The last article I wrote highlighted three key attributes that will not only benefit you in any endeavour you take on but more specifically benefit your career. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
There is an old adage that states ‘if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem’. While this sounds pretty tough or extreme, it certainly is the truth. An employee who is dependent on his or her manager to find solutions to problems they are confronted with is seldom going to be promoted. Why is this? It’s quite simple – if you cannot solve problems that you are expected to at your current job grade, you are definitely not going to be able to identify solutions to more complex challenges that you will encounter higher up in the organisation, or indeed working on more complex projects.
I once had a Managing Director who stated ‘don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’. The quicker you learn this, the faster your opportunities will appear.
Responsibility comes in many guises. When it comes to your boss, the number one question they will be asking themselves is ‘can I trust this person to successfully complete a certain task or assignment?’ Once the answer is ‘yes’ you’ll be given more and more challenging opportunities and assignments. The catch 22 though is that saying you can be trusted is not enough. You need to demonstrate it. This means continuously proving that you can, in fact, deliver and take responsibility for your work, actions, and decisions.
As one progresses in an organisation, responsibility increases.
You will not only be responsible for yourself but also for those you lead and manage. An inability to demonstrate responsibility for yourself demonstrates an inability to handle a greater responsibility. Ultimately, if you are unable to assume these greater levels of responsibility, career promotion opportunities will be limited.
Put up Your Hand
Volunteer for customer facing projects. Volunteer for internal initiatives. This shows you are actively seeking out opportunities and challenges as well as providing your boss with the option to give you more responsibility and the opportunity to prove yourself.
While it may seem silly to ‘volunteer’ for work your role already demands, this is not so. Many corporate employees hide behind a wall of busyness. Remember, being busy doesn’t mean you are being productive. Volunteering for work shows that you are not one of these corporate employees, pretending to be busy.
Volunteering for internal projects has additional benefits. Firstly, it shows your employer that you are not scared to ‘get your hands dirty’ and do work that might be considered ‘housekeeping’ or ‘admin’. It also gives your manager to option to give you more challenging projects that carry a lower risk. Making a mess of an internal project is obviously not as bad as making a mess of a client facing project.
As we all know, there is no magic formula for success in either a personal or professional world. However, focusing on these three things and doing them well will certainly help you achieve your personal and career goals.
In the next article, we will elaborate on the concept of the Professional Services Firm (PSF) and how this applies to corporate employees (and corporate departments).