I recently had a conversation with an old colleague that said that he felt stuck in his career. He said that up-skilling in his field was time consuming and he wasn’t sure what else he could do to speed up the process of getting a promotion. He said: “Sometimes I wonder if it is my lack of talent or experience more than my lack of skills in this field. X is performing so well simply because she is so passionate and experienced.”
It made me think of my first job as Project Manager, it was a miracle that I got the job, I had no experience or background, and frankly, I had no idea if I had the passion either. And to top it off, my first interview went horribly.
After the conversation with my colleague I looked back at that time of my life and identified 10 things I did that yanked my career forward despite my lack of skills. The things in the list below is not things I did because I thought I was amazing, it was just all I had to offer, and it was, in the end, the things that set me apart from the rest and landed me the job I have today.
- Being on time
- Doing a little extra
- Being prepared
- Making an effort
- Using good body language
- Dressing the part
- Having a positive attitude (somedays I REALLY faked it)
- Being coachable
- Admitting when I was wrong, or didn’t know
- Having a strong work ethic
Unemployment is at an all time in Cape Town, we need to first of all, appreciate that we have a job, and secondly, find ways to get excited about the work we are doing, and help ourselves to improve so we can move forward in our careers.
You will spend most of your life at your job, so you have to make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing, because that will make execution of the above so much easier – it will essentially become natural.
The colleague seems to be doing some of these things, all on his own, and it’s really making a difference. He seems more patient with the processes, and excited about his career and the possibilities that ‘s ahead.