Many a times we think that the people doing better than us are just lucky !
It might be true in few cases but largely it is due to several other reasons.
Choice lies with you – what kind of person you want be !
Someone in the team asked me to share few career tips for beginners as well as for the people who’re already employed . These are based on myown learnings and insights during my 25 years stint in three different companies.
These may help you to design your own luck to some extent (at least if you plan to have a good career).
I wrote these in a series ( Career Tips 1-7) on my Linkedinn page but as these were spread over the days, thought of summarizing all of these here.
1. Company Culture –Work for a Thankfull Company !
Thankful Company Vs. Thankless Company !
a) Are you criticised more (Thankless) or praised more (Thankful) !
b) Do you always get positive surprises on increments/incentives (Thankful) or incentives/increments are generally below normal-expectations (Thanksless)!
c) Is management happy and magnanimous enough to share its profits with its employees (Thankful) or it always finds excuses to cut your incentives (Thankless) !
d) Does management take the blame for big failures & non- achievements of targets (Thankful) !
Or you’re always blamed for failures ( Thankless)
( Big targets are achieved by strategies made by the top -management , people at middle/lower level have an important but very little role in big successes & failures at the company -level)
e) Does your company only talk about numbers (targets ) (Selfish ,Thankless)
or it goes beyond ( mind,wealth ,health) i.e. it also works on improving your skills, coaches you about money-management as well as focuses on your health (Thankful) !
f) How performers are treated when they leave the company !
Are they praised & everything is settled on time ? (Thankful)
or they’re criticised and harassed during the final settlement (Thankless)!
Out of these 6 parameters, if a company falls in ‘Thankless’ category in > 3 points -an ambitious and hard-working employee should start thinking about other options .
Caution: These tips are not for average employees .
2. Make Sure That You Work For A Good & Growing Company !
i) You’re in a wrong compnay :
If your company is not constantly engaging you in upgrading your skills via certain pragmatic training/coaching programs !
On annual basis,at least 5-10% of your working-time should be spent in upgrading/learning/improving your skills.
ii) Check promotions-track record in your company – lesser the promotions, not a good company for building your career!
In a good company ,20 -25% of people are promoted in every 3-5 years !
Promotions happen when the organistion grows , new regions are created, new businesses are created and that leads to creation of new positions and promotions.
So the business should have some unique products to grow continuously.
Additional point : a Promotion means bigger responsibilities.
Promotion does not mean adding prefixes e.g. a manager becomes a senior-manager, an executive becomes a senior -executive ! This is not a promotion, this is a deception.
iii) Work for a company having ‘unique’ or ‘special’ products that have ‘ Big Market Size’.
Does you company has some unique solutions/products which have huge market potential and a clear need-gap ?
If it has – then the growth of your company would be quick and you will also grow with the company very fast without much hard -work and even if you’re not talented enough!
Ex : Google Search Engine ,BollGuard (Monsanto), Coragen (Dupont)
Or if the product is not unique, it should be much better than the competition.
Ex: Apple iPhone
If you work with a company having too many me-too products (generics) , you will have to work more hard and your career -growth may also be slow.
Caution: Measure your career-growth based on the increase in salary/money , not with the designations!
3. Be Visible,Be Creative, Be Good to Everyone
a) See that your work gets noticed by the decision-makers .
Use all the communication channels of the company – give the best presentations in the meetings,write articles in the company’s news-megazines ( of any), try to take additional responsibities ( event-organising, champion safety, compliance or any other initiatives )
b) Your work should be creative .
It means that you are given freedom to think, tweek,experiment and operate the things the way you want.
In other words, try to avoid the roles where you’re just a nut/bolt in a big machine and you just have to do pre-designed work throughout the day.
Ability to think and experiment are the important keys to developing one’s skills.
c) Be good and respectful to everyone around you – your colleagues -seniors or juniors , your customers , your competitors ( yes – never ever spoil your relationships with others for your company…..it is compnay , not your family ) .
Create a reservoir of goodwill around you. You don’t know who would speak a good thing about you somewhere, to someone and that may provde you a life-changing opportunity . This is the best way of getting a network-effect.
4. Know Your Boss !
Because most of the times, bosses shape the careers .
A good boss can put you on the right path whereas a bad boss can ruin your future.
Measure your boss on just 2 parameters –
a) Is he intelligent enough ?
b) Is he good at heart – a giver and not a taker !
These two parameters point out the IQ & EQ levels of your supervisor.
Take a prinout of the following matrix and give it enough thoughts !
5. Focus on Yourself
a) Keep Looking !
You’re a product/service/solution ! Always keep looking for the best customer.
Keep a constant watch on the products/policies of other companies in your industry !
Keep checking from their employees, from the channel/customers and keep collecting more & more information !
Always check from 2-3 different sources.
a) It is always better to shift to other companies (good & proven) who have better products and policies than yours.
b) Your loyalty to a company should not come at the cost of your career-growth.
c) Don’t wait for the interview-call from the better companies. Rather be pro-active,try to make good relations with their employees in your area and apply by yourself.
This is true for the employees at every level but easier for people at middle/lower levels .
d) At the same time be careful ,don’t switch too much & too quick , plan your every change carefuly. Be reliable.
Note: Most of it is common-sense, but most of the people don’t do it pro-actively, they leave it to chance.
b) Keep Improvising !
In the end, it is all about you.
If you’re not skilled enough, if you don’t keep improvising yourslef and if you don’t put essential efforts, even a ‘Thankful’ company would turn out to be ‘Thankless’ towards you.
On the other hand , if you are really skilled & hard-working , a Thankless company would become a Thankful company (at least for you).
Keep in mind that you have to go to the top of any field ,you have to become undeniably good at something !
Like they say ‘Be so good that they can’t ignore you’ .
So keep asking yourself ,” How can I be really good?”
After every customer-interaction, after every presentation , after every task – keep asking how you can do it better next time ?
What extra skills you need to learn ?
What is the difference between you & the best-performer around you and how can you fill that gap!
And if you’re the best performer in your circle, then you need to find a better performer outside your circle !
What are the skills/knowledge that your supervisors have ,that you need to learn so as to reach their levels ?
Other reality of life is that you can’t just always quit your job anytime.
Finding a good & thankful company may take time.
“So when you’re stuck, you’ve gotta find it within yourself to say, ‘Ok, this is where I am. And if I’m going to be here, I’m going to be great.’
Because if you’re great at your job, typically other people and companies would find you out, so it creates opportunities.”
In summary , finding a good & thankful company is not everything !
The magic in your career would happen only when a ‘great ‘ company would meet a ‘great’ you !27 claps