Article By Ms. Smita Venkataraman, Executive Director – HR & Corporate Communications, AGS Health
The corporate world is very exciting but if you don’t prepare yourself adequately, it can also be demanding. And it is during times of such demand, that golden opportunities come by knocking, waiting to be picked. What is it that can bring you success in the corporate world? Here are five career tips:
Be Ready to ‘Learn’ and ‘Unlearn’ – whichever Observation is an art. And a science. Look around you, and you will notice who are successful and who aren’t. Observe what makes them successful, and learn from them. Also learn what not to do, for you can learn a lot from those who aren’t successful to. Have a thirst for learning and a passion for excellence – don’t become part of a large homogenous group that simply work without asking questions and do what is asked of them without applying their thought. And you cannot ‘pass’ by cramming in the real world. Here you have to apply and demonstrate your learning every single day. Enroll yourself in workshops and training programs offered by your Company, and also pursue certifications externally, to constantly sharpen your skills. Corporates value those who have that fire to learn and unlearn what is not required – they get noticed for being different, and they rise quickly to the top. Of course you will have to demonstrate your learning by showing real time productivity and quality in a consistent manner.
Have a Positive Mental Attitude – No matter who says what – believe in yourself. Of course, that does not mean you should ignore constructive feedback and get arrogant. Take feedback in the right spirit and analyze it for its merit. Ask questions politely if you are not sure of the feedback or disagree with it for want of additional information or examples. But once you see merit, make sure you work on your areas of improvement. Check with the providers of the mentoring and coaching feedback if they see a positive change (after you start making the needed changes). This kind of follow up is much appreciated in corporate circles. And do all this with a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE. Believe you can do it. Nothing is impossible for you if you focus and work hard towards it. Simultaneously be keenly aware of your strengths – what you are naturally good at. Keep building on them and seek out roles / assignments that is mapped to your strengths. You will succeed faster and naturally with minimal effort, because it will be like second nature.
Develop and Show Team Spirit – Nothing is more magical than good team work. Companies are built on team work and team spirit. You cannot control who you work with. You will meet new people and will have to work with diverse sets of people. That is the beauty! People with different work styles, different personalities, different backgrounds and outlook. You will realize that two people can look at the same thing with two totally different perspectives – how enriching is that! And you will also realize that your perspective will not always be right. So start working on your communication skills and thought process. Be open to different ideas and perspectives. Welcome and value difference of opinions. Be careful not to dominate or get defensive when someone differs with you. You can always agree to disagree politely, but before you do that, listen carefully and patiently to others and then put your point forth. Short temper, impatience, and aggression – these are undesirable traits when it comes to the team based work structures. Be pleasant, sociable and network.
Demonstrate Confidence – It may look like a strange world out there. Your friends or family may not always be able to assist you if they are not used to the fast paced new economy industries that you are working in. But don’t worry – you are not alone. Every year hundreds of thousands of women like you enter the corporate world and it is their energy, vision and passion that is helping Companies surge ahead in the global workplace. Be one among them – show confidence in whatever you do. Do not hesitate to speak up, communicate and share your thoughts and opinions with your peers, colleagues, leaders and the management in your company. Seek out someone senior in your Company who you respect and admire – ask if he or she could be your mentor as you build your career in the organization.
Be Patient and Build Your Dream Career – The industry today is plagued by employees who join a company, get trained, stick around for some months and then quit to join another company. Be careful not to join that rat race. When you keep jumping jobs, your resume takes a hit and future employers will start doubting your loyalty and stability. And it is only fair – think about it – why would someone want to hire you and trust you with important responsibilities if they are unsure if you will again leave? Also, your learning gets affected as there is no way anyone can master any industry within a span of few months. Growth (read promotions) comes only when you demonstrate depth of learning and consistent high performance. Therefore patience and constant learning is required when it comes to career growth. Of course, that does not mean you need to stick to a company if it does not engage you in the right manner or if there are some serious issues that affect your job satisfaction. But before you decide to move jobs, always ensure you openly discuss with your management about the problems you are facing. Many times, they may not even be aware of it and there is no way they can fix the problem unless someone shares the issues with them and confides in them. So give them a chance and don’t get carried away by gossip/rumors you hear from your colleagues. They may be facing issues which are not necessarily going to affect you in any manner. So before getting swayed by what others say, check with your leader or skip level manager. Build a good rapport with him/her and believe that if you speak up, the management will respond favorably. Progressive Companies genuinely care for their employees and are always listening to their staff to see what needs to be changed. After all, it takes two to tango.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and may not reflect those of this organisation.