EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO
ACHIEVE PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS.
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Building a successful career requires a long-term and strategic mindset. Here are 4 habits that might be holding you back.
1. Doing only what you are asked
If you want to rise in the company, you need to take initiative. Doing only what you are asked may prevent you from getting fired (for now), but it will never get you anywhere. Wherever possible, stretch yourself, initiate ideas and help others’ out. Every experience is a valuable one, will help you grow and signal to your boss that you are someone to watch.
2. Not evaluating performance criteria
Most companies nowadays require employees to fill in performance evaluation form as part of annual assessments. These forms are invaluable insight into what values and skills that your employers value. In addition, these forms go directly towards impacting your bonus.
Look carefully at the form and look at the indicators marked. What tangibles do they use to evaluate your performance? What intangibles have you overlooked (e.g. punctuality / being a team player)?
3. Not asking for more
Unlike school, you don’t get promoted automatically just because you completed all your assigned tasks well. Companies are ultimately about the bottom-line. They will not promote an employee unless it is in their interest do so. Either (a) they know the employee is at risk of being poached; or (b) the employee has advocated for himself/herself and has demonstrated that he/she wants to be promoted. More often than not, if you don’t communicate your ambitions, your employer may not know that you are eager for more. Unless otherwise indicated, they will assume that you are happy to continue doing the good work that you’ve been doing at the exact same pay and position.
When asking for a promotion/raise, make sure you have tangible output to back it up. Show the extra work that you have been taking up, the increased targets you have met,and that you are willing and able to take on more responsibility in the new position. Don’t just assume that because you are out-performing in your current role, you deserve a promotion. You need to show that you can assume the increased responsibilities of the new positon as well.
4. Not looking ahead
Finally, to achieve your BIG career goals, you need to be constantly looking ahead. Look at your boss (and her boss’) position and see if you want to get there and how you can do so. Benchmark yourself yearly amongst your peers. Are you satisfied with your trajectory?
It is wise to look 5, 10 years ahead. Is your industry morphing into a sunset one? Will your position still be relevant 10 years from now? Do you even want your boss’ job? From these projections, you can see if your current path is right for you, and change gears early if need be. If you notice industry shifts, you may also want to start equipping yourself with new skills or try to get more experience in an area that is on the rise. All of these actions will help set you up for success in the future.