Gone are the days when people used to be awarded for 25 years of service to a company. With more options and better information available, people find making the big switch relatively easier. However it is possible that you might get caught in the wrong career move which might be difficult to undo. We warn you about 5 biggest career change blunders that you should steer clear from.
1. Changing for no reason Before making the big switch, list down the reasons you would want to change your career for. Just because your boss is irritating or your colleagues competitive doesn't mean you have to change your career. Have a strategy or career plan ready which will help you make your decision. Also, it doesn't work in your favour if you are constantly changing jobs. Make a thorough research of your wants and abilities and then take a decision.
2. Just for the sake of money It is the biggest reinforcement for any change. However make sure that you know what your job profile demands for you in return for that money. Sure you want to buy your family a car but will your new job assure you enough time to drive them around? Consider other factors such as a chance to learn, perks, and job profile before making a choice.
3. Fear of job loss With the recent onset of recession, many employees were plagued by rumours of a lay off, making them make hasty and unwise career switches. So look before you leap and make an informed choice always.
4. Hopping on to an unstable wagon A newly starting up industry does ensure a good pay packet and a good job profile. A lot of people entering it while it is still booming make it a viable option. However it doesn't ensure job safety. Case in point is the dotcom crash. Hence, it's best to wait and Watch before you join any upcoming industry. However, taking calculated risks would be a smart move.
5. Narrow focus Usually when people are making a career switch they stick to industries in the peripherals of their earlier job profile. This could prevent you from exploring better and compatible options available. Broaden your choice, research well and when you are after all shifting your career, make it large.
Are you stagnant in your organization or are you deprived of a promotion that you were due long back? Watch out… you might have probably missed out on some of the trivial factors that are essential to climb up the corporate ladder. Though a promotion depends on several underlying factors, Dr. Subhadra Narasimhan offers insights on some practical tips that will help you to get ahead in the corporate world.
Commit fully to your job: Career success always belongs to the committed. So, never hesitate to invest yourself passionately in your job.
React positively to corporate changes: Unexpected occurrences are bound to happen in an organization. In such situations, how well one does his job depends partially on how he reacts to the corporate changes. Anxiety and frustration will get you nowhere. So, take time to analyze the situation, gather thoughts and figure out a solution to the problem. Always emit a positive attitude, as this will show your boss that you are ready to take challenges.
Look forward to accept new responsibilities: You are likely to score more points if you express your willingness to take additional responsibilities. Volunteering to put in that extra effort demonstrates your potential to go that extra. Mile and do more than what is essential.
Speed up: It is a blatant fact that we live in an impatient world with fierce competition. So, to clearly have an edge over others and to accelerate in all aspects of your work, develop the drive to acquire more knowledge and skill pertinent to the job.
Behave like you’re in business for yourself: Imagine that it is your own business. Constantly think in terms of commercial success. Consider various avenues and plan strategies to cut costs, serve the customer better and to improve productivity. However, sharing your innovative ideas with your colleagues might set yourself up for deception as they might take credit for your work. So, be sure that you take credit for your work and then voice your actions. Letting your employer know what you have accomplished can surely help you to get a promotion.
Be willing to spend more time: Never think twice to work overtime. Willingness to spend additional time reveals to your boss that you are open to spend the extra time to meet a deadline.
Add value: Definitely long hours of work alone will not sell if the overall results aren’t there. It’s your contribution that counts. So, make sure that you contribute more than what you cost.
Make your boss feel your contribution: Working on critical problems and proposing practical solutions is an excellent way of communicating that you do a lot for the company. However, the right person needs to know about it else your efforts will go unnoticed. So, go ahead and make your presence and contribution tangible.
Quantify your work: Always be sure to quantify your work in terms of numerical value rather than as a general statement. For example, instead of stating that your sales had done comparatively better than last year, just elaborate the rise in percentage and thereby, the profit gained by the company. Supervisors fail to take notice of these great results due to work pressure but commend them appropriately if explained quantitatively.
Vibe well with your boss: During very pressing times, volunteer to help your boss finish a report, discuss about an important issue during coffee break, ask him for professional advice, etc. This creates a bond that goes well beyond the boss-subordinate relationship and paves the way for that much-deserved raise.
Socialize with the right people: Keep in touch with influential people, as they will make things happen faster for you. Be careful with whom you hang around with because if you spend time with an underachiever, you become one by association.
Manage your morale: Assign yourself personal responsibility for attitude control. Let not your low morale (lack of punctuality, lame excuses, dishonesty, gossip, harboring resentment towards higher management authorities, etc.) drain away your opportunity as a potential candidate for promotion. Always act upbeat and show resilience.
Look presentable: Grooming is intrinsic to the complete package that will earn you respect and praise. An employer definitely appreciates an employee who looks presentable. As for clothing, dress according to your position. To appear neat and clean, trim nails, shave regularly and smell as good as possible.
Sell yourself tactfully: First, have a clear-cut idea of what you want to achieve. When you have decided on what you want to do, put it in a context that can fit into the culture and aims of your employer’s business. Then, work out skills that you can offer to the new role. Try to sell yourself when your boss is neither stressed nor busy. A good time to do this is at the performance appraisal. Let your boss know that you are interested in moving up in the company. Relate how your skills would fill the gap and benefit the company. This instills a sense of belonging in the company. While elaborating your personal selling points, never fail to highlight your untapped skills. Say confidently, that you are interested to move to a more challenging role, as your skills will be put to more use. Your employer is much more likely to promote you if he is convinced that he will get more value out of you.
…And if you are caught napping now, well, you are the loser. Be alert and cultivate a habit to spot opportunity, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed behind the woodwork. Don’t get disillusioned with early failure, try and try again, you are bound to succeed. Lift up your chin, what may seem impossible now, could well be in your grasp tomorrow. Be open and receptive to catch an opportunity, which could be whizzing by!
Feeling slighted and hurt? Angry over unfair treatment boss meted out to you? Don't think of switching jobs right now. Emotions like insult, hurt, depression are passing phases and should not be converted into yardsticks for job shifts. People are temperamental and they should not be given absolute power which allows them to either lull you or de-motivate you from your work. It is not wise to make an emotive decision, since emotions oscillate almost at two extremes and catering to any one would be foolhardy. Also one must not think of a career or job switch when one is at his/her lowest ebb. Wait for things to brighten up, you will be able to fetch a better deal for yourself. And last but not the least, most job gurus swear by the benefits of straddling more than one job, so try your hand at it.
Remember what they say about there being no use in crying over spilt milk. Healthy procrastination is a wiser option over hasty decisions. Take time to make up your mind, whether it is a career choice, a project you want to take up or give up, or whether it is a new sales strategy you want to announce. A word of caution here, procrastination should not be confused with complacency. There are certain issues that call for swift action. Act swiftly only after weighing your pros and cons.