You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Careers » Work place
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

Want to be taken more seriously at work?

Aravind Raman
Get news updates:What's this?
Related Articles
Your dream job is just a test away
6 'soft' skills you need for success
Your first job? How to excel
7 ways to improve your social skills
Want to neutralise your accent?
August 10, 2006

You've made an excellent and elaborate presentation that really impressed the boss and your team. But post execution, the output just wasn't good enough. Some of you may also feel that in spite of investing all those extra hours and effort at office, the results are still not measuring up. Maybe it's time to experiment with new strategies, think out of the box, yet get back to the basics. Here are five tips that should give you food for thought.

1. Kick the routine

A  majority of us tend to get addicted to a routine, over a period of time. This is a major stumbling block, in our quest for excellence. You MUST be able to come out of the shackles of routine and focus on how to increase your productivity and become a significant contributor to your organisation. Take out some time periodically to assess the way you execute your daily work. Are you harnessing your potential to the fullest extent? Always make amendments without waiting for your manager to come to you at the end of the year for a performance assessment.

2. Improve the process

Many of us hate the organisation's processes/ procedures that we must strictly comply with when doing our work. You may think of them being too theoretical at best and bureaucratic at worst. But have you ever wondered who authored those processes? If you answer is quality department or  process department, you are more likely to be wrong. Those processes may be partly authored and maintained by the so-called quality or process department but the inputs for those processes would have been typically taken from those who do the relevant work. They have been documented so that you have a ready reference as to what to do as part of your work to achieve predictable results.

If you feel you are doing an insensible or an unproductive activity as part of the process, have you ever raised a formal request to change the process? The request may be accepted or rejected based on reviews and the management's needs. The point is, how frequently are you giving feedback to improve the processes?  Look for small incremental improvements as well as innovations. Innovation is being able to come out with a totally new way of doing an activity, which yields significant quality or cost benefit.

3. Focus on quality

Get into a habit of striving for quality. If you are wondering how to assess the quality of your work, just simply check if you are doing everything first time right! This is tough, of course. Nevertheless, this is the best and simplest benchmark to assess the quality of your work. Note the typical errors you make and work on their root causes to eliminate them. Never repeat an error and try to avoid new errors at work. Instill some discipline and do a thorough self-review before you submit your deliverables or make a presentation.

4. Execute as well as you plan

We are in that era where umpteen chic presentations are made and brandished as roadmaps, plans, programmes, etc in the corporate circles. But if the skill to execute a good plan is not there, all the plans are of no avail. I used to once work with a top notch Indian IT company. The managing director made a comment that he was tired of seeing roadmap and plan presentations and wanted more action in terms of execution. Good planning is required and successful execution of the plan is a must!

5. Stay in the race

We live in a world of rapid technological advancements and your current job may be obsolete in five years from now. For instance, it may either be automated or moved to a lower cost destination. Have you visualised this scenario? Can you seamlessly move to a new job, which may demand new skills? Continuously update your knowledge and skills so as to remain competitive. As they say, it's always better to remember that you need to keep running faster to stay at the same place.

Would you like to share your own mantras for personal excellence? Post your tips, suggestions and experiences.

Aravind Raman works for an automotive major as a technical manager and has 12 years of professional experience. These are his personal views. He can be reached at

 Email this Article      Print this Article
Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: formal

Certainly tips given are no doubt wonderful,but put that tips in practical,and one more thing it differs from work to work,u cannot specify this for ...

Posted by feroz ahmed

Sub: Its great

Yeah the tips are really encouraging and precise...

Posted by Rahul

Sub: Want to be taken seriously at work

This is a good article., detailing processes for self-improvement. In my 20+ years of corporate experience, I have weathered several storms, and still I am ...


Sub: Good Apply them

Good Apply them and find the difference you made at work

Posted by Shivu_mk123


© 2006 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback