Career Development: Break the Rules Within the Rules
Your future career success lies in your ability to break some rules. Do you know your competition within the organization? How about your company’s competition? Do you follow them or do you look for ways to move outside the box? Within the organization, are you expected to follow the group or if you move outside the group thinking will you be ostracized? Do you hide in the group or are you willing to achieve success on your own?
All are important questions to answer. Are you willing to take the risks to your career to put your ideas into action? If you are willing to take initiative, responsibility and break some rules you career will flourish and in the right environment you’ll move up to areas of more responsibility and more rewards. Don’t play it safe and take the easy route and hide behind the rules.
Here are some actions you can take to advance your career by breaking the rules within the rules:
Think like an entrepreneur. If you owned the company what would you do differently? Step out of your job and career and act like the CEO, fairly analyze your contributions, your departments results; what more could you be doing?
What rules are getting in your way? What rules are getting in your department’s way? Study how the rule came about. Is it still meeting the organization’s needs? Maybe part of it is still valid, how can the rest of the rule be modified or eliminated to help the business or customers.
Define the problem. Write it out. Ask for help and ideas from others in the department. Run the problem by people you know in the industry. What did another company do to solve the problem? Is it applicable to your situation? Take the best ideas (giving credit where credit is due) and work them into the solution.
Become known as the idea person and problem solver. Search out others to be sounding boards for your ideas and possible solutions. Think other ideas through. At meetings if an idea is presented and you don’t agree, present a different solution or a well reasoned argument why the proposed direction won’t work.
Strive to have a plan of implementation for every great idea you come up with. Think benefits both for the department and the company. Quantify possible results.
Always look for ways of improving what is being done and moving the company forward. Consider taking a different approach in dealing with a customer. How can meeting presentations be improved and streamlined?
Keep this overall approach on the forefront of your thinking every day. Being average with the group is never good enough. Raise the bar.
As you challenge the rules that don’t contribute to the bottom line, or don’t help your career growth or the company’s mission statement you’ll find your career growing. Importantly your career will have more satisfaction, your responsibilities and rewards will increase all because you learned to break the rules with the rules.