lessons you should learn
It's always better to learn from
the mistakes of others. Here's what 10 successful people had to share.
You don't always have to learn things
the hard way. How often have you gotten wise after the fact and said, "If
only I had known. If only someone had told me." Well, we're telling you
now. It's always better to learn from the mistakes of others. We spoke
to ten jetsetters who have made it through the ranks, starting from the
bottom rung, and now are sitting
pretty on the top of the ladder.
Here's what they had to share.
Don't emphasise your
faults: Nobody's perfect.
Everyone has their share of faults. The key is not to go about announcing
it to all and sundry, and especially not to your bosses, unless you want
them to be constantly looking over your shoulder, expecting you to make
a mistake and constantly checking your judgments and decisions concerning
the area of your weakness. If you are asked your weakness at an interview,
mention something inconsequential, adding that you have been keeping it
in check and have already improved substantially.
Get it in writing:
Even if you haven't come across many, believe me, there are enough dishonest
people out there. So better than playing the innocent who gets taken for
a ride by someone they trusted and crying over spilt milk, save yourself
the heartbreak and inconvenience, and GET IT IN WRITING.
Seize the moment:
Ever had someone tell you to send in your CV; you thought you'd do that
later and by the time you got down to it, it was too late? You probably
just shrugged your shoulders and continued with your present job. Well,
don't. If something sounds like a good opportunity, it's a shame to lose
out for no reason other than a laidback attitude.
Don't accept responsibility
unless you are given the corresponding authority:
If you have been make the Features Editor of a magazine and you have to
make sure deadlines are met,this may mean chasing after the marketing team
as well to ensure classifieds are in on time. So if you are going to need
to pull up the marketing team, you have to make sure you are authorised
to do so, and everybody knows it.
Don't expect others
to have the same standards as you:
Everyone's different. Just because something gets your goat, doesn't mean
it's just as irritating to everyone around you - and vice versa. Janhavi,
a marketing assistant, confesses, "Once I needed a telephone number and
had forgotten my filofax at home. I knew my colleague would have it so
I removed her diary from her bag, took down the number and left the diary
on my desk. It so happened that she returned from her lunch break, saw
her diary on my desk and hit the roof, saying how dare I touch her bag
without her permission, what if she had left for her appointments without
her dairy and suddenly realised she didn't have it after reaching there.
etc. Instead of apologizing, which I should have done since I was in the
wrong, (though it wasn't such a grave wrong in my eyes), I retaliated and
we ended up yelling at each other at the top of our voices. The result?
Constant tension in the air. She'd bitch about me to her friends, and I'd
do the same with mine. Our colleagues had to choose which camp they wanted
to be in and it definitely contributed to the office politics. So remember,
if you do something you don't consider a big deal, that doesn't mean it's
not going to bug the hell out of someone else.
Don't mix business
and romance: If you
get involved with someone at work, it affects your judgment and compromises
your position. And it causes needless complications to your relationship.
If it's a short fling you're looking for, look outside your workplace or
once it ends, there can be unpleasantness. On the other hand, a lot of
romantic relationships start with friendship and if you feel a romance
that has the potential for a long haul and seems to be going places coming
up, consider changing your place of work or department so that the two
of you are not in contact career wise. This is not only healthy for your
career, but healthy for your relationship as well.
Your career can't
revolve around your personal problems:
Okay so you're late to work everyday because you've got a mother-in-law
who's constantly nagging you and you've got to wash all the dishes before
going to bed at night, wake up early the next morning and prepare breakfast
for the entire family, pack their lunch tiffins, send the children off
to school. phew! Your life's a regular roller coaster, so shouldn't you
be given a breather? Shouldn't you be allowed to enter office late and
leave early? No. Sorry, but that just doesn't cut it. If you want to function
by your own rules, start your own company.
Don't knock the immediate
boss: If your immediate
boss is a fanatic about filing reports in a certain format and you think
all that's a big waste of time because hey, you've got other things to
do than enter useless info in long-winded tables, you'd better change your
way of thinking, and fast. Remember, it's your immediate boss who passes
on how good or bad an employee you are to the Big Boss, and it's on his
recommendation you get a raise or promotion.
Adapt to your boss's
personality: Try and
figure out the personality of your boss and deal with him or her accordingly.
If your boss is impatient and you know your suggestions may not get the
hearing they deserve, instead of wallowing in frustration, pen them down
and send a memo.
Don't expect the
system to function automatically:
Don't assume you're going to get your annual raise and benefits like clockwork,
unless you're working in a large organisation with a separate department
to look after salaries - and even then it doesn't hurt to check up on your
benefits and perks. If you are not concerned about what's coming to you,
don't expect anyone else to be.
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