To paraphrase Mark Twain, the secret to getting ahead is getting started, and the secret to getting started is taking what looks like an overwhelming task and breaking it into manageable, incremental steps. From there it’s easy, just take that first step.
This same process works well when it comes to the challenge of managing and developing your career. First you need to decide where it is you want to get to. Then you need to break this journey down into manageable, easy to achieve steps.
To help with this process I’ve created the “Career Tip of the Week”. Each tip is in essence a simple task or step which I’m sure you’ll find informative and entertaining on its own, but when added together, their combined effect can be transformative.
The purpose of each task or step may not be clear right away, and may even sound silly at first, so what you will find below are brief descriptions of each week’s tip, its purpose, and some background on how this task has worked for me, or people I know.
Please have some fun with these tasks. Don’t take then too seriously and please don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, just a little.
Don’t be afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid of standing still.
- Mess with Your Co-workers Minds – Change Your Routine
By nature, we all tend to be predictable. Most of us are more comfortable and even productive, or so we think, when we work within a set routine or structure. In fact, most of us are so predicable that when we change something, people notice, and they want to know why.
If you want to get noticed for all the right reasons, and at the same time send a message that you’re prepared to up your game, change your routine. Come in 15 minutes earlier than usual, park in a different spot, have lunch with different people, or stay 15 minutes later. People will notice and if you keep it up, they’ll start to get suspicious. When they ask what you’re up, be vague. It will drive them nuts!
I’ve used this tactic myself when I wanted people to know that I was up for a new challenge. By coming in early I was able to get my busy work out of the way, which gave me time during the day to really connect with people and find out where the opportunities were. People noticed the change and magically opportunities presented themselves. By the way, try changing where you park every day and watch how many questions you get.This tactic when combined with a few other tips that will follow, can have a major impact on your career.