No one said earning a living would be a walk in the park. It’s a baptism by fire fuelled experience that you walk into only armed with the introduction pages of the manual, AKA, university education. Situations will always pop up in your career journey that don’t have a clear course of action, but how do you keep pushing forward? The good news is that most common career issues can be minimised if you have a clue on how to do a little damage control. Here are some of the most common career dilemmas that you may stumble across and suggestions on how to deal with them:
Stuck At The Same Position Without Promotion In Sight
Be proactive. Grab what you want through extra training that is available, as well as, being responsible for your own development. Do your homework on what opportunities you should look out for and above all, have a positive attitude.
Workload Has Increased Extensively
A clear red flag of a dramatic workload growth is having to decide between just finishing the work and actually doing the work well. Don’t suffer in silence. Find a time when your manager isn’t preoccupied and ask for a meeting. Here, you can explain using facts, why your current workload has become chronically insuperable as they aren’t as attuned to the context as you are. Follow this up with options of how the situation can be tackled. For example, inform of the work that you can handle and the tasks that you can delegate and to whom.
You’ve Made A Major Mistake
The best remedy is to tell your boss as soon as possible. It will be far more alarming if you don’t own your action and accept responsibility. The trick is to proactively show that you understand the gravity of the situation and that you are working on how to mitigate the damage. Most importantly, how you will ensure that there won’t be a repeat performance.
Worried About Impact Your Social Media Pages Have On Your Career
It’s true that managers do research your online activities but that doesn’t mean you have to shut them all down. Be more careful how you portray yourself by either putting those security functions or using an alias. Then, there’s using their snooping to your advantage. Use your social platforms to show how passionate, informed and professional you are.
You Do More Than What Is In Your JD
You have to talk to the boss; no way around that. However, it all depends on your delivery. You’ll get the best results with a calm and collaborative tone as well as a ‘problem-solving’ attitude. It shouldn’t come across as a complaint. Whether you’re able to nudge your boss into seeing that an adjustment is required or you get a simple ‘there’s nothing we can do’, at least, you know what to expect in the future. This will help you plan accordingly.
Constant Co-Worker Conflict
If every conversation with a certain colleague turns into discrepancy and strife, try playing nice. Shelf your ego and try to find something you genuinely admire in your colleague to compliment them on. Or you could seek their advice on an issue, as painful as it may be to do. After a month of determination, you could swing the relationship around. However, if being nice doesn’t work, realise that some people will always be difficult and learn how to remain composed in the face of difficult personalities. You get your work done and your surprising calmness will confuse them. Win-win.
Boss Doesn’t Notice Your Hard Work
The reality is that few bosses will recognise your achievements. So become your own advocate. This is part of ‘keeping them up-todate’ that they keep mentioning. Highlight your key victories when you talk to your boss; in moderation of course. This tip can also help you deal with co-workers who steal credit for your work. Your boss will be in the loop of YOUR accomplishments way before they can weasel their way into the limelight. Just keep in mind that, as much as the boss wants to know about what you’re doing well, they also want to know how it’s benefiting them.
Same Job But Your Colleague Earns More Burn!
After you’ve applied cold water to the affected ego, do some research to see what the industry rate is. This will give you the necessary information to present your ‘I need a raise’ discussion. It’s a much more credible request than comparing salaries.
Bad Performance Review
This stings, even more, when everything seemed okay prior to receiving the poor report. The first instinct may be to become defensive but your attention should be on listening to what your boss is asking you to work on. Ask questions to fully understand what exactly it is that you’re being asked to change and give feedback that illustrates you’re committed to resolving the raised issues. If your boss or manager isn’t telling you about issues in real time, learn to look out for the telltale signs such as micromanagement that show that there could be an issue with your performance.