How Not To Work And Get Promoted

We are often faced with people who we think are not good enough, or deserving of the promotion or success they get. We start comparing ourselves with them. And, even after thinking things a million times in our head we fail to connect the dots, and frankly, find no one more deserving than us.

Then again, we all have, at some point or the other, labelled people as technically strong, who really work hard, day-in day-out and have gained the expertise to move to next level. The next in line are people, known as opportunists, who work hard just before the promotion cycle or any opportunity coming their way. Then there are people marked with deceptive skills, also known as cunning, who know the art of getting things done from others rather than doing it themselves. At a similar level, there are some who are rather ingenious and take all the credit for work done by others. Last but not the least, are the sycophants or the yes-boss types who surround their superiors all the time and cloud their judgement.

Amid this mentation and labelling, we never see beyond the walls of our minds which are painted with biased opinions and, to some level, jealousy. Isn’t it obvious… that despite having no technical capability or any other skills, which we thought the person (who was promoted) lacked, he/she did something which we were oblivious to?

As Pat Riley once said, “Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.”

And preparation in this case means doing that one bit, which stands you out from the crowd. Imagine a case where a person gets three things (perhaps a shirt) from a shop for you. The first one gives it to you as-is, just in the bag in which he got from the shop. The second one wraps it in a paper, but you could feel or guess what could be inside. The third one, puts the gift in a box and wraps it nicely with gift wrapping sheet. Honestly, out of these scenarios you would be most interested or curious about the third gift, I’m hoping. In the first two cases, you somehow know what you might be getting. However, in the last case you are intrigued and impressed by the looks of it.

Think of you as a commodity and your skills as features of that commodity. The more sellable or presentable you are, the better chances you have of growth. Everyone, who has been promoted, has either got it because they were good at what they did, or they made others believe they were good at what they did. It’s how things are presented! As I would like to say, it’s not the trade (you are in), it’s the trademark (you have).
Now, I’m most certainly not suggesting that you stop working, but start honing the additional skills, often known as soft skills. Going by the Pareto principle, one could argue that the people (who were promoted) did 20% of actual work and 80% of the time was spent in promoting or elaborating the importance or the amount of the work they did.

Conversely, for every 80% of work one does, he/she should spend 20% marketing about it. This means your work should be made visible to important stakeholders. A few motivation speakers would suggest that you take up any work which involves 20% application and 80% learning. Putting it in numbers would actually be subjective!

“I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.” ~ Og Mandino


Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).
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The Vicious Circle Of Appraisal Cycle

For months now I have worked till late at night”, I thought. “This is not right!”, “I had a discussion with you”, “You said it’ll be done this time”, were some of the flashes I used to get since past few weeks. These were some of the statements which I’ve had with my supervisor, or I wished I never have to say. Was it raining outside, or was I sweating? I couldn’t possibly tell, until I woke from a bad headache in the middle of the night; only to realise it was a bad dream. But why? I couldn’t stop cursing the current situation, it was the time of appraisal cycle in the company. A time similar to gloomy British winter nights where I would often feel chills running through me, have constant butterflies in my stomach, and waiting for the outcome meant being at war with assorted emotions.

Have patience, have faith! Things will be better soon”, said a lot of people. With every passing day, I was getting disheartened. Not only was I losing interest in doing any work, I was letting my emotions overrun me at home too. I thought, “If I had not be doing well at work, someone would have pointed it out”. In spite of getting so many appreciations, being able to perform well, and deliver the work with utmost quality I failed to understand what I was lacking. Was I not deserving? Or, was I not qualified. Of course the answer was “NO!”. Not because I was desperate for it to happen, but I had gained insights from other people as well. Everyone would try and comfort me, tell me all the good things, and praise me. But no one could figure out why my growth had stagnated? Why I have not been promoted for so long?

This is practically the situation with most of us, especially for those who work in private sector firms and have annual or biannual appraisal cycles. Even after putting so much of hard work we fail to get that promotion or annual hike which we have been seeking since long. We can’t stop thinking about the worst feeling when we realise that the manager got us working when he needed us the most, but he would have an excuse or two up his sleeves whenever we would try to talk about our growth. Thinking of it, it’s an appraisal cycle for the manager too. If he is able to get the work done, without having to offer much then it’s appreciated for his growth as well.

So was this all a farce to benefit my manager or supervisor only?

I suppose not…

In my honest opinion, it depends on how well you have set the stage for yourself. Your soft skills should be able to complement your technical skills you. I have seen a lot of people: planning in advance to use their soft skills while they prepare playing ground for themselves, where they can showcase their abilities; genuinely or using deception. The important thing to understand is that any person who has to acknowledge you or your work should be able to make you stand out from the crowd. Only then, will he be able to get convinced and do so with seniors. Either you are doing different things, which no one else is doing; or you are doing things, which everyone else is doing, differently!

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!

The Desire to Get Promoted

P.T. Barnum once said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!”

Why do we want to grow/get promoted?

  • To move away from monotonous work
  • To learn something new
  • To gain benefits associated with the new level
  • To keep up with the competition and challenges in this ever growing world
  • To fulfill our desires and reach the goals we have set for our self

Since the adolescent age we are offered rewards, in terms of toys, or candy, or any other thing. We perform a task when we were offered something in return of we were afraid of being scolded. Occasionally, it was to outperform other kids, perhaps, to be able to show our talent. However, most of the times kids would shy away from these situations.

Coming to think of it as some indicators for neurological reactions, based on individuals’ needs, we can map these to R.I.C.E

  1. Rewards based, where one has desires for being rewarded, sense of being appreciated in the crowd
  2. Insecurity based, where one is afraid of failure, afraid of losing out, sense of being not important
  3. Competition based, where a person try to fend off all competition to make a stand, to be better than others
  4. Evolution based, where a person learns new skills over time and grow as others grow, while at the same time is aware of competition from peers

Every communication needs to have two channels, one to send and other to receive. Likewise, every task has two channels – one is expectation of completion and other is reward for its completion. The ultimate reward is the outcome of the series of tasks linked with one’s (work) profile. These rewards are means to overcome the insecurity of being left out in the crowd, and/or losing out on the prospective opportunities. These insecurities grow with time, as people tend to have more desires. The desires stem from the socio-economic changes, the technical advancements, and not to mention the family and peer pressure.

To attain self-actualisation, the realisation of one’s true potential, a person goes through different levels of needs, as detailed by Abraham Maslow.

Maslow Pyramid

Some people attain these at early age, others struggle citing to various factors. Starting from the bottom of the pyramid, the first three levels are the most desired and comparatively easily attainable. But as you go up, the objectivity or the individuals’ perception of these level come in to play.

Then, the question one should ask is, can I quantify these desires? Or, do I need quality more than anything? One can settle for a practical approach of attaining more, while others could strive for simplicity and happiness with near and dear ones. I have often seen people working at odd hours, and at the same time suffering with health and other issues. That’s the price one has to pay to maintain things at equilibrium. In the end it boils down to how far you are ready to go to achieve (what you desire) and/or sacrifice at the same time. Or if, there is an alternative!

”The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” …so remember: great achievements take time, there is no overnight success. ~ Leo Tolstoy