Have you ever wondered or asked what you needed to do to give your career a boost? Do you sometimes feel at a dead end, and confused about why you are doing what you are doing? Are you happy about your present job? Have you been passed up for promotion? Or are you doing extremely well in a field you’ll rather change?
These are some of the questions I get asked often, and I believe I can make use of this medium to render some help to some bothered people.
Someone called me on phone lately, he told me he recieved my number from someone, and really needed counsel. His case was more of the, “i’m being promoted in what I’m doing, but I really love something else, and have just gotten the opportunity to do masters in it.” He had spent 3yrs in what he is doing currently and would like to share his burden with me.
I can imagine that many people are in these shoes. With the present situation of things, most people settle for what is available. Like it is said, when the desired becomes unavailable, the the available becomes the desired. This seems a very good quick fix, and one that people will understand anyway.
Let me however make a bold statement and say : Doing what you have to do, so you can make a lot of money to do what you like is not equal to happiness. However, doing what you enjoy with passion, will bring money and happiness. There is no renown person I know who is engaging in something else so he can make money to be relevant somewhere else. Your work and your passion needs to tie. Here are some surebanker career boosters, a more detailed version will be published based on the value this adds.
1. What will you be willing to do for free?
One question that settles most questions on “I have quite a number of options that i can do” is this one. Which one of those options will you gladly do for free, if your needs were taken care of. What do you enjoy doing? Some once said, that when you find your work, you’ll not need to work again forever – because you’ll enjoy it, and it will be a pleasure being paid.
2. See your present work as part of your curriculum
Many people discover that they are in the wrong careers and put themselves under unnecessary pressures to change. Don’t rush into anything you don’t want to rush out of. Sit down and draw up a plan. Will you need any of the skills you are learning here in what you want to do? What key skills do you need to learn that will better qualify you for what you want to do? I studied Engineering for 5yrs, only to discover in my final year, that what would give me pleasure was HR (people development). I had to see Engineering as giving me analytical skills, problem solving skills and systemic thinking skills that are assets for my roles in HR. If your present job gives you an opportunity to pick up relevant skills, then exhaust that opportunity, else plan your exit. Moving faster in the wrong direction will only get you further away from your destination. If you discover you are on the wrong track, STOP!
3. But there is a great future in the present role..?
Don’t consider the lucrativeness and prospects of the present role, if it is not the right role. Prospect is not in a job, it’s in a person. You are the one who has a great future, not Engineering, Law, or Medicine. There are millionaire shoemakers as well as poor shoemakers, the difference is not in the shoe, it’s in the makers. If you find your passion, underneath it is gold. Mine it!
4. What have I done?
Never be caught without a response to what do you do? Keep a diary, a record book, or a regularly updated CV. You need to keep tab of your achievements. You need to be able to in one minute, get someone who cares to listen excited about you and your skills. Don’t put on the show only for your boss, display genuine interest in your work for all that care to watch. The person who will recommend you for the next role, in your company or the next, might not be who you expect. Have a workplan, keep a daily todo list, update your progress. Pilots have logbooks that date back to 20yrs ago, they record the numbers of hours they’ve ever flown. You can can log your achievements.
5. Be Bold be big
Your life will shrink to the size of your fear, or rise to the height of your courage. “Don’t be humble, you are not that great” – Golda Meir. It’s key to be visible! For some of us, who prefer to let our works speak for themselves, to stay in obscurity until we are called forth and praised, great! But you must learn to balance this with being visible. See, the only response required from light for darkness to prevail is no response. You need to voice your opinions, even if they will not be heard, you need to be visible. Participate in the office beyond the scope of work, volunteer to lead, to particpate, to coordinate. Perception is key. How will your superiors and colleagues describe you?
6. Go the extra mile
Chin and Chan joined a company on the same day. After 1yr, Chin was promoted and Chan was not. Chan felt bad and after 3 months went to the boss and submitted his letter of resignation. The boss was shocked and asked Chan, “why are you resigning?” Chan responded that he thought it was obvious, he had been passed up on promotion while Chin had been promoted. He waited 3 months extra yet no promotion, he felt he deserved an explanation. The boss apologized but volunteered to help him with an analogy. He asked him (chan) to quickly help him go out to find the price of a bag of tomatoes. After 5 mins Chan came back and reported that he had seen a bag of tomatoes for $80. The boss then asked him to go and find out further down if any other person sold tomatoes and at what price. He returned again after about 8 mins and reported that another man actually sold a bag of tomatoes for $60 in the nearby town. After this round the boss asked Chan to sit while he calls Chin. He gives Chin the same information as Chan, while Chan watched. Chin came back 7 mins later with this report. “I went down the road and saw a man that sells tomatoes for $80 per bag, i negotiated with him and agreed for $60 a bag. I moved over to the next village and discovered that the tomatoes here were a bit cheaper for $55 and that I could pick up the tomatoes on credit and pay later. After Chin spoke, Chan kept silent, and quietly asked for his letter of resignation. He had gotten the message. Career move is for those who can think ahead about what their managers want and deliver it, it’s for those who deliberately exceed expectations. So next time someone asks you to type a letter ( as small as that is?) deliver it with excellence, exceed the limits. Get your superiors addicted to depending on you -do more than you are paid for and you’ll definitely earn more later than you are paid for.
Wow..it’s past 2am…if you really like this, let me know…to be continued