Bankers have highlighted a problem not unique to the finance industry. Corporate fat-cat (non) leaders would rather most suffered, so they – the few – can have more. Reductions are made, hardships are incurred and corners are cut.
This may serve the few with the power, but for the rest of us, it sucks!
Going to work becomes a covert manoeuvre, filled with secrets and solitude. The desire to protect your job, means you can no longer collaborate with your colleague, if that involves sharing what you know. Because if they have your knowledge – your only edge – next time the music stops and there are yet fewer chairs to sit on, you’ll be the one who’s out.
Not only is it stressful. It’s soul-destroying!
You work longer hours. Often for no extra money. You’re almost at breaking point… when some idiot tells you it’s all about working smarter, not harder.
Other than a cliché ‘management consulting’ sounding phrase, what does working smarter really mean?
First, it means understanding – and taking responsibility for – your career. It’s your job to make your career work the way you want it to. Own it!
Put heart and soul into projects. Not because the company you work for is great and you love them. But because you love you and the sense of achievement and pride you’ll get – not to mention future job offers – will reward you in spades
Build relationships. Everywhere. With everyone. Knowing people and them knowing you is key currency in the career market. Keep your networks strong and vibrant. Be a giver, a supporter, an encourager and a helper
Fully commit to client projects. You’ve heard the phrase ‘under promise and over deliver’. It works to build your amazing reputation and to have references coming out of your ears. More key currency (see above)
Volunteer for career building activities – your career. Whether it’s to fill a gap to achieving your future goal. Or it excites you and you can see yourself building a more versatile toolkit as a result. You’re not a fool for taking on the extra workload. You’re inspired, because you know how it adds value to you.
Seize high-profile opportunities. Being known is one of the most powerful career assets you can have. Being good at your job only gets you so far. Being known for being good at your job, gets you everywhere you want to go.
Gather evidence. Leave clues everywhere, for people to find. Record your successes, your achievements and your triumphs. Collect testimonials. Document things on LinkedIn. Create videos. Make sure the world knows who you are and what you do well.
Be great at what you do, because you’re better than the system and you’re better than the thing you’re doing right now.
Your career is your life’s work. Own it!