As we progress through our careers, we gather knowledge, skills and experience (and maybe a few letters to follow our names). Inevitably, many of us make career changes along the way--often changing employers. In these cases, you have -- or will be competing with -- highly qualified candidates, so you need to grab the hiring manager’s attention. One thing that stands out on a resume is a track record of demonstrated successes. Someone who can share multiple examples of problems solved, especially when you facilitated diverse teams, has a significant advantage.
The current work environment is fluid, to say the least. Many of you reading this are looking for new opportunities. A Forbes article written last year states that “74% of the workforce would consider leaving their current job if another offer came along”.1 Whether you are looking for a new opportunity or not, having solid problem-solving skills will benefit your current organization immediately, which is a definite plus. But if you do move on, RCA skills will be transferable, whereas much of your technical, job-specific training will not.
So, is root cause analysis a skill listed on your resume? What about successful RCA projects that a future employer would find valuable? If not, you may be missing a key opportunity. Experience using root cause analysis to solve important, valuable problems may be the most powerful asset you bring to your next job.
So, how do you get RCA skills? These days, you are probably on your own. Your training department may not offer RCA (if you have a training department at all). Regardless, don’t wait for someone else to pave the way for you. Companies expect applicants to have more training, skills and experience than ever before, even though corporate-sponsored training continues to be reduced.2
Here’s a three-step plan to acquire your RCA skills:
1. Attend a formal RCA course that will set you apart from the crowd.
- E-Learning is almost always within an individual’s spend authority. (As little as $145 will get you off to a good start. http://www.sologic.com/rca-products-services/e-learning)
- Classroom training usually involves travel, so approval from the manager may be required. However, if you agree with your manager to apply your skills immediately, you will probably get approval. (Students almost always deliver improvements and savings that more than pay for the training. Over $10,000 USD savings on the first RCA is common.)
2. Start tackling and solving problems
3. Document and summarize the improvements that result—this means producing a written report.
Problem solving and RCA are increasingly listed as required/desired skills on job postings. Whether e-learning or conventional training, take the initiative to acquire the skills that could make the difference and enable you to stand out among the other applicants. We’ve helped thousands of individuals justify their training investment and deliver quick, visible wins. (This is the easy part, because every organization has problems that have resisted solutions for one reason or another.) Once you get some quick-hit wins under your belt, you will move quickly along the learning curve and once you do, look to us for support in building advanced skills in the form of focused facilitator training, program development, or side-by-side facilitation.
Join into the lively discussions taking place on LinkedIn and elsewhere. You’ll find yourself in the company of expert problem solvers around the world as you build a new network of colleagues in the global RCA community. And you’ll pad your resume with valuable experience while helping your company solve important problems.
What are you waiting for?