How to turn problems into career advancement
Tired of all the folks around you who gripe a lot and can point out issues even on a good day? The vast majority of employees can isolate issues and talk about them all day long. Only a few can actually kick this up a notch and provide possible solutions and even implement them.
Problem is that this can turn out to be a really bad career buster. Leader-managers look for people who can take work off of their busy schedules. Funny thing with problems is that they are typically no secret and only the densest of us cannot see them. Mentioning and listing them over and over again does not solve anything.
Worse yet, it kills morale. The complainer turns out to be the problem. Great, more work for the leader-manager. Not.
Interested in turning this dynamic around? Here a few easy steps that help you fix issues and help kick your career up a notch.
- When you see a problem that is really annoying you resist the urge to vent. Griping to the wrong person may land you in the HR office. Your co-workers and team members will start avoiding you; you can easily turn into a time and energy sink. Take a quick walk through the company. It helps mind and body.
- Refrain from excessively combatting bad ideas or concepts. No worries, bad ideas are never long term sustainable. Do not waste your nerves on this process. Keep focused on bringing forth good ideas.
- Focus your attention on 1 problem. The problem needs to relate to the root cause – not symptoms. If you address symptoms you will experience scope creep and that is a lot more work that way and highly ineffective.
- Think of 2 to 3 possible solutions. Make number one the one that you really would like to do. The second one that you could still live with, and number three if you had to. Go to your supervisor and propose it.
- Experiment with your solutions. Success breeds success. It also builds your skill set. Invaluable and it will not go unnoticed. If for nothing else, it makes you more valuable to the organization. That is a really good thing when the economy is not doing well.
- Make sure that you keep doing the above over and over again.
Rather ask for forgiveness than ask for permission when you look and experiment with your solutions. Any mature leader-manager will leave you alone and appreciate the self-sufficient work that you did. It is a win-win situation all the way around. The problem is getting solved, you build a sustainable career, morale stays high, and the company will do better because customers get more value. Griping builds a speedpass lane to the exit. It’s your choice.