Of course many of us want more out of our careers than just survival. We want to achieve more, earn more, rise faster and be successful as quickly as possible.
Many today despite this ambition assume it’s just doing what is expected of them at work, such as punctuality, productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and quality delivery that will bring to pass their dream.
About fifteen years ago this may just have worked. The work environment, especially in Nigeria, then hasn’t become this complex and sophisticated. The demands and conditions for profitability were also not this difficult, and the criticality of this digital age and cyber world wasn’t this intrinsic with work. No GSM, no Facebook, no twitter, no YouTube, no blogs, no chartrooms, probably no on line degrees and the likes too.
A parallel challenge also in Nigeria, is the almost stagnant or worse still, deteriorating condition of all infrastructures that ought to support a 21st century business climate. Energy, telecoms, internet speed, transportation, security, manpower including fiscal policies aren’t doing so well vis a vis current business demands, operating structures and requirement for growing profits.
Year on year many employees pray, hope and wish something will happen; a restructuring, a resignation, a sack or even a death timely enough to open for them the opportunity for promotion or appointment.
Many just wait and watch, doing their job consistently and regularly hoping and anticipating fortune will smile at them.
Many of us can’t accept the fact that work environment is deliberately designed for healthy competition; for employees to outdo each other and be rewarded for the best or the most outstanding performance. Unfortunately we hate the competition, disdain it and think participants are inconsiderate and selfish.
The office is not just for doing your job; it’s also for doing your best and outperforming others so as to ascend to the top faster and quicker than all contemporaries and competitors; garnering power, influence, authority and wealth along the way.
Worry, anxiety, stress, and fear creeps in for anyone, if bills and financial obligations keep rising at a faster rate than income naturally we do not chose the growth trend and speed of these liabilities, they come with age, nature and stature, they are developments we may not be able to control as it were. But through our careers, we can most definitely influence the growth rate of our income and wealth to contain all bills and liabilities as they grow, if we understand the dynamics and principles that make career growth faster than bills, responsibilities and liabilities.
A career journey of about 15 years can be achieved in about 8 years if these principles are regularly applied as your winning hand within your team, organisation or industry.
If you make them the core drivers of your career adventure you will see the results faster than you anticipated.
They are as follows:
In any competitive race; the peak of excitement is in breaking old records and setting new ones. Doing and achieving the same tasks within and consistently reducing duration without compromising quality is quite valuable to any organisation because indeed, time is money.
If you can complete a three-day task in one day it’s quite remarkable as it means the productivity and output from your position and office has increased, hence the organisation will be able to achieve more within regulated time on your account.
Faster and better service is the superior edge over competitors these days, doing it fast and doing it well can make you the market leader. If you want to be outstanding amongst your contemporaries, deliver a faster and better kind of service within your team or company. Don’t be the one slowing others down. I’ve often heard remarks like ‘I’m taking my time so as to give it my best’ if that’s your philosophy friend you don’t belong in this generation. Quality and speed is the answer for today. This is made possible simply through regular and frequent practice. The more you do, the better you get.
Let your work and output be done beyond reproach. It’s usually a turn off for any boss to keep amending and correcting the work of a subordinate. When delivering on any task, let your best be in it. Don’t just do it for doing sakes, add value to it; go further than the required; be explicit and detailed. Be clear and concise. Let your output be appealing and friendly. Be neat and accurate. Let your boss have no issues interpreting or understanding your work. Make it easy for others to understand, interpret and apply what you’ve done without you being physically present to explain the job. Do a good job.
If the quality of your work is commensurate to your position you’re not due for a promotion yet. You can only earn a promotion when your work quality and output outclass what is expected from your level and title.
To achieve rapid promotion, always think, act, and perform like the level you’re aspiring for not the level you’re currently occupying. As a team manager start thinking and working like the general manager if you really want to be appointed as one.
Adding value simply means going further than what is required. Of course, all requirements come in basic formats and briefs, your ability to go further in your address or response to the challenge is real value creation. Answering questions not yet asked, and predicting likely outcomes and mitigating such makes a great difference.
Every good organisation operates on a master strategy; a big picture. Don’t limit your work or evaluation to your team or department. Don’t just work to support your boss, work extensively to support the strategy. Every time your thinking is collaborative – considering other teams and departments your presentations would always come out great. Thinking in compartments and silos weakens your ability to add great value worthy of a company-wide application. If you’re yet to come up with something the whole company can connect with and benefit from you’re quite basic in your contribution to the business. Don’t just do the basic, go the extra mile.
Rising fast in your organisation cannot be divorced from having goodwill. How people see you, talk about you; perceive you are critical to your recommendation for promotion. Your leadership competency is basically analysed though your relationship with other colleagues.
Your ability to inspire, encourage and motivate everyone including your superiors count a great deal in arriving at the top on time. How easy and smooth is your dealings with other colleagues? Are you a difficult and rigid person? Are you considerate and reasonable? Are you approachable? Do you lend a helping hand? Are you a team player? Let your internal customer service be top notch and unquestionable. With superiors, colleagues and subordinates; be the best, be the in-house consultant on nearly every matter; personal and official, be the most preferred option when counseling is sought. Be easy to approach, be easy to deal with; not sloppy or careless; professional yet friendly.
Times are changing very fast and across board. Be conscious of these changes and the trending in every area. Apart from core skills and job competence; even issues as mundane as fashion and appearance count in promotion.
What’s the fashion age of your suit and tie? The type president Clinton used to wear? Do you still wear an afro and a beard; baggy shirts, baggie trousers, thin belts and coloured stockings?
As a woman are you still wearing ankle length loose skirt, flat shoes with a loose long sleeve shirt? Do you plait your natural hair or even thread it? Your eyebrows are bushy, dry scaly lips no gloss, no powder, no makeup, dry skin and dirty nails?
Without been offensive, seductive, vulgar or old-fashioned package yourself well. Packaging and appearance speaks before you open your mouth.
Let your packaging match your content, don’t misrepresent your competence, intelligence and general content with your poor packaging.
Trending colours for women in this season is magenta, purple, plum, red and burnt orange are you in it. Get trendy.
Apply these principles to ensure you’re making more money per time than your responsibilities and financial commitments. Step on your career accelerator, stay ahead of commitments, I tell you it’s a happy place to be at.
Enjoy your day.