Continuing this series on 12 things that can either stall or squash your career success, I have listed the last four. This series can extend well beyond 12 things but I will stop it right here.
However, the 12 outlined in the series (read Part 1 and Part 2 here), can give you a glimpse into how we as leaders look at and evaluate employees outside of the work product. Granted, the work product is a huge piece of the puzzle. But in reality, the soft skills and professionalism or lack thereof, are huge as well.
Here are the last four to complete my list of 12.
9. If you are coachable
Many times taking on the mindset of, “I’ll do it my way, no matter what” shows up in your work and attitude. When you have this mindset, your boss will get the impression that you either 1. don’t want coaching or 2. don’t take coaching well. Having to tell an employee several times to do or not to do something, can become draining. So, why would your boss want to pass that drain onto someone else? The coaching is feedback on what can be done better for the overall goal. It’s not an attack on your personally. It’s just trying to get the job done as the boss oftentimes has a boss to answer to as well. Take the feedback and see it as a growth opportunity and not an attack on your work.
Think about it: Take the feedback and implement the things your boss is asking. If the direction does not produce the results desired, take it to your boss. But make sure to take a recommendation on what can be done differently. This will show the competencies or partnership and critical thinking which will score high in the “success” book.
10. If you are engaged in your work
This is a sure red flag to any boss. Lack of engagement can hinder personal and team results. Once results are affected, the repercussions can be many. Having an “I don’t care” attitude can affect the morale of the team and the morale of your boss. When morale is affected, results are too.
Think about it. Is there something going on outside/inside of work that you need to address? Is the work no longer challenging? Address these issues so you can either get back in the game or begin the process of removing yourself from the environment.
11. If you are high-maintenance
Oh, my. This is a biggie. Running in your boss’s office for every little thing is never a good thing. It pulls you and your boss out of productivity. Even if you say, “It’ll only take a minute” and you keep your promise. The reality is that those minutes add up. It also gives the appearance that you need continuous management direction. On the flip side, if you are running to tell every little win, it can be viewed as a need of approval and accolades and even worse….coddling. Ughhh…..
Think about it. Do you have to ask your boss everything? Consider using your resources – people, the internet, online, etc. – before running into your boss’s office. Also, save the wins for your next one-on-one as that is the best time to tell of your successes. If you don’t have scheduled one-on-one’s, schedule one. This will be less disruptive to you and your boss’s productivity.
12. If you are a team player or out for self
When you give the appearance of not being a team player and are only concerned about your work and what you do, you thwart the success of the entire team. Sharing your knowledge, efficiencies, and skills with the team so the team moves forward together, will score big points with your boss. There are many team-oriented organizations. Understand that it takes an internal “village” to help the company succeed. When you understand this, you can check this off on your success journey.
Think about it. Would you rather effect the results of yourself or an entire team? The latter is much better. Why? Because, when you can speak to your influence and impact on a larger scale it will increase your “success” scorecard even more.
Again, these 12 things come from my 16 years of experience as a leader or “boss” as the title of this series state. They also came from conversations with peer leaders and my superiors when discussing who should get a promotion, placed on a special project, or even given a leadership development opportunity. These opportunities are crucial to your career success whether it’s a promotion and/or a special project with visibility. Being mindful of these little small things can pay big dividends.
The key to all this is quite simple. Do the right thing all the time and you will never have to worry about what your brand will be in the workplace. After all, you do have a brand and it’s up to you to protect it, grow it, and elevate it. If you have the slightest desire to create a successful career for yourself, you will take 12 things to heart.
Real talk. Real Careers. Real Results.