Career Success

7 Hacks to Skyrocket Your Career

In today’s corporate world, we see many examples of people starting their careers at a relatively lower level of hierarchy and still making it to the top. Such examples have brought a massive shift in the mindset of today’s corporate employees. Back in the day, people who worked for a reputed organization that offered complete job security and assured increments year after year with additional perks, considered themselves lucky. In today’s corporate world, most people aspire to reach to the top and earn a kind of pay package that will allow them to live a lifestyle that was earlier enjoyed by only a select few.

The very belief that you deserve to make it to the top is truly a liberating one. But the problem comes when some other limiting belief creeps in. There are many people who believe that by trying to reach   the top at a superfast speed, professionals stand the risk of derailing their careers. Hence, they advocate a time tested, ‘slow and steady’ way of approaching the top.

I believe, most of them are well meaning and by ‘derailment’, they are referring to unscrupulous methods or shortcuts that, sooner or later, are bound to damage one’s career.

I too strongly believe that there are no shortcuts to the top. This is non-negotiable.

However, I strongly disagree with the mindset that in the absence of any shortcuts, everyone is left with only the slow and steady approach to move to the top.

I suggest you go through the post — Is slow and steady hurting your career? — that I have recently posted on LinkedIn. I would really appreciate likes, comments and shares from your side.

Okay, so shortcuts are out. Then, what is in?

There are Smartcuts (I am borrowing the term used by Shane Snow)

Smartcuts that will put your career on a fast track

It is said that great wisdom comes in hindsight. In my corporate career, I did few right things and made lots of mistakes. In the process, I gathered a lot of wisdom. I have been able to further add to my wisdom by observing the corporate careers of many in close quarters. The seven Smartcuts given below are the outcome of it. Here we go:

  1. Build the 10X mindset.

Do you feel that given your present circumstances, 10x thinking doesn’t make any sense to you? Study the early days of famous and rich people like Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins. My guess is, the circumstances they faced during their early life were far more challenging than your own. But that didn’t stop them from building a 10x mindset. Perhaps, you have a strong and rational mind that is coming in the way of thinking big. Throw all the rational thinking out of the window. Read books, attend workshops or seek the company of natural big thinkers. Do whatever it takes to break free from limiting thoughts. I am yet to see a highly successful person who is not a big thinker.

  1. Burn the bridge, announce your audacious goals to the world.

I had read a true story of a leader who deployed a rather unorthodox method to burn the bridge. In the highly competitive industry of car insurance, before the beginning of a new financial year, he encouraged his team to set nearly impossible goals. He then publicly informed his team’s goals to the entire organization. He didn’t stop at that. He called a press conference and announced the same to the media. Now everyone was left with only two options, either achieve the impossible or suffer humiliation caused due to loss of face. The outcome? You guessed it right. They achieved the impossible. In my personal experience of working with clients, there were times when I felt that it was important for my clients to share their exciting aspirations with top management, so as to get all the necessary backing. I had tried suggesting the same to my clients. But on several occasions, I noticed a great deal of discomfort. The response? “Why unnecessarily come on the radar? I need to first start getting results. Till then, let’s closely hold it to the chest.” Smartcuts are not for shirkers. Big rewards await only those who are willing to take a risk.

  1. Embrace creativity

Do you believe creativity is not one of your strengths? This belief alone is costing you a career full of missed opportunities and lost chances. Research has proven that everyone can learn to be creative. Mastering creativity can put you among the top 1% who can generate creative ideas at will. This will give you a massive competitive advantage. Once you master creativity, you will never find yourself stuck in any situation. On the contrary, you will always be flooded with ideas that will bring many opportunities your way. Earlier, I had spoken about the 10X mindset. Creativity will show you the way to make it a reality. (Download this FREE eBook “Connecting the Dots: The secret behind the creativity of great minds” and create an unfair competitive advantage for yourself.)

  1. Move out of your comfort zone.

In 1976, a college professor wrote a book, which he believed to be a sure candidate for the bestsellers list. But there was a problem. The initial response to the book was pretty lukewarm. This didn’t make him change his belief. It did something else. It made him realize that the only way to make his book the bestseller was to completely take charge of its promotion. This means he had to choose between a well-respected career that offered him security & a steady income, and a pursuit of an unknown path relying solely on belief, without first seeing any results. He chose the latter. He dumped his books in his car and toured across United States doggedly pursuing bookstore appearances and media interviews. Eventually, his first book “Your Erroneous Zone” made it to the bestsellers list. The single act of moving outside his comfort zone made Wayne W Dyer, one of the most successful authors and speakers in the field of self-development and spiritual growth.

Great ideas mean nothing if you don’t bring them out in front of the world. Develop your risk-taking ability with baby steps. Start with the advice of William James: “Do something every day for no other reason than you would rather not do it.” Visit different restaurants and order a dish that you have never tried before. Watch different TV shows. Take a different route to your workplace. But don’t stop there. Change the gear. The next step is to do one thing every day that scares you. Start with the small ones, but do it every day. Before you realize it, risk-taking will become your second nature.

  1. Become an expert at one thing that matters most for your career success.

Don’t waste your time trying to be good at everything. You can never achieve it. And even if you do it, at best, you will be considered an all-rounder. Today’s world doesn’t value all-rounders, it values experts. Identify high-growth opportunity areas inside the organization. Pick the one that matches your strength and you feel most passionate about. And go after it. This is where you will discover your greatness.

  1. Brand yourself distinctly.

If you believe that your performance alone will take you to the top, you are mistaken. It’s how you are perceived within the organization that will eventually determine your career success. People form perceptions about everything, regardless of how much they know. That ‘everything’ includes you. Hence, without any conscious efforts on your part, you are leaving it to others to perceive you the way they want. And if, for whatever reason, many influential people in your organization perceive you negatively, it will hurt your career prospects a lot. Whereas, personal branding lets you choose and control the way others perceive you. Carefully choose the attributes of your brand, position yourself in a unique way and stand out from the rest.

  1. Build a strong network.

Do it consciously. Do it every day. But don’t do it only within your known circle. Go outside your circle, outside your functions and outside your organization. Your network is your window of opportunity. Connecting with influencers will have a multiplying effect.

Now over to you. Would you like to share any other smartcuts that have positively impacted your career in a big way? Would love to hear from you.

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Vrinda January 30, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Sir in your second point you have stated there are no shortcuts for risk. Agreed. But sometimes the longer route can be expensive and still not work. How can we decide which is the better approach? Thank you!

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