How to achieve success at work

How to achieve success at work?

We all want to achieve success at work.

It was my first day of the corporate job in a well known consumer durable company. HR presented me the organisation structure as a part of the induction program. It was a typical pyramid shape hierarchy as it still exists in most organisations. As the presentation continued, they also claimed to nurture their employees. Also reward their achievements and contribution towards the organisation by career progression. So how does this magic exactly happen when HR rewards (or at least intends to reward) career progression to all achievers. On the other hand the organisation structure still remains the same pyramid shape. I realised this few years later that it’s not just achievements of your KRA which helps you to get success.

To know how we achieve success at work, let’s first understand what is success at the workplace. It may vary from person to person. However below are key indicators to define one’s success at work as an employee:

  • Climbing up the corporate ladder.
  • Achieving a high level of job satisfaction.
  • Being respected by peers.

Achieving success at work goes beyond your achievement of KRA and requires a clear strategy. Below are 5 steps to help you with: 

1. Step outside your current role:

Most organisations or departments will frequently have assignments or projects which don’t fit into anyone’s job description. Wait, I am not suggesting you grab on to every such assignment or choose randomly. Identify the one which is either related to your role or the one which will help you to enhance your knowledge and skills required for success. If you find anything which needs to be done for your team or department. But nobody is doing it because they are too busy, just go ahead and do it. Accomplishing things for your team which are beyond your job description will also communicate to your team and managers that you are ready for a bigger role. Stepping outside your job description will also help you to gain knowledge or experience which may prove useful as you go up the ladder in management positions. 

2. Identify and work on gaps in your knowledge:

Nobody ever is blessed with all the knowledge and qualities required. Start with identifying what are your strong areas in terms of skills and qualities. Follow this with areas which needs to be work upon and requires improvements. To find them easily, just look around. What are those good qualities other star colleagues in your organization or successful people outside your organization (whom you know well) has. Specifically notice people whose role is a dream job for you. What skills and knowledge their job requires and find out ways to learn and practice them.

3. Work on qualities your boss values most:

Believe it or not, your boss plays key role in your success. Boss not only has a larger say when it comes to your career progression in same organization. He or she also has indirect (or invisible) role to play in your job satisfaction. Watch and listen to your boss. What qualities he has? What quality he values or admires more? Listen to his complements for you and also for others. This will help you to find out if there are any gaps between you and expectation from your boss. And further find out ways to work on them.

4. Practice and improve your soft skills:

Going extra mile from your KRA and working to enhance knowledge and skill will surely help as a key stepping stone for success at workplace. This needs to be finally topped up with your soft skills. More you go up the ladder in management positions, your soft skills will play key role in your success than your technical skills. While you can gain knowledge about these skills from many self help books, only way to master them is to practice them regularly. In fact practice them every day. There are many soft skills you will find useful. I would like to touch upon only four soft skills as below to keep it crisp.

We will later discuss about each of these skills in detail separately.

Finally, It requires a clearly made strategy and consistent execution topped up with your soft skills to help opening the doors of opportunity. More consistent you are in your efforts, more you will find success at work.

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