Each and every professional wants his or her career to shine. But are they equipped with the necessary characteristics for this? Larry Bossidy, the Co-author of the bestselling book ‘Execution’, writes that the most valuable people he has ever met in business are those who have developed the habit of fulfilling their responsibilities and getting their assigned job done quickly. In every study of successful people in business, these characteristics seem to stand out. In any job, all the successful people take responsibility and move quickly to fulfill those responsibilities and get the required results. And in business RESULTS are everything.
Keep the following ultimate guide in mind while carrying out day-to-day activities and develop these useful habits to boost your career.
Avoid Wasting Time
One of the most important habits you can develop, which will help you in any job, is the habit of working all the time you work. The efficiency of people varies drastically even in the same working environment. One person can finish the double nos. of tasks compared to his or her colleague. With this, learning & exposure also double up. With more learning & exposure, there is a high probability of success in the future.
According to Robert Half International, the average employee works only 50 percent of the time. The other 50 percent of working time is largely wasted. It is spent in idle conversation with co-workers, constantly checking and rechecking email, late arrivals, extended coffee breaks, lunches, and early departures. It is dribbled away by making private phone calls, reading the newspaper, taking care of personal business, and surfing the internet. Only half of the time for which the average person is paid is spent on work-related activities.
Back to Work!
While working the average employee prioritizes the tasks that are fun and easy rather than the jobs that are hard and important. Most people “major in minors” and work on low-priority activities. When you discipline yourself to focus on high-priority tasks and make every minute count, you will immediately separate yourself from everyone else and take full control of your career and your future.
Resolve to work all the time you work. Start a little earlier, and when you get to the office, go to work immediately. If someone wants to talk to you, say you would like to chat, but not right now. Right now, you have to get back to work!
Nothing will bring you to the attention of people who can help you faster growth than developing a habit of hard work. In every study of successful people, whether they are athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, or self-made millionaires in any field, the most obvious habit they have is that they work much longer and harder than their co-workers.
Be the Part of Elite Group
There have been many studies about wealth and poverty worldwide. These studies try to explain income distribution and are often used as the basis for welfare payments, unemployment compensation, and levels of taxation. Again and again, these studies show that the highest-paid people in most fields work about 60 hours a week. The lowest-paid people, the ones at the poverty line, work fewer than 25 hours per week.
There is a direct relationship between how hard you work and how much you are paid, as well as a direct relationship between how hard you work and how rapidly you are promoted. There is also a direct relationship between how hard you work and the value of the contribution you make to your company. People who work longer hours are invariably more valuable, paid more, and promoted faster than people who do not.
Become Ready for Future
Andrew Grove, the former longtime CEO of Intel, was interviewed in Fortune magazine some time ago and asked what he felt had been the biggest changes that had taken place in the world of work in the past decade. He answered, “In my estimation, the two most important changes were these: First of all, every person today is now the architect of his or her own career. Each person has to see himself or herself as completely responsible for everything that happens to them, especially for their own work habits, and their own training and development. No one can rely on a company taking care of them throughout their careers.”
His second observation was even more important. He said that today, the key to success in any job is to “add value.” At one time, you could get a job, reach a certain level of accomplishment, and then coast for months and even years on your previous achievements. Today, however, you must be looking for ways to add value every single day. Your company no longer cares what you might have accomplished in the past. The main question today is, “What have you done for me lately?”
Gary Hamel and the late C. K. Prahalad were two of the top strategic thinkers in the world. In their book ‘Competing for the Future’, they write that a company’s key to competitive advantage is to project forward five years and identify the core competencies and skills it will need to be a market leader at that time.
With the same aspect, one of the most important habits you can develop is the habit of looking forward three to five years and identifying the additional skills and competencies you will need to be at the top of your field at that time. What are the trends in your industry? What are the skills possessed by the highest-paid people in your industry today? Where is your industry going, and what will you have to be absolutely superb at doing three to five years from now if you want to earn an excellent income? These are the key questions that determine the direction of your career.
The Race is ON
Former management writer and guru Peter Drucker wrote, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.” It has been said often that “Whatever got you to where you are today is not enough to keep you there.”
Management author Tom Peters says, “Whatever you are doing well today, you will have to be doing it vastly better one year from today if you want to keep your current position.” The race is on, and you are in it. Continually look for ways to add value, to contribute more than you are contributing today. Never forget that you are a “knowledge worker,” and the value of your work is not determined by the hours you put in but by the results that you get out of those hours.
Make a habit of focusing on the most important and valuable results you can accomplish in your position. Keep looking forward and identifying the additional skills and abilities you can develop that will enable you to add more value by getting even better and more important results. This is the way to put yourself on the side of the angels and put your career on the fast track. (Content credit to ‘Million Dollar Habits’ by Brian Tracy).