Advance Your Career by Demonstrating Your Unique Character and Ingenuity
When asked about the most dissatisfying part of their job, a great number of employees will say that it is their inability to move up the corporate ladder because their employer does not recognize their personal talents. Do you feel trapped in a company that seems neither interested in your future nor willing to recognize your potential value? What should you do?”
A 2010 report by The Conference Board, a worldwide non-profit research organization, found that “U.S. job satisfaction is at the lowest level in two decades.” When stuck in a position where the chances of career advancement seems unlikely, employees begin to lose interest in their work and they no longer feel motivated to help make the business a success. Once in a job position, how employees conduct themselves in the work place becomes essential to catching the attention of business managers. If you are looking to advance your career, there are a number of key methods to getting noticed by demonstrating your unique character attributes and ingenuity.
Play The Corporate Game
A large corporation is nothing more than a multi-layered bureaucracy. The corporate culture consists of multifarious bureaucratic rules and processes that must be followed in order to play and win the corporate game.
Being a mediocre employee is not an asset when playing the corporate game. A mediocre employee may go along to get along; however, it will eventually lead to feeling unchallenged and feeling like just an employee number instead of a valued member of the corporation. The result will be job dissatisfaction and the lack of desire to advance one’s career.
When those within the corporate world discover that they have become trapped in such an environment they have two options. They can fold their cards on the desk of their cubical, learn the rules and play the game the way most do, or they can expose the game for what it is and make their own rules.
Those who are willing to limit their talent and sacrifice their individuality on the altar of career advancement can, and as I have seen, often do, move up the organization just the way that Dr. Laurence Peter predicted in his bestseller, The Peter Principle, wherein an employee “tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” However, they do so at the high price dissatisfaction not only with their job, but with their own self-respect. There is however, another way…
Thinking outside the box and using your imagination is essential to getting ahead in the corporate game. The goal is to understand the game and play it with creativity and imagination. This will require showcasing your own ideas, thoughts, opinions, and embracing your individuality and unique assets.
A Productive and Happy Employee Has Self-Respect
Employees with confidence and integrity have self-respect. When you have self-respect, you will be more apt to work harder, be a more creative thinker, and look for innovative ways to climb the corporate ladder. Taking on projects that will get you noticed and receive recognition will boost your self-esteem.
When you feel good about yourself, your work, and that you are a valued employee, you will be more likely to take positive and productive actions that will improve the business’s bottom line. The overall result will be catching the eye of your superiors. An employee that feels valued and is recognized for their work is an employee that managers will view as loyal, motivated, and dedicated to making the business a success. It is these employees that will be seen as potential candidates for career advancement. As well, these employees that will be remembered when a job position becomes available.
In times of Crisis, Step Away from the Group
Every corporation will face times of crisis, whether it is result of economic decline as we have all experienced over the last few years, or a particular project becomes at risk of failing. When the collective staff fails to come up with a resolution to a crisis, it is the perfect time for an individual to step out and use their individual thinking, imagination, and creativity, to come up with smart business solutions.
By doing so, key personal attributes will make themselves known to managers such as: leadership skills, the ability to calmly think and rationalize during a stressful crisis, the ability to come up with solutions under pressure, and the ability to think and work independently as well as with a team. These are all skills business leaders are searching for when looking to promote people within the company.
Wisely Use Your Emotional Intelligence
Healthy communication, behavior, and actions are essential to successfully navigating the waters of the corporate culture. Business leaders want employees that can work efficiently and lead other employees in a productive manner.
The result of wisely using your emotional intelligence is influencing others to react positively and productively. An employee who is able to recognize their emotions and process those emotions to positively influence others, will have a positive impact on how others think, feel, and act.
As well, the employee will also feel better emotionally as he or she will not be filled with such feelings as anger, frustration, resentment, disappointment, and other negative emotions which can lead to negative thinking and job dissatisfaction. The book, At the Heart of Leadership: How to Get Results with Emotional Intelligence, challenges the conventional belief that emotions are in the way of good decisions — showing that emotions are essential for good decisions. It delivers a compelling case on identifying and using emotional states to encourage better problem solving approaches, improve productivity, and eliminate negative thinking and job dissatisfaction.
Manage Your Boss
Managing your boss effectively is essential to making yourself stand out from the mediocre. This does not mean sucking up to your boss or going along to get along. It means understanding your boss’s needs and temperament. Identifying your boss’s personality traits, emotions, and responding with positive reactions and actions will go a long way in climbing the corporate ladder.
Employees need to understand their boss’s needs as much as the boss needs to understand their employees’ needs. Productive communication, a willingness to take on tasks to reduce a boss’ stress, and not fearing your boss so that you can keep the lines of communication will show that you are a dedicated and productive employee that will be appreciated and rewarded. It is important not to think of a boss as someone that must be avoided. A good working relationship with the boss is essential to advancing your career. It will also lead to higher job satisfaction.
In the corporate culture, to get noticed, you need to maintain your self-respect, unique character attributes, self-confidence, and become emotionally aware in all types of situations. By understanding and embracing what makes you a unique individual, you will be better able to understand the rules of the corporate game, which will result in increased job satisfaction. Most importantly, it will not be long before you find yourself climbing the corporate ladder to success.
- To survive, maintain your dignity and self-worth in most of the corporate of world, you will need to recognize that it is all a game, a business “Wii” of hierarchiological science.
- Once you see it as just a game, you gain a perspective that few others understand. Holding this knowledge enables you to see the silliness of many of the rules where “very employee in the bureaucratic chain tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”
- Understanding these views not only allow you to retain your individuality and self-respect, it gives you the confidence to mock the absurdity of most of the rules of the game – even if only in the privacy of your own thoughts.
- Recognize that in the irony of this is that understanding the various positions presented in this article will position you for the real success that will come, and along with it, the ultimate in job satisfaction.
Going against the grain or swimming against the current is never the easiest course of action. It is far easier to go with the flow, following the path of least resistance. But the winner within begs you to be who you were born to be and to pursue the path of excellence — wherever it may lead. Going against the grain means going with your own personal internal flow, fervently following your heart and fulfilling your dreams.
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