The Human Workplace Is A Gold Mine

I’ve long been a fan of Liz Ryan‘s Human Workplace blog and no matter where you are in your career journey, her posts are well worth a read.

Reading her posts helped me become more confident in myself and my brand. I don’t follow everything she says to the letter because some of it just isn’t my style and some of it isn’t applicable to where I am right now in my life, but I still get tons of useful information. You only need to read one or two yourself to take away something of value.


One of the fun things about reading her posts is seeing the responses, which are mostly positive but you do see the negative ones in there and I find those interesting. Some people try to argue against Liz’s advice and suggest that what works for her and her clients won’t work for them, because of the industry, or the type of role, or being in a different country. I just see these as excuses for avoiding change, because what they are really saying is “I don’t want to try that, it’s too hard/scary”.

Change is hard and scary and if you aren’t ready for it, then don’t go for it. For me, there is never a point when I am actually ready, but there are plenty of times when I’m close enough that I just make the move.

So why is it useful to see these negative comments, aren’t they a little demotivating, especially if the person saying them seems to put across some valid points?

It’s useful because they are not the only people thinking that way, hundreds of thousands of people are scared of change and too comfortable with their current situation, which means there are more chances for the people who are ready to go out and ask for what they want, and get it!

So you don’t have to be super positive and excited to get somewhere from her advice, you just need to be less negative and scared than those guys!

When people write in to Liz asking for advice, there are three important points she always seems to give that I’ve found really valuable in my career.

Speak with your manager

Many people who write in to Liz Ryan complain about feeling trapped and not growing in their role. Liz always tells them the most important thing to do is speak with your manager. So many people overlook this option because they’re scared of some sort of repercussions for overstepping their boundaries, or worry they might appear incompetent. The truth is, a good manager is there to lead, set an example and move obstacles out of your path so that you can do the best work possible. If you feel like you need to grow your skills, ask them to help you do that.

Grow yourself outside of work

Then comes the second most important thing that Liz tells them, if your manager is not enabling you to grow, grow yourself outside of work. So many people that I’ve worked with (including myself in the past), get so hung up on the unfairness of their managers not helping them grow that they don’t even think of growing themselves. If you really want to become better and you don’t have support at work to do that, do it anyway in your own time! I’ve paid for books, courses and training website subscriptions to learn new things that will advance my career and I haven’t regretted any of those expenses. When I go into work with my new skills, techniques, abilities and knowledge, I have always been more effective at my job and people notice, including managers. After that, they become more receptive to the idea of investing in your development!

If they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you

If the manager is still not convinced, there is a third key point that Liz gives in every single advice letter she writes, if they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you! If you feel like you’re outgrowing the role or your contributions are going unnoticed or being undermined by your boss, stop giving them everything you have and find someone who will love what you do. When you already have a job, you are in a very strong position to negotiate for new opportunities. You can wait and pick up the best fit for you, with a company who will really value what you bring to them. Don’t wait around hoping to be noticed if you’re being overlooked and ignored by your manager, chances are that any great work you do will end up being claimed by them anyway!

As I said, the Human Workplace is a gold mine of information if you’re willing to learn. I personally wish I’d found it sooner in my career, but it’s been helping me out for over 3 years now and I’m happy with where I am and where I’m going.

So please check it out, even if you’re really happy with what you’re doing right now, and as Liz Ryan says, Grow Your Flame!

Summary – How to grow your flame

  1. Speak with your manager
  2. Grow yourself outside of work
  3. If they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you

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