Accelerate your Career: 4-Eye’d Employee (pt 3)

The following is based on a presentation made to the UBCO (University of British Columbia Okanagan) female business students affiliated with the Sauder School of Business on January 28, 2011. (Presenters: Meryle Corbett, CMA,FCMA CFO of Kelowna Flightcraft Group of Companies; and Paulette Rennie, President of ValleyFirst Credit Union)

What strategies will make YOU successful in business? A group of C-suite executives agreed that the key to a rising business career includes four main characteristics. They are described below in our series, “The 4-eyed employee” : 

So what are we talking about? The first “eye” or “I” attribute is the underlying foundation for business success:

INTELLIGENCE

The second “eye” or “I” attribute is the key to career longevity:

INTEGRITY

The third “eye” or “I” attribute is the secret to how far your career will rise:
INITIATIVE
1) Stand out from the pack:  Produce  at least 10% more than your competitors
You need to position yourself above the crowd in order to accelerate your career.  This means getting noticed by management for producing results superior to your competitors.
– quantity of work is higher – find scalable improvements, efficiencies that save time
– quality of work is superior – what makes a boss notice you and your work?
– deliver more than is expected – anticipate what your boss will ask or need
If you can find a way to be seen as “above the crowd”, you are on your way to winning promotions and moving up the career ladder. 

2) “Results” are more valued by management than just “Effort”
Think about it:  if one employee puts in 50% more effort but delivers the same results as the average employee, he/she is inefficient compared to the others.  In fact, this inefficiency is probably even costing the company overtime.  RESULTS are what count in the long run and what get you noticed in the workplace.

3) Make sure you balance work time versus home time

One of the challenges you will probably face throughout your working career is balancing priorities between personal life and work.  This is a personal choice you will have to make:  how much personal time will you sacrifice to advance your career?   The answer is different for everyone; it’s a personal decision you will have to consider at various points throughout your career.
a)  Choose a job / career that matches your hobbies and your passion -then your job is not drudgery, it’s a motivator that invigorates you!  How much easier is it to spend time at work when you love your job?
b) Work SMARTER not just harder. Nobody gets ahead by slacking off on the job; however there are tricks to work smarter in your role as opposed to grinding away for long hours.  Streamline your procedures (remove unnecessary steps), delegate duties, automate portions of your work (like reports) where possible

4) Anticipate your boss’s requirements – get yourself noticed
Exceeding expectations within your job will get your boss’s attention, and will make his job easier, too.  Consistent ability to exceed expectations regularly also will win you opportunities for advancement.

5) Make realistic commitments and set realistic expectations
There is an old saying, “promise little, deliver lots”.   Don’t take on extra tasks to be a hero – make sure you can deliver before you say yes.   NOT delivering will diminish your credibility and erode your reputation over time.

6) “WOW” your customers
Ask yourself regularly, “How can I “wow” my customer?  What would it take to “wow” my boss?”  Wow-thinking stimulates creative solutions and will keep you energized and proactive in your approach to your career.

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