Career development – part 1

Managers and business owners are always on the hunt for strong leaders to support their organisations. In doing so, they continually observe how team members behave.

Here are questions to help you analyse your behavior. When you’ve pondered them, remember that you’re the only true person in charge of your career development. Think about your answers and then explore courses and workshops that can help strengthen your leadership skills.

Do you:

Not asking questions for fear or sounding stupid?

Remember, no question is too stupid.

Telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Don’t lie but listen carefully to the question and answer it simply. Don’t launch into a long, rambling explanation that will only make you sound out of control.

Sharing too much personal information?

Don’t share too much personal information just to make friends at work. It’s great to make friends but know your boundaries.  Sharing too much information can get you in hot water. Others may use the information against you.

Putting up with bullies?

Don’t tolerate bullying and harassment. Stand up to bullies. Let them know you won’t accept their behaviour, anywhere or any time. If you’re nervous about how to do this without rocking the boat, speak to your human resources department.

Helping everyone?

It’s lovely to want to help everyone. Certainly, be a team player but set boundaries so supporting others doesn’t affect your work performance. This is especially important if you’re transitioning from ‘doer’ to ‘leader’. You don’t want to become a ‘people pleaser’ instead of a leader who can make hard decisions.

Feeding everyone?

So, you like to bake and bring in treats for the team all the time.  This is fabulous for special occasions, but don’t be feeding everyone all the time. Bosses get annoyed when the ‘fluff stuff’ interferes with getting work done.

Decorating your desk with clutter

Feel free to have your desk should reflect your personality, but don’t bring the kitchen sink to work.  A cluttered desk makes you look unorganised and out of control.  An organised desk, on the other hand, makes a good impression and helps you work more efficiently and effectively.

Letting people waste your time?

Every office has at least one time waster. Identify them, and quickly.  When you have a deadline, the last thing you need is for someone to eat up your precious time.  Politely tell the time waster you have priorities and deadlines.  You can also say you need to do something for your boss. Even time wasters get the picture when ‘the boss’ is mentioned.

Striving for perfection?

Nothing is perfect so don’t sweat the small stuff.  Ask yourself if perfection is important in the scheme of things?

Putting work ahead of your personal life?

All work and no play isn’t good.  It’s getting harder with budget cuts and roles changing to avoid taking on more responsibility but remember that work-life balance is critical.

Abandoning your own personal goals?

If you have what it takes to be successful, don’t lose yourself in someone else’s priorities. Create a list of 100 things for YOU TO DO and go for it.

Minimising your position?

‘I’m just a receptionist.’ or ‘I’m only an administrator.’ Bosses get annoyed when they hear staff minimising their position. Have pride in what you do, no matter what your role or level. You’re an integral part of your organisation and should act accordingly.

Waiting to be noticed?

Be open but subtle about your achievements.  Let people know of your contributions and do the right thing to move yourself ahead in the game. Don’t sit on the sidelines and wait to be noticed.

Staying in your comfort zone?

Don’t get stuck. Instead, be brave and step out of your comfort zone. It might not be as hard as you think.


One thing at a time

It’s so much easier than sitting at your desk overwhelmed.

Ask for help

It’s simple and can make a big difference.

Get the most out of your team

This is a surefire way to get results.

Be the go-getter, not the gopher

This shift in behaviour can lead to great things.

Say no

You’ll feel so good and be less stressed.

Deal with things

This will free you to get on with important matters and to stay on top.


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