I've been struggling with a lot of issues at work, particularly in the manner of how we do things. I cannot be too specific to maintain any confidentiality.

Let's just say that the company's practices are unlike the practices and processes of how things are done in other companies in a similar field; and the manner of how we [are made to] do things in the company are proven to be counter-productive, or dare I say, just wrong.

I have suggested numerous times to management setups and workflows that have been proven to be both efficient and effective, but I'm always getting "that's not how we do things here," even when I have demonstrated how my propositions work with a smaller but similar project.

I'm starting to think that they don't care about my career development, but why would they tell me "I hope this company is building your career"?

I lied and said "Yes, it is." I probably should've not lied. But I only say that because I'm sneaking some company time in learning new tools, technology, and processes of the trade, when I probably shouldn't. Another way of "justifying" my lie is that current procedures and setup force me to be more creative (in which I feel that too much effort and time is expended on figuring out hacks and workarounds instead of the meat of projects).

How do I answer this properly? Isn't the fact that I repeatedly suggest other workflows and setups a resounding "No[, this company isn't helping with my career]"?

UPDATE. I don't know why I'm getting downvotes on this question. I think it's a legit thing to ask because I want to learn stuff I just can't see. Someone please tell me. It's not off-topic.

So far I'm getting from you guys:

  1. Yes, I can lie to my superiors as long as I'm doing my job and I manage to find time to fend for myself professionally, whether under company time or after work.

  2. You are extremely lucky to be in a job whose intention is to build your career because they see that as a win-win situation.

  3. It's not failure on my part when my suggestions (which happen to be top-level company-wide operational) are turned down, nor is it an insult to my superiors.

  4. I will need to allow the company to possibly hit rock bottom if they do not implement what the field we're in considers best practices (whether I suggested them or not).

  5. There are things in life and work that I think are issues that are probably not. On the flip side, there are things I'm totally oblivious to that I need to focus on, which is why I ask all these questions here.

  • Do you specific examples of what would be "building your career"? There can be lots of ways that some may use the rejection as a way to improve their persuasion skills as some places may get turned around because someone finds a way to bring in new ways to do things.
    – JB King
    Nov 26, 2015 at 15:52
  • Can't be too specific about building my career. But, thank you. At least I'm getting some practice in the art of persuasion, which is good in any field. Nov 26, 2015 at 15:57
  • I know that's a bad idea, but I have a feeling that one day, management will probably decide to implement exactly what I'm sneaking in to learn. Nov 26, 2015 at 16:53
  • 1
    @MickaelCaruso, as long as you're doing your job, there is nothing wrong with "sneaking" company time to learn and practice new tools/platforms/processes. In that sense the employer is, unwittingly, allowing you some space to develop your career. You should recognize that as a good thing, and not fret too much about the bad stuff. Organizations do NOT change simply because one person has a good idea and announces it. Change happens much more slowly and requires the cooperation of many key people.
    – teego1967
    Nov 26, 2015 at 18:33
  • 1
    "but why would they tell me "I hope this company is building your career"? " What on earth is the context here? Did your manager just walk up to you and pop that question? Was this part of a company evaluation?
    – Lilienthal
    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


Consider that if you answer, "No," there could well be the question of, "What would you like to be doing that you aren't?" or "What kinds of things could be done to change that?" where if your answer is, "I have no idea," then there could be issues. If you have things you'd like to gain experience using then putting those forward may be useful though consider what is the payoff for the company as they would want to see some ROI here by you gaining in whatever you chose to do to build your career.

"I hope this is building your career" would be the kind of upbeat hopeful statement that a lot of people may say as it sounds nice though they may have a similar issue that you have. Perhaps you are reading into this various promises which could be worth noting somewhere as this isn't that different than telling an athlete about to play a game, "I hope you win the game," which may or may not mean a lot of concern is being given.

Isn't the fact that I repeatedly suggest other workflows and setups a resounding "No[, this company isn't helping with my carreer]"?

No, I'd argue whether or not you suggest improvements isn't an indicator one way or another. Someone may enjoy working at a company and not make suggestions yet get experience to put themselves into the next level while in other cases someone may offer lots of suggestions and be what makes them get promoted that they can see issues and should be given more responsibility.

  1. "There could well be the question of" means "the question may be asked in response" as you say "No" and then respond with any of the questions stated.

  2. "Using then putting those form may be useful" is about what you want to use that you'd tell your superiors you want to use though there has to be something for the company to gain as while you could learn how to cook a souffle, this isn't necessarily that useful for the company. In other words, be aware that what you may want to gain may not be seen as that good for the company.

  3. "reading into this various promises which could be worth noting somewhere" could be interpreted as when you hear this there are other things you are adding rather than seeing just what is there. "Reading between the lines" would be another phrase where some people will interpret and add additional details that may make something mean something completely different than what is seen.

  4. "a lot of concern is being given" would be about what depth is meant where the statement could be seen similar to "How are you" that for some is a question and others is just a greeting.

  • Sorry, but there are a lot of phrases here that I don't understand: (1) "there could well be the question of", (2) "using then putting those form may be useful though consider what is the .... build your career." (3) "reading into this various promises which could be worth noting somewhere" (4) "a lot of concern is being given"... I just never seen these English words together. Again, sorry. Nov 27, 2015 at 1:39

You feel the company is not building your career and you’re finding it impossible to change it to fit your vision. On the face of it, it’s hard to see why you’d stay at such a company and my basic thinking is "maybe you’d be happier somewhere else".

Of course, it’s rarely that simple and while I don’t have an exact answer, I’d like to encourage you to think about some things:

  • You have specific and general responsibilities at a company:

    • Specific responsibilities, as set out in your contract and defined by your reporting line to your manager etc.
    • A general responsibility to help your company be better. You probably have some great ideas and it’s great for you to have those ideas. I would even say that you have a duty to use any good ideas you have to help your company be better. That’s why they hired you. Because they thought they’d be a better company with you than without you.
  • However, if someone else has decision-making power, the best you can do is demonstrate why your idea should be implemented. This will have to do with:

    • The way you articulate your vision. Would a prototype help? Can you represent it in a moe visually compelling way?
    • Understanding the human relationships involved. I once had a boss who gave me a lot of external visibility when times were good but when times became harder, he became more interested in his own profile and my work became much more clearly a subset of his own. Your ideas may be good but if their implimentation would only make you look good and no one else, that may be why they’re not enthusiastically embraced.
  • Another possibility is simply that you’re wrong.

    • It took me a long time to learn that people tend to favour what they produce. This stands to reason. Your ideas represent your best thinking about a problem.
    • What you need is some objective appraisal of your ideas. If I thought an idea was great but no one else did, I would question my own belief in the idea.
    • If people show vague interest, it might just be politeness. If they look at you in awe in wonder, ask you lots of questions and talk about your idea with others, you may be on to a winner.
  • At the moment, you’re not being listened to.

    • Have you developed a reputation for results? Maybe your talents are unproven and people are worried about taking a risk on the unknown/untested.
    • Start with something small as a pilot and just make sure everything about it proves you’re someone it makes sense to listen to.
  • How many workers in how many companies think management is doing it all wrong?

    • I used to take it at face value when co-workers complained about management, until I realised it was said at every company I worked at.
    • Either I was working at the wrong companies or it’s somehow common to the experience of being an employee.

However, do also remember that you may well be right. After all, history is littered with examples of bright sparks whose subsequently successful ideas were initially rejected.

Hope I’ve given you some things to think about.

Good luck.

  • I would NEVER push any idea, especially if it's mine, just so I'll look good and everybody else look bad. I'm simply attempting to push common modern practices that everyone seems to be doing. My next move then is to create a small project for demonstration. Nov 27, 2015 at 18:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .