5 Things To Build A Successful Career

5 Things To Build A Successful Career

Everyone aspires to a successful career. Success, they say, comes when opportunity meets preparation. The level of success achieved by individuals depends on the preparation they put in and the opportunities that they create. In another post is the outline of how you could seek out promotional opportunities. In today’s article… let’s focus on preparation. What are the areas that you need to focus your preparation on? 1. Setting Goals Setting yourself relevant, clear, achievable goals is essential. To do this well you will need to self-reflect. Knowing yourself well, identifying your skills, strengths, values and passions is the foundation for setting meaningful goals. You will need to be creative and challenge yourself to come up with goals that motivate you and that are achievable. Tip: Validate your goals with your mentor or a trusted friend/partner. It is always good to get another person’s perspective on what you set out to achieve. You will need to constantly work on these goals, as growth is an ongoing process. As you gain experience and insight, it is best to change or adapt your goals to your new situation. For example: You may need to get hands-on experience with the latest data mining tool. The topics discussed below will feed into the goals that you set for yourself. Use the principles discussed in this section to set relevant smart goals for these topics. 2. Adopting new trends The environment is constantly changing and new trends will emerge in your field. You will need to be up to date with these trends and stay relevant to add value. There is a school of...
4 Ways To Get A Promotion

4 Ways To Get A Promotion

Promotion is a much coveted prize that most of us aspire to in our careers. Like most things in life, you have to pursue promotion relentlessly to achieve it. The four ways suggested here may seem a bit old fashioned but is a tried and tested strategy with sustained success over the long term. How do you get promoted? 1. Get ahead by adding value First and foremost is to do your job well. Ensure that all your stakeholders are delighted with your service and output. Once you have mastered your job, look at ways to do it more efficiently. Be creative and resourceful in finding ways to do this. Make sure your stakeholders are comfortable with the changes you make. This is particularly important if it affects how they work. Demonstrating a growth mindset will also win you brownie points. A growth mindset will help you embrace change that occurs in the environment and make you relevant at all times so that you employer will also see as valuable. Not many jobs are on an island by itself. You will need to work with others to achieve results for your organisation. A good collaborator will be noticed by others and will have a sound reputation. Good collaborative skills are essential when leading teams. Prioritising the things that will add the most value to the organisation is another factor that will get you noticed by your leaders. Everyone has a “to do” list. Learning early to identify what is important and keeping other stakeholders informed while you prioritise these important issues is critical. This way you will keep your...
8 Types Of “Bad Bosses” And How You Can Handle Them

8 Types Of “Bad Bosses” And How You Can Handle Them

It is not often we get to select who we work for. The closest you get to pick your boss is when you interview for a new job. In many cases you may not feel you have the luxury of turning down a job opportunity because of the future boss. Even when you have the ideal boss it is no guarantee that they will be around for long. Things can change quite fast in an organisation and bosses come and go. There are times everyone has to cope with a “bad boss” Knowing strategies to handle such bosses will help you cope with the situation. What are the types of “Bad Bosses” and how do you handle them? 1. Moody Boss Some bosses have mood swings. These can range from a slight change in demeanour to severe grumpiness. If you have such a boss it is good to observe patterns when they get moody. This should alert you to when you need to be careful when interacting with them. It is best to avoid them when they are in such a mood. In the event you have to interact with them at this time stay calm and don’t react to their mood. Respond with facts in a measured fashion. If you have been working with them for a while you may get to know what causes these mood swings. Try not to press these buttons when you interact with them. E.g. they cannot stand any inaccuracies in calculations. Make sure you check and double check your work before you submit it to them. Finally make sure that the cause...
7 Things To Help You Figure Out If Your Boss Is A Leader

7 Things To Help You Figure Out If Your Boss Is A Leader

Working for the right boss will inspire you to do your best at work. However, finding that great boss is not easy. Very rarely do you get the opportunity to pick out your new boss. In most cases, bosses move along and others take their place. It is best to figure out early what type of boss you have: are they leaders or just… bossing around? Knowing this will help you engage better with them and help you set realistic expectations towards your work together. Be careful: it is best to keep this assessment to yourself. Nothing good comes out of talking negatively of your boss. How do you know if you work for a leader? 1.You feel that your opinions are taken into account Leaders listen to what you say and encourage your input. They make you feel comfortable and safe to put your ideas forward. On the other side, whenever your suggestions are turned down, a leader will give you sound reasons for doing it. 2. You feel safe when you make a mistake If they are a leader, your boss will not negatively criticise you if you make a mistake. You can always have an open discussion with your boss about the lessons you have learnt as a result of making a mistake. Best of all, a leader will praise your work when they see you don’t repeat the same mistake the second time around. 3. You feel that you are constantly learning A leader sets you goals and projects that help you to grow professionally. You will always receive continuous feedback on your progress when...
5 Things to Look out for when Searching for a Job

5 Things to Look out for when Searching for a Job

Job hunting can be frustrating and time consuming. Most people go through job hunting a few times in their life. To make the right decisions at this critical period you should be aware of warning signs that come your way. You will need to understand what is behind these warning signs and use this understanding to make the right decisions. Making the right decisions will help you grow and stay positive in your career. What are some things you should look out for? 1. No Job description available or the hiring manager cannot explain the role clearly. Looking at a job description will give you insights about how professional and organised a potential employer is. You can judge if the employer has clarity of thought, proper delegation of responsibilities and accountabilities. You will see that these documents vary in quality. Make sure that you ask the recruiter or hiring manager clarifying questions about responsibilities and accountabilities if you do have a substandard document. You can tell by how they present the role if they understand the responsibilities that come with it. If you do not get a clear idea at this stage of the recruitment process, it is unlikely that things will get better when you are in the job. 2. Understand why the job has become available. It is always interesting to know why a position becomes available. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager this question. Pay attention to the tenure of the previous employee, why the person decided to move along, any reference to restructuring and other explanations which may seem out of the ordinary. Judging by...
4 Step Guide to Manage Difficult People

4 Step Guide to Manage Difficult People

Most of us encounter people who have different mindsets, values, personalities or motives in the workplace than ourselves. While in most instances, diversity leads to superior outcomes, in some instances it is difficult to get anything done. These troublesome interactions push our buttons and we struggle to maintain a calm and professional demeanour with these individuals. Learning to deal with difficult people is an art and needs constant practice. There will be times when things do not go according to plan. You will have to adapt your approach to the situations that occur and keep building these skills to be successful in your career. How do you manage difficult people to get optimal results? 1. Spend time to understand the other person’s point of view Put yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand their perspective. This is where your listening skills come forth. You need to listen to truly understand their perspective. You should be in a position to present their point of view to others. Observe their body language to see if they are relaxed in sharing this information with you. If they are not relaxed, they may not be telling you the whole story. Asking insightful questions and showing empathy for their position will help you connect better with them. By connecting with them, you will be able to truly understand their fears and objections. The less said by you at this stage, the better. 2. Work out a “win-win” solution for both parties Work out a solution that addresses their concerns while making sure it also addresses the problem at hand. Your solution should be...