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Cause and Effect – Your Job, Your Career, and Your Future

Cause and effect diagrams have been used for a very long time in the quality profession. Often referred to as Fishbone diagrams, as a tool they can be very useful in identifying causes that underlie problems one may encounter. Typically one begins by identifying the problem (effect) and writing the same at the head of the fish, then working backward to populate the bones with known and probable causes. So, the process flows from right to left – one effect being the outcome of multiple potential causes.

However, one must remember that the cause and effect chain is seldom as simple, short, and straightforward as the diagram may lead you to believe. It is often long and convoluted, with each effect becoming the cause for another effect downstream and so on. Let us look at the cause and effect relationship in the context of your job, your career, and your future. As you can readily see – your certifications affect your job, which affects your career and this in turn affects your future. In this case, effects on “you” are easy to see and experience – some sooner than later. As you will see below, things change when you frame this in a different way.

According to the Gallup organization, a vast majority of the employees are “dis-engaged” from their work place. This implies they use their job as a means to pay bills, and little else. What is the effect of this on you, the company, the society, and the country? Now we are looking at cause and effect in a different way – from left to right, with one cause leading to multiple effects (and in different dimensions). The effects are not easy to see, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t exits. The point is – we may think the contribution from one individual is tiny and insignificant, and doesn’t matter. However, when tens of millions of brains come to work every day, and remain dis-engaged – it is bound to reflect in reduced competitive ability of the company, the industry, and the nation at large. The causes for dis-engagement might be many and varied, and, we can play the blame game for a long time to come. As quality professionals we know better, thus, the question we need to ask ourselves is: What is the price we pay, directly or indirectly – for such actions.

Good luck in your job search!