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Monday, June 11, 2012

Make yourself more visible at work


How come some people seem to land better jobs and opportunities with ease while others appear to be moving round in circles at work? Could it be a case of sheer luck or something else about them or the persons who offer them the jobs? These are concerns that employees are once in a while heard asking themselves during breaks and especially when a colleague has been promoted or has got a new opportunity.

I have indicated in this forum before that career growth is never a passive process. Any person who grows and gets big in the world of work works at it. If you sought for a chat with any of the persons you would regard as upward mobile in their careers, you will notice the levels of effort they put on enhancing their visibility. It is true that as long as a lamp is lit and hid under a bushel, no one will get to notice it. The Bible has an illustration to the effect that a city built on a hill can never be hidden. Similarly, people who light lamps do not hide them under buckets.

If you consider yourself a beautiful city that people should be attracted to or a lamp that has light that others should benefit from, you should consider your level of visibility. People employ people and people who are visible to other people get noticed and considered when opportunities crop up. The field of persons seeking for jobs is getting crowded with every passing day and hence the need to find means of standing out from the crowd. So, what simple ways can you use to enhance your visibility?

For a start, facilitate a self assessment with regard to your capacities on your area of interest. It will be helpful for you to build the value of your personal brand and create a niche around your capacities so that you can compete with the market from a vantage point. The ability to perform and deliver positive results is one of the key ingredients of trust. People will trust you with opportunities when they realize you have the ability to perform and deliver results as expected.

Secondly, confident and aware of your capacities, seek to expose yourself to the world. There are several times when opportunities to volunteer on short term projects arise and many employees struggle with volunteering for such engagements. The mindset of most employees is that the new engagements are never part of their initial job descriptions. Little do they realise that such opportunities could be the golden seasons for them to expose themselves to all in the company and beyond on what else they can do beyond their job profiles.

The third effective way of exposing yourself to the dynamic world of work is seeking for opportunities to give talks beyond your workplace. By joining a membership professional organization, look out for opportunities where you can give talks to other professionals or even community members. You should always be alert on who is present at such talks as you may just find yourself creating invaluable linkages with top notch executives who participate in some of your talks. One talk could lead to another and eventually to the possibility of being hired for a dream job engagement.

Finally, let us forever appreciate the invaluable resource presented by the internet to any person in need of career progress. The online community is on a viral growth path. The opportunity it creates is awesome and only the passive can fail to gain mileage through this platform. Through the use of social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, you have the whole world to tell about yourself. I have seen the enormous benefits derived through my blog kahihuonline and the LinkedIn profiles. It is just…unimaginable.

So, the next time you feel like you want to seriously get back onto the career growth path, use this as a possible checklist and hit the ground, starting with the social media platforms available on your phone as you read this article.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

When employees fight each other

Of all the conflicts that affect the workplace, one of the most destabilizing is when employees fight each other. These could be cases when staff move on to protect their turfs and feel like others are attempting to over step their worlds at work. A case in point could be the fight between Mary and Anthony. When Anthony was employed at the local government ministry, he was full of excitement as he settled into his office. He was happy that after a long period of job search in the government, he had finally secured a well paying job. The job was in line with his ambitions as an urban planner and was sure he had eventually struck his right career code.

During his initial months of induction, he had to move from office to office seeking information about the processes and procedures at the workplace as part of the orientation process. He however realized that along the way, one lady Mary, was exhibiting some not interesting attitude towards him. She was generally rough and not inviting every time he would seek for some support from her. Unbeknown to him, Mary was feeling highly threatened by Anthony’s presence at the office  hence she sought to sabotage his work.

Since Anthony was not aware of what the issue was, he kept on checking out on Mary until she turned out violent on one of the mornings. At this specific occasion, as Anthony sought to be linked up with one of the key partners, Mary responded by demanding that he stops seeking favors from partners and settle on what he had been employed to do. This was the start of the long fight between the two. As the fight continued overtly and covertly, the other staff started to notice the bad blood between the two. This affected the team and seemed to split the allegiance of the team into two.

Fights among staff are common occurrences. They are triggered by a raft of reasons, the main ones being the desire to protect personal turfs or the clash of individual personalities. When these fights erupt at work, they have a way of sucking everyone else in the department into it and tend to create factions within the workplace. These teams fight against each other resulting in an organizational fight from what started off as a personal conflict.

It is important to note that as much as disagreements arise at the workplace, it is the responsibility of all the staff to enhance amicable engagements among themselves. We realize that these conflicts are not evitable and should hence work towards resolving all misunderstanding among staff for the peace of the workplace. When there is a fight among or between workmates, the attention and energy of the tasks ahead is diverted as people spend all resources at their disposal to win over the faction branded as the enemy. This leads to reduced productivity and loss of workplace enthusiasm.

It is hence important to identify the conflicts early enough and seek for ways of resolving them as quickly as possible since that which starts off as a harmless fight for control of turfs could easily spiral into a huge storm that could carry every one along.