Investing money wisely is important. Financial discipline and Expense control put money in your hands. But your career is the biggest contributor of money. Career Management and Wealth management go hand in hand. It is this which allows you to invest. So managing your career and growing it is by far the most important aspect if you plan on increasing your wealth. Again these are for people who are beginning their careers and from the perspective of long term wealth management. I am not touching on the nuances of HRM but putting down a few random thoughts for improving your career and life in general.The article is specific for readers from India though most of the ideas expressed are universal.
Take them seriously. Prepare early. Data is the key. Keep a tab of your key result areas [KRAs] and review monthly. It is a good idea to pin it up somewhere so that you can see it. Your boss is not going to remember conversations or verbal confirmations. So if any deviation is taking place remember to keep a record by shooting off an email. An argument is the last thing you need at the time of that appraisal meeting. If your KRAs for this financial year are being fixed or are already fixed please go through them in detail. Check if your performance is conditional on something. If yes, get it included or send a note in writing pointing this out.
b. Improve yourself -Learn new things
Try to read up on your area of expertise. This is not to apply theory but to understand and open your mind to new possibilities and ideas. There are many online courses that are on offer now. Take up something that will add value to what you are doing. If you improve your knowledge soon you will have people around you asking for your opinion. Become the local expert, it will do you a lot of good in your career development.
c. Job Hopping versus growing roots
A job change is a very personal decision. It is also a decision which should never be deferred if it is needed. The last thing you need is a frog in the well syndrome. If you are good at what you do, then there are companies out there looking for people like you. If you are unhappy with the company you are working in and if your contribution is not being recognized go ahead and quit. If you are a disgruntled employee it will show in your work output and attitude. It becomes a vicious cycle and you end up doing injustice to yourself and your employer. Sticking with an employer is ideal if your movement up the corporate ladder is guaranteed.
Reasons for job hopping can be numerous, the most common being higher pay. Do not hop jobs for frivolous reasons like a better designation or more take home pay. Do some analysis and ask around before you jump. See growth prospects, training and how the company views promotion from within for senior posts.If your current organization gives you ample opportunity to grow and learn diverse skills it is better to stay with the organization. Ask yourself if you are doing the same job that you were doing for the last several years, if the answer is yes then it could be time to quit and look for opportunities to widen your skill set. Hard work is recommended but don’t sacrifice yourself at the corporate altar. Take care of your health.
d. Office Politics
What goes around comes around. I guess in a very competitive the ubiquitous knife in the back is the most feared weapon. It is best to focus on your work and give results. If you get into office politics, soon a smarter guy will come around and you might end up being the victim. If you stay out you will be ignored and you have more time to show your mettle at work. If you are the target, relax, losing your cool is only going to make the situation worse. Take it in your stride and talk it out, resolve it. Then forget it. If you are at fault, an apology can do wonders. Do not meddle in fights of feuding colleagues. Do not take sides. Let them resolve it themselves.
e. Share Knowledge
Keeping knowledge to yourself will not make you a better person. If you think the best strategy is to become indispensable then you are in for a big surprise. Nobody is indispensable. Period. If you are a division or a project head ask yourself – if I leave tomorrow, will things run smoothly? If the answer is yes, then you are really successful. It shows you have put systems in place and you run your division/project well. If on the other hand you think there will be chaos then you are holding things too close to your chest. The best way to learn is to teach others what you know.
f. Time Management
Gadgets, office gossip, social networking, Internet, blogging, writing columns are all time killers. Keep all these from eating away your time at work. Keep your office life and social life separate. You will find that you are able to finish your work early. Sure, you should have some fun in office but be aware of the time you spend on it. Think twice before you commit a deadline for a task. Give notice in advance if there is a delay. If there is a problem, nip it in the bud; go to your boss with a solution. A little bit of honesty can save time and energy for all concerned. Do not think that the problem will get resolved by itself. Most often than not, Murphy’s Law will catch up and you will have a bigger fire to fight.
Your career is the fountain of your wealth. Manage it wisely. There are many more factors that go into making a successful and rewarding career. If you have any pointers, please feel free to contribute.