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Get off to a successful start with the ABCs of career – Part 2
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Get off to a successful start with the ABCs of career – Part 2

Kinga Bartczak

Last week I already presented you the first part of my personal career ABC’s, here follows as promised the second part, enjoy reading!

J – Job change

Not an easy topic, but one that urgently needs to be discussed. Of course, no one is forcing you to change your job, especially if you are happy with it. In the 21st century, however, one should no longer be under the illusion that the first job must necessarily remain the last. Be courageous, seize opportunities when they arise and step out of your comfort zone. A new job means new challenges, not only professionally, but also as a person. Don’t give in to a paralyzing fear here, what’s the worst that could happen?

K – Competition

Competition not only stimulates business, but also work within the company. Do not be afraid of being perceived as a competitor, on the contrary, it even distinguishes you, as it means an indirect compliment for you and your performance. Of course, competitive thinking must be lived out on a healthy basis and only to the extent that it is conducive and not inhibitory. This requires initiative on your part.

Do you have a particularly hard time with a team member who perceives you as a competitor and clearly flaunts it? Show presence and actively counter such behavior. A one-on-one conversation or a friendly invitation for coffee can work wonders here. However, always remember: fair play is their top priority. Do not humiliate someone by accusing their behavior in public or by exposing them. It is not uncommon for strong competitors to ultimately become all the stronger allies.

L – Power

Show commitment! Just because you got the job doesn’t mean you can now do your time in peace until the first salary hits your account. Focus consciously on upcoming tasks and work in a structured and results-oriented manner. If you have shown commitment and dedication, make this visible, because recognition and appreciation are often lacking, especially in larger companies. Incidentally, don’t forget to recognize and sometimes celebrate your own accomplishments as well, otherwise you will no longer feel satisfaction should you successfully complete a project.

M – possibilities

They arise everywhere, but are not always obvious at first glance. Whether you’re looking for a new job or want to expand your network, take advantage of opportunities that come your way! Even within your job, don’t let an opportunity for training, a facilitation assignment, a speaking role, or a business trip pass you by. I wouldn’t say that all opportunities in life always come around once, but sometimes it pays to grab them right away. Listen specifically to your gut feeling here as well. Your qualifications and professional competence are out of the question, only your limits and resilience matter here. Be careful, however, that you don’t fall prey to the so-called FOMO syndrome in the process.

Lateral thinking in the goldfish bowl

N – nuances

Just as in private life, there is no black-and-white thinking in professional life. You will always have to deal with different personalities during your career path and these experiences can be both enriching and strength-sapping for you. Sensitization to the different nuances of human character can help you here. Of course, you can not open up all of them, but this is not necessary. Before you get caught up in prejudices and try to take your rightful place in the company as quickly as possible, take a closer look and listen.

We often tend to only look out for ourselves. Accordingly, it is important to us that our appearance is right, our work is of the right quality and we receive constant confirmation from our superiors so that we can go home with a calm feeling. However, you can save yourself this stress if you listen more carefully.

Most of the time, the nuances of character can be easily identified:

“If you need help, feel free to let me know” is not the same as “If something is not clear, feel free to contact me.” While we feel less inhibited to ask for help with the first statement, we find it much more difficult with the latter. A “I don’t have time for that right now” doesn’t seem very friendly, but that’s due to the situation, the mood and possibly also a badly brewed coffee. Take your time to recognize all circumstances (nuances) and do not fall into the typical black-and-white way of thinking, which only allows us to make a hasty (pre-)judgment.

O – Objectivity

Do not be tempted to gossip by your colleagues or even your superiors themselves. Always remain factual and objective when evaluating your employees, superiors and colleagues. Of course, after a certain amount of time, we form a very specific opinion of facts and employees within a company, but it is how we deal with them that counts. Remain neutral in your attitude and this will always be to your advantage. In the job world, no one cares who you side with, when, where and how; success is the only criterion by which you will ultimately be judged. So if it’s a matter of personnel decisions or taking on areas of responsibility, they judge in an objective sense. This means that the candidate’s qualifications and personal suitability are more important than his or her style of dress, extroverted manner or perhaps directness, which you may not like in some situations.

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P – Project management

Whether planning a comprehensive construction project, creating a detailed marketing concept or changing an entire corporate structure, ultimately you cannot avoid the topic of project management. The rule here is: The larger the project, the more diverse the instruments. I would always recommend the S.M.A.R.T. analysis by Peter Ferdinand Drucker (Management by Objectives, 1956). This method serves you as a constant check whether your objectives are still valid or whether something needs to be changed in the project plan. There continue to be countless ways to create a comprehensive project plan for this purpose. You can, for example, use a work breakdown structure, which can be easily created with the program
Microsoft Project
can be easily created. If an investment in such a program is too high for you or if you want to approach such a plan in smaller steps first, you can also try your hand at a so-called Gantt chart. This can be easily created and saved online using a
easily created and saved online and serves excellently as a first and simple step into comprehensive project planning. No matter which option you choose: Have courage to discover the methods and invest your time. You will see that it will save you a lot of work in the end.

Q – Lateral thinking

They are sought after in many places: The so-called lateral thinkers. It’s easy to stay on secure ground and expand your expertise in a particular area, but today’s career and professional world demands more. As a computer scientist, why not get a taste of the designers, or as a humanities major, get involved in a technical project? Within our professional training we learn not to show our mind any limits, but to look beyond them. I would like to pass this credo on to you as well, because it is also possible for a “person unfamiliar with the subject” to familiarize himself with a new subject area and expand his field of knowledge. Don’t think in predefined categories, sometimes an unconventional idea, even if it doesn’t seem immediately logical at first glance, is the one that ultimately promises success.

R – room

Create space Creating “space” for yourself in your job is an important prerequisite for turning your work into a fulfilling activity. Taking into account your own limitations, you need to consciously create an area which is exclusively yours. This space goes beyond a chat with colleagues, a cup of coffee or a leisurely lunch break. The space I am talking about shapes itself both physically and mentally. Whether through meditation, dancing, listening to music, writing poetry or singing, you can create this space yourself and also decide independently who may enter this space and who may not. It may seem trite to you, but creating a space has nothing to do with simply pursuing a hobby. Hobbies can be postponed. You think about many things while you are practicing it and you can practice it with others. I am talking about a point in time that is for you alone and in which there is no perception of time. This means that it cannot simply be “run in between”. Rather, it is a conscious and active action that requires their complete concentration.

Try it out, for example, sing a song you particularly like or dance to your heart’s content without fear that someone might be watching you. You will notice very quickly: The liberating feeling that fills you will also make you take a completely different look at the day ahead.

In the coming week, the third and final part of my personal career ABC’s awaits you. Exciting discoveries from ‘S’ like failure to ‘Z’ like time management await you!

About the author

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Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .

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