  • strategic thinking
  • planning and delivery (we can always get better!)
  • communication skills (start with listening)
  • written and verbal communication
  • persuasion and influencing
  • self-motivation
  • organisation and time management
  • research and analytical skills

And if you need some inspiration about what to do to make a bigger impact in your current role:

  • stay on top of industry trends and developments
  • know the research in your field
  • find ways to improve your team’s ways of working
  • automate workflows where possible
  • connect with others and help out
  • represent your team and your work within the company
  • ask your boss what support he/ she needs

You know, another benefit of doing all this in your current role means that you build the skills and strengths you need to hit the ground running when that bigger opportunity finally comes your way. You’ll be impressing your new boss from day one!

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