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Career

54 STASHED IDEAS

The Problem With Quitting
  • It has been internalized in us since childhood that we should never give up, and that quitting is bad.
  • Many of us are stuck in the wrong jobs and due to this idea of not quitting, we waste a lot of productive years.
  • We don’t quit because of a cognitive bias known as the sunk cost fallacy, which basically means we continue to do something that is not helping us, but because we have already invested our time, energy and resources.

Example: We don’t quit reading a half-finished book even if the content is not helping us in any way.

Aubree F. (@aubree_qff33) - Profile Photo

@aubree_qff33

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Career

When running a company, many entrepreneurs fail to quit, change direction or pivot their business model, unable to admit that what they were doing isn’t working, or that they were plain wrong in their decisions.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is the primary reason for this gross error in judgement, as entrepreneurs believe that if they quit now, all the time and money investment would go down the drain.

As a well-known cliché goes: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

Be it an activity, a job or a relationship, we need to quit if things aren’t working out. We are too afraid to quit, and in today’s uncertain, complicated world, we are better off moving on.

Effective impressions management not only requires you to be self-aware but also to change how you communicate.

For example, compensation and promotion decisions generally involve subjective judgments. This means you want to use your communication techniques in a way that emphasize the traits needed to reach your objective. If decisiveness is called for, you want to present your decisive characteristics.

When you are self-aware, you recognize the impressions others are forming about you.

If a manager is tasking someone with a leadership role, you need to be sure your skills and ability are on display effectively, but also ensure that you don't come across as too abrasive. The key to impression management is to be emotionally aware of yourself and your image.

Impression management is a critical skill

A critical skill in your pursuit of career success is impression management, where you have an awareness of who you are, what you are capable of, and the real nature of your strengths and weaknesses.

A positive impression can increase opportunities and help you gain some degree of control over the pace and extent of your career advancement.

Forever Employable: Brand Yourself

As we climb up the corporate ladder, there are fewer options available, and a mid-life crisis of the corporate world comes. The reason is that the same skills that got a person hired as a young graduate are not sufficient for a senior job, in spite of the years of experience gained during the course of time.

The way out of this crisis is to be forever employable, a concept that involves continuous learning, sharing and re-purposing of one’s experience, expertise and skillsets to create a brand.

There are five core concepts to keep in mind as you think about the second half of your career:

  • The entrepreneurial mindset : Your life is not to be sold to a person who can give you a monthly paycheck (however large it is) but has to be moulded and perfected so that it becomes your business.
  • Self-confidence: It may seem like everything related to management, digital transformation, marketing and sales has been told already, and sharing your own experience would not be something new. What is to be understood is that your own experience has a unique value, which no one has or can steal from you.
  • Continuous learning: Staying curious and well informed will help you to shape your brand.
  • Continuous improvement: Being enthusiastically skeptical is a great strategy for a constant endeavour to improve oneself, and finding a better way to do one’s task.
  • Reinvention: Being forever employable means that you have to reinvent the core aspects of yourself.
The Peter Principle and Occupational Incompetence

Peter J. Lawrence, whose 1969 bestseller “The Peter Principle” satirically provided many insights on the hows and the whys of incompetents working among us, is now being taken more seriously.

People are promoted to a job they are incapable of doing, based on their previous performance. This makes most employees rise to their level of incompetence.

The skills that made a great performer excel, the aggression and the drive, did not translate well when the same performer was in charge of a team, where other skills like people management come into play.

The best teacher of the school cannot be simply promoted as a school principal.

Apart from a regular performance review, some companies have started a different form of appraisal called the management potential review, which essentially gauges the leadership specific skills of an employee who may or may not score well in the performance review.

Better management training for upcoming leaders also plays a great role in grooming management talent.

A manager wouldn’t be able to handle a team of specialists (like Doctors or Scientists) efficiently, without any direct experience. This makes excelling at the current role a huge requirement for anyone being hired as a manager.

A fine balance between the two aspects is required while hiring, with one option being to change the hierarchy of the company itself. The person can be promoted without a typical career ladder, and continue to do his current role, which he is doing well.

Building up strategic partnerships is, for a manager, one sure key to success. According to one of the greatest movies of all time, creating a network is essential to your success as a leader.

While it presents crimes and a tough world, 'The Godfather' also gives us an insight of how important the family should be in our life. Spending time with your family and friends makes you see things from a different perspective, which often leads to better decisions.

In order to keep your business running, sometimes you must be though with the ones around you, as you are responsible not only for your own actions, but also for the others'. Or at least this is what 'The Godfather' provided us all with as an important leadership lesson. Moreover, making good decisions almost always implies not getting emotional, as emotions kind of get in your way to see things clearly.

This worldwide famous movie provided us all with quite a few useful lessons, among which the one concerning how much a leader's determination counts. One sure way to make your team respect you is to always stick to your decision, once taken.

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