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Give your career the boost it needs
Deeksha Singh
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December 04, 2007

Getting to the top of the ladder in the corporate world is a dream that most of us nurture, whether you're a fresh graduate who has recently been introduced to the job market or a more seasoned professional trying to get ahead. While there are no shortcuts to success, you must still look at smart ways of making the ride smooth. Here are some tips you should keep in mind as you go about plotting your route to success:

Start early
Starting the journey early is a great way to give yourself the competitive edge. When starting your career, don't wait for that big break. Take the reasonable good opportunity that comes your way and try to capitalise on it.

"I overlooked several jobs that came my way in the pursuit of the dream job that I had in mind. As a result, I wasted six months of my precious time," says Aabha Das, a recent commerce graduate of the batch of 2007 from Delhi University.

As a fresher, there will be times when you will feel overworked and exploited, but even when you know that you are going through the grind, stay persistent.

Be an eagle and yet stay grounded

So, you have been working day and night on a project and running to meet the targets and the effort is eclipsed by the project manager. I am sure you must be wondering, "Why can't I eat the cake that I baked!"

  • Stay well connected with your surroundings and the latest updates about the organisation.
  • Take active interest in developing new ideas and plans.
  • Keep a constant overview of the competition and take the initiative in developing strategies to drive business results.
  • Start getting connected to other departments in the company and help people understands their challenges.
  • Interact with your clients on a regular basis. They might give you a business impacting idea or a solution.
  • Prepare regular reports, it will be useful. These are typically read by senior management and will give you the visibility you require to move up faster.

Create your signature style

Be well groomed and carry a positive attitude all the time. Success is perceived with the way you achieve it, people would like to know the secret.

  • Be a storyteller -- share your success story. Don't feel shy while talking about a high impact initiative that you took or any significant targets that you achieved.
  • Be participative and interactive in a meeting. Sitting quietly after achieving your goals can make you invisible.
  • Be prompt in reverting to your key stake holders, whether internal or external.
  • Constantly motivate your team members and help them evolve out of their failures.
  • Learn public speaking and presentation skills. Speak for yourself if others don't do it for you.
  • Be flexible. You should be able to work under pressure and also adapt to changing business scenarios. Do not have any pre-conceived notions -- about your colleagues, clients, bosses or anyone else you interact with in the course of your workday.
  • How to make office meetings a success

Take pride in whatever you do

Do everything with a complete sense of conviction and belief. It is better to make mistakes than do nothing at all. Learn how to solve problems and be approachable. Be ready to take on tough or challenging assignments that most people typically avoid.

  • Take responsibility in projects that are challenging.
  • Spend quality time with colleagues and peers. Discuss the critical aspects of the projects and task at hand.
  • Be courteous, calm and composed.
  • Coach people in developing their strengths.
  • Appreciate colleagues and give them their share of importance.
  • You should be able to empathise with your boss, colleagues and even with your watchman.
  • Be friendly but don't get involved on the gossip factory.

Deeksha Singh is a Managing Partner & Head -- Business Development at W.C.H Training Solutions, a New Delhi-based training and consulting firm.

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