2 tricks to strengthen your career position

 

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Pay-off: a more accurate sense of where you’re really at and what to do next

Investment: 2.5 minutes

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What are you paid most to do consistently?

What’s the most important consistent deliverable or outcome in your work?

OK, on a scale of 1-10 how good or confident are you at it?

Decide your score now.

1 – – 10

Here’s how to strengthen your position:

If you scored less than 6 answer this:

Why didn’t you score yourself even lower?

Get some answers to this question. Why else? You need a few answers.

E.g. if you’re in a sales role and you get paid most to create and close new business opportunities, but you scored yourself 4, then answers to why you didn’t score lower than that could include:

  • I’ve opened a few doors this year – I can do it
  • I networked well to get this very job
  • I created more opportunities in the last 6 months than the previous 6 months
  • I know what to do
  • I’m becoming more comfortable doing it
  • I’m hanging in there, so something’s working

If you’ve put the thought in and generated enough answers, you’ll have realised that your potential value is higher than you thought, and this should strengthen your position and your confidence.

If you scored 6 or more:

You’ll have strengths here no doubt. But there’s an unexpected twist to the scale you’ve just scored yourself on. It actually goes from 1 to 100, whilst your score stays the same.

1 — 10 — 20 — 30 — 40 — 50 — 60 — 70 — 80 — 90 — 100

Why? (Do you feel cheated? Prior to this reveal, you were probably cheating yourself!)

Because there is and will always be levels above you to play at and consistently win at. Someone out there is probably showing us up. And all these levels above you – where the game is much tougher – and the level you’re currently playing at will all change significantly over the next few years, presenting new challenges you’re not so well equipped for.

That 10 on the scale is not the reference point you should be comparing yourself to.

A lesson that always stuck with me

I learned this lesson when I was about 12 years old and I used to win my 100m sprints consistently in my school. By all measures that I was aware of, I thought I was pretty good. A good 9 out of 10. Until I competed with other schools and came in at about 6th place. Turns out the scale went way beyond ’10’. So does yours.

The more expertise and experience you gain in almost any area (that is worth being paid for), the more you learn about the levels above you and the constant changing game. You can ride a wave for so long, but at some point it runs out.

Many skills, strengths, and knowledge often have a ‘use-by date’ too. What got you here won’t necessarily get you there. Strengths can become redundant. Rising stars usually fall. That ’10’ on the scale keeps moving. The market or environment you’re currently working in may have you think you’re a 9 out of 10. But can you perform consistently well in another market or environment? Do you have the skills and capabilities to smoothly adapt and deliver?

 

Strengthening your position

The point here is not to take the wind out of your sail. It’s to help you become stronger in your position as the title says. And you are unlikely to do that if you think you’re a few notches away from a 10 out of 10. That’s going to shut your growth potential right down, and since the bar is always changing fast, is probably a bit delusional.

The point is to invite you to consider how strong you really are in not just your current position (and why that’s the case) but how strong you’re about to become moving ahead as things change around you and present unexpected challenges in uncharted territory. Because that will reveal how strong you really are.

Once you’ve considered that, my next question is, “ok, what are you going to do about it?”

Some thoughts to help:

Please share if you think your connections might like to strengthen their position in their career.

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