In most multinational business organizations, the first quarter of the year is the time to evaluate the results of the year that just ended. The time also for each employee, regardless of position, to look back and reflect on what went right, what has gone wrong, and how to not replicate it in the future. There is a saying made famous by John C Maxwell which goes, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” Winning is when you get rewarded for your efforts in helping your organization achieved its business goals and targets, and learning is when you discover the best approach on how to tackle job-related challenging situations in future. Choosing to learn from past mistakes helps in moving forward to the right direction. However, achieving 95% or more of your business objectives does not guarantee a job promotion. Experience taught me that it requires much more than what we think. The following might help in your self-assessment.
“No thanks, I’m good. I’ll just eat lunch on my desk. But have fun, guys!”
Are you this type of person? One of those who would rather get the things done quickly and chose to save time spent on lunches away from your desk, than enjoy your meal with colleagues and other people? There is nothing wrong with getting a job done well ahead of time. However, having a healthy relationship with your colleagues, that come naturally with regular interaction off work environment, provide a long-term investment. It’s your official lunch break after all, so why not join them? Some important off the the record information sometimes pops up through the grapevine. You’ll never know what you’re missing. In a target-driven work environment, I know this habit is difficult to break. But you must aim to do it. OK, make it official. Include it in your objectives!
“I’m sorry for the last-minute request; I know you’re super busy.”
Do you remember apologizing to people for all the wrong reasons? Come on. If you’re doing it to please them, or yourself, I tell you it only sends a wrong message. So please, before your “sorry” loses its meaning, next time be sincere and say sorry only when you mean it. And only when it really matters. A genuine apology touches the heart and mends all misunderstandings. I mean it!
Minimizing Your Achievements
“It was a team effort; I just helped out a little bit – it was no big deal.”
Being modest does not mean you have to downplay your personal efforts and contribution that are significant to your department’s success. Learning to give credit where it’s due start with yourself. I would doubt very much your capability to genuinely credit other people for their work if you can deprive yourself of that same well-deserved applause. So, are you now wondering why your super-duper articulate colleague made it to the higher strata of your corporate ladder before you did? Believe me, I have witnessed it.
Trying to Do It All
“Maybe if I close this deal all on my own, my boss will realize who really runs the whole show around here.”
We’ve all heard these phrases: “Too many chefs spoil the broth.” “Two heads are better than one.” These two phrases send contrasting messages so I will not be surprised if you try to do it all. But when is many too many, or two just enough? There is no magic number really, but a quick chat with your team leader or mentor will help you evaluate the situation at hand. Trying to do it all for the wrong motive when you’re not supposed to is a formula for a disaster. I’ve seen it happen, haha!
Being Too Shy to Negotiate
“I love my job; I love this organization. I don’t want them to think I’m only doing this for money.”
They say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s true. But not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth to afford this lifestyle. The truth is our passion is not enough to sustain our financial needs, especially if we have mouths to feed, in addition to our own. As our children grow and start with their formal education, we are all the more pressured to bring in more cash to the family’s bank account. Each year, your end of year performance evaluation consistently make it to the top, yet your valued efforts do not make any difference in your take home pay. So what’s the matter? If you don’t talk about it with your manager, chances are, he or she might fail to realize your need for more cash. Remember, running the company’s day-to-day operation can occupy your manager’s full attention. Sometimes you need to remind your manager too. There is no harm in asking what does the company expect from you in order to get either the salary raise that you so badly need, a handsome bonus, a job promotion, or all of the above. So, on your next “one-to-one” meeting, you know what to do. And when congratulations are in order, don’t forget to let me know so that I can rejoice with you.
Sometimes, what we say or do is taken out of context. Nevertheless, let not your good be evil spoken of. Detractors are blessings in disguise. Taken positively, they help us examine ourselves to validate our value and purpose. Having said all that, whatever stage you are insofar as your career status is concerned, never be discouraged, take your time, and press on, bearing in mind all the right motives and intentions! When someone has been given much, much will be required in return. That illusive job promotion you have been aspiring to get will come to you when you are ready for it heart and soul. And if you love your job, it will love you back. Always remember, what you sow in tears, you will reap in joy if you faint not.