Managing Your Career

By: Anonymous

7.0 Biggest Career Mistakes

  1. Keeping a career in line with your degree

  2. Getting career advice from your parents (or relatives)

  3. Changing jobs without long-term strategy in mind

  4. Letting your Boss (or company) manage your career

7.1 You are going to die

  1. Happy New Year. You are going to die.

  2. Every year is a game

  3. The objective of game is to build up your “Experience CV” from Jan 1 to Dec 31.

  4. How much difference can you make to yourself, others, company? How much difference did you make last year?

  5. Forget about last year, its past, even if you did very good or very bad

  6. This is a New Year. So we have to start with a New Beginning.

7.2 Your Job & You

“Know your job well, do it well, and be better than anyone else in doing it.”

Bottom line: You must be really good at your basic job.

Get Your Work Noticed

  1. It’s easy to get overlooked in the busy office life. You have to make your mark so that you stand out and your potential will be noticed.

  2. The best way is to step outside the normal working routine.

  3. The unexpected report/proposal is a brilliant way to stand out from the crowd, BUT:

    1. Only submit a report occasionally

    2. Make really sure that your report will actually work – that it will do good or provide benefits

  4. The very best way to get your wok noticed is to be very, very good at your job. Be totally dedicated to doing the job and ignoring the rest (e.g. politics, gossip, time wasting, etc…)

  5. The professional stays focused. Keep your mind on the task at hand – be very good at your job and don’t get distracted. 

– Never Stand Still 

  1. Doing the job isn’t the end for you – it is merely a means to an end.

  2. Your eye should be fixed on the next step and every activity you are involved in at work should merely be a part of your plan to move up.

  3. While others are thinking of their next tea break or how to get through the afternoon without actually having to do any work, you will be busy planning and executing your next step.

  4. Things you should be doing for the next step:

  5. Study for the next promotion

  6. Write special reports/proposals

iii. Research ways to improve the work process for everyone

  1. Further you knowledge of company procedures and history

  2. Never accept that doing the job is enough. Don’t stand still.

– Develop a specialty for yourself

  1. A business will only be average if it tries to sell everything to everyone. It becomes a Pasar Borong!

  2. All leading companies or products specialize in something.

  3. Specializing means spotting a useful area that no one else has spotted or is currently doing.

  4. Developing a specialty will take you out of your normal job activities.

  5. Developing a specialty means you get noticed by people other than your boss – other people’s bosses. 

– Be 100 Per Cent Committed

  1. Being a professional means you are going to have to work a lot harder than any of your colleagues.

  2. For you there is no time off, no downtime, no lazing around.

  3. Watch what you say and what you do.

  4. You are going to have to be observant, dedicated, watchful, keen, ready, prepared, cautious, and alert. Not easy. 

7.3 Know that you’re being judged at all times 

Everything about us is being judged at all times. This is about making that judgment positive and enhances your position. 

– Cultivate a Smile 

  1. Smile no matter what. Smile when you greet your colleagues in the morning. Smile when you shake hands. Smile when it’s getting tough. Smile when it’s hell. Smile no matter what.

  2. What sort of smile? Friendly, genuine.

  3. Practice your smile. 

– Show Confidence and Energy 

  1. Aim to look confident, relaxed but also energetic

  2. When you walk through the office first thing in the morning there should a spring in your step. Let others crawl into the office.

  3. You need to be smoothly in control – not hurried, not lazily, not frightened or beaten. You need to be seen as bright and fresh and alive and enthusiastic. 

– Be Cool 

  1. You don’t want someone who panics; you want someone cool, calm and collected.

  2. You must become ‘James Bond’. 

7.4 Have a Plan

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up nowhere. Have a plan.

However, Professionals are flexible and able to accommodate their plan to fit the circumstances.

  • Set Long-Term Goals

  • Set Short-Term Goals 

7.5 If you can’t say anything nice – Shut Up

People judge you by what you say and how you say it.

Be known as someone who is pleasant and positive

– Don’t Gossip

  1. If someone gossips to you, just listen.

  2. Don’t pass anything on. Gossip stops with you.

  3. Gossiping is for people who have not got enough work to do. It is also for workers who have mindless jobs.

  4. BUT… don’t go around telling everyone to stop gossiping. You will sound very ‘arrogant. Just don’t pass it on.

– Don’t complain 

  1. Complaining is a time wasting device invented by sad people who have not got enough work to do.

  2. Complaining is pointless. It is unproductive and achieves nothing.

  3. Solution?

Make sure you have a solution for anything you are complaining about. If you do not have a solution, you are not allowed to complain.

– Stand Up for Others

  1. When people around you start talking bad about someone you don’t like, you will be excited to join the conversation and say bad things about him also.

  2. However, as a Professional, you won’t say bad things about him. Instead, you stand up for him.

  3. Your objective – find something nice to say no matter what.

  4. Standing up for others, no matter what, gets you a reputation as someone who can always find something nice to say about everybody.

  5. This will gain loyalty from people around you in the long-term.

– Ask Questions

  1. Proud people always make statements e.g. “I don’t like that” “It’s not workable”. Professionals always ask questions.

  2. Asking questions show that you have paid attention, care, interested, thoughtful, considerate, intelligent, and creative.

  3. Stupid people don’t ask questions. Bored people don’t ask questions. Lazy people don’t ask questions.

  4. There will always be some aspect of another person that you can ask questions: F.O.R.M.

– Use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’

You must always say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’, no matter how many times someone does something for you or even if it is just a small task.

– Don’t Swear

– Don’t let it get to you

  1. If it all gets to much, remember it’s just a job.

  2. Take your job seriously and give it all you’ve got, but remember it’s just a job and it can be replaced, you can be replaced, and the world goes on.

  3. This means putting things into context so you can go home and switch off.

– Be ready to unlearn – what works, changes

  1. Realize that what works, changes.

  2. You have to stay abreast of:

  3. Latest innovations in your industry

  4. New technology

  5. New terminology

  6. New methodology

  7. Changes in sales, market trends, staff turnover figures, targets, and budgets

– Know when to let go:

  1. Some projects just aren’t going to work. Some team members just aren’t going to fit in. Some bosses are never going to be possible to work with.

  2. Know when to quit.

  3. Know when to admit it’s your fault and surrender.

  4. If you don’t know when to let go, you’ll build up anger, hatred, jealousy, pain.

  5. Let it go. Concentrate on the next big exciting thing you can do.

– Go home

  1. Who do you work for?

  2. Always remember what your life priority is.

– Let the company know you are on its side

  1. Do some concrete things, such as:

  2. Buy some shares

  3. Read the company newsletter

  4. Support company functions

  5. Show an interest

  6. Ask questions

  7. Use the company’s products and services

  8. Actively speak well of the company

  9. Rehearse what you think is good about the company – have a ready answer of asked

  10. Know the company’s mission and philosophy

  11. Know the company’s history

  12. What you do not do – ever – is bad-mouth the company under any circumstances

  13. You have to love your company and see it as a relationship.

– Don’t bad mouth your boss

  1. If you can’t find anything good to say, don’t say anything.

  2. You do not publicly curse them off, even if they deserve it.

– Don’t bad-mouth your team

  1. It’s a poor work person who blames their tools. Your team is your tool to getting your job done.

  2. If you publicly curse your team you are cursing yourself and admitting publicly you are a bad leader.

– Maintain Good Friendships and Relationships

  1. It is easy to maintain good relationships and friendships at work if you just practice good manners.

  2. Good manners is being polite, warm, human, compassionate, helpful, welcoming.

  3. This becomes tricky when it comes to somebody you don’t like, have clashed with in the past or has been rude or unpleasant to you. But that’s when it’s most important to use this skill.

– The Ultimate Career Advice

  • “Find something you like to do so much you would gladly do it for nothing.

  • Then learn to do it so well that people would be happy to pay you for it.”

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About Amr Badran

An Egyptian Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer since 1997. I've trained on Management, Leadership and Soft Skills to thousands of people from many nationalities, backgrounds and professions in more than 10 countries across the Middle and Far East. Holder of an MBA and a Candidate for Doctorate in Business. Find more about my Management and Personal Skills Courses at AmrBadran.com and feel free contacting me at Amr@AmrBadran.com
This entry was posted in Entrepreneurship, Management, Personal Development, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

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