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Your Career Strategy

by Caroline Buhagiar | 02 Jun. 2016

Your management capabilities, technical expertise, and being professional throughout are major factors underpinning the effectiveness of your role and future progression. It has however become clear that in themselves they do not suffice. Career success or failure is not simply an outcome of your talent. Critical to both is how you manage your personal time and the effort put into responding to the realities of human nature and organisational life.

So what are the distinguishing factors of those who succeed within an organization, when compared to those who don’t?

Confidence inspires greater confidence.

Projecting confidence adds to your credibility, allowing you to be taken at face value. If you fail to project confidence,no matter your underlying talents and skills, your effectiveness and contribution will be questioned.

Gravitating towards success

The power of association is significant. Connecting and working with people who are great at what they do is critical. Success is infectious. Needless to say that negative attributions to one's person are made if you hang around with people who are no good and do little work. Creating a strong personal brand is key if you want to succeed in the corporate world.

Balancing stakeholder groups

Working within an organisation means operating within a complex network of interpersonal relationships. As a result you need to manage the expectations of different groups. Failure to manage these different expectations will constrain your effectiveness and lessen your impact.

Building broad based commitment

Advancing your agenda is easier if you are in tune with the informal communication flow of the organisation and are connected to different networks. Positive relationships, across different levels and functions, also provide the opportunity to gain the loyalty of those whose career paths you may encounter in the future..

Focus on priorities

Not everything can be achieved all at once. Apply the 80/20 law; 80% of your outcomes will be attained by 20% of your efforts. Being ruthless in managing your time and directing your energy towards a few key issues will have much more impact than attempting to take on the full range of potential challenges. Sustainable development requires time and effort.

Controlled delegation

Knowing what issues require your personal attention and which should be passed on to others is critical to maximise your value to the organisation. Not only does it free up your time for key decisions, but it also enables your colleagues to develop greater skills by taking on additional responsibility and improve their levels of productivity.

Managing corporate politics

The realities of organisational life are based on the dynamics of power and the ongoing battle for corporate resources. Within this perspective in mind; talent, effectiveness and contribution can be less effective on career advancement than one's positioning within the corporate political network. Whether you like it or not, corporate politics is an essential skill that must be mastered.

Managing time

There are times when you should strive to ‘push forward’ your ideas and plans. There are also times when holding back and awaiting developments before committing to a course of action is necessary. Know when to move quickly and when to delay. Manage the ‘art of the possible’ within the realities of organisational life.

Playing to strengths

Your l innate talents will allow you to acquire new skills, demonstrate specific competencies and with experience, excel at making a substantial organisational impact. Many companies spend a huge amount of time trying to fix their managers’ “weak areas” , only to realize that little has changed. Focus on maximizing your strengths and you will achieve excellence.

Managing egos & emotions

Organisational life has its ups and downs.Its trials and tribulations. When emotions run high, a cool head that displays ‘grace under pressure’ is a valued asset. Rising above petty rivalries or dealing with crises in a mature manner reassures others that you can be trusted to rise to a challenge and take on greater responsibility.

Flexible curiosity and agile learning

An alertness to emerging trends and developments gives you ongoing perspective of your ‘employability’ and ‘marketability’. It also creates a broader and more varied set of life experiences to draw upon, establishing you as a credible player. Make mistakes, and then use them to learn fast. This will allow you to strengthen your competencies and ultimately drive your development.

Use the above from time to time review your personal and professional goals. Ensure that they are aligned and compatible. People who are passionate about what they do are more likely to have a fulfilling and rich life.

Caroline Buhagiar is an avid and passionate HR professional who has worked in large multinational companies in Europe, US and Asia. She is fluent in manufacturing excellence, business excellence, building HR capability and driving
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