I was lucky. In my first job after college, I had a great mentor who took an active role in my career development. He pushed. I listened. Actually, make that 'hung on every word.' The fact that anyone would take time out of their schedule to coach a newbie like me was a gift… and I knew it. Example: When I asked for a raise, he made me “demonstrate I was worth it” by...
- Reading a series of books (How to Win Friends and Influence People, etc.).
- Writing a paper about what I learned from each one.
- Finding an operational problem in the office and solving it using TQM processes. (The result was a binder of information and charts.)