How to master the art of solving problems
As an employee in your organisation, you should ask yourself a few questions:
Are you a solution or a problem?
How willing are you to exert yourself and solve challenges within the organisation even if there isn’t a reward for it?
Or when no one is willing to take the challenge?
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I once had a very intelligent colleague who besides his brilliance had a very negative outlook on life. He had let the system beat him so much he always found himself playing the Devil’s advocate in every challenging situation. All he saw was the challenge and not the solution. He would beautifully capture the problems but never came up with any suggestions as to how to get out of those situations.
Don’t be known for just bringing suggestions. Apply yourself to the suggestions as well. Bring enough value to the table to be considered the solution!
If no one else is willing to pick up the ball, jump in and save the day. This is a habit you should cultivate. The effort may not be appreciated now but great leaders eventually take notice!
For those who might not know, personal branding, also known as self-marketing gives candidates/employees more opportunities to effectively communicate their values, skills, experiences, and vision to potential/existing employers.
The 6 personal branding strategies below will help accelerate your career growth:
1. Be open to change
It’s the only constant thing and it’s painful. Our brains are conditioned to get lazy and not want to accept new things. It is said that status quo bias affects the way we make decisions.Be receptive to change in your organisation; be aware and get more information about the change that is being proposed. A study has shown that 75% of the time, apathy to change in company’s structure is as a result of the lack of information about the upcoming change.
So, if your organisation isn’t managing the change properly why don’t you get curious, acquire more knowledge and become the change ambassador in your sphere of influence.Don’t be the party pooper supervisor, manager or staff who messes things up because of your fear of the unknown!
Party Pooper or change agent? Such traits don’t go unnoticed!
2. Speak up and step up
For heaven sakes, don’t be that one individual with a mute mouth at the meeting always looking lost and eager to end the meeting! Yes, I am aware that some meetings are a drag! You wonder why you are there in the first place. But if as a mid-level employee, you get the chance to attend a meeting where your bosses would be seating in, please speak up. Make a contribution. Get the agenda before you attend; get your thoughts organised and coordinated; these help you speak with confidence and cohesion. Listen at the meeting and don’t be that one that repeats what someone else has said because you were busy waiting your turn to speak.
Bringing up good contributions at meetings and brainstorming sessions is one very great way to self-market organically within an organisation.
3. Be a system expert
Yes, I understand that you are not an IT person but I would explain what being a system expert means. Okay, so I know that you have done your bit in investing in yourself over time and you are great at what you do!
How do you make yourself invaluable within your organisation and industry as a whole?
You would rise organically to the top as you not only become one who knows the system but has documented the process of getting the job done and can teach other people how to get the job done! You automatically become the expert and the go-to person thus, increasing your sphere of influence.Never pass up an opportunity to teach people how you do what you do! In fact, volunteer to teach the new hires.As weird as that might seem, it’s a great tool to get up quickly.
4. Dress up to step up: power of perception
I personally feel that measuring people based on appearance is judgmental and unfair but the truth is this is how we as human are wired.
As leaders, managers or mid-level employees who want to be taken seriously, it’s important to take a conscious effort on the way we show up! I know you have content, I know you are witty, smart and intelligent but if you don’t show up the right way, you might give up your chance to bring something to the table!
Make an effort in your appearance today!
5. Know thyself
Self-awareness is one of the greatest keys to self-mastery! You cannot fight a battle if you do not know yourself and your strengths. I also know that to succeed in life, I need to work on my not-so-natural strengths”- aka my weaknesses.It’s said that to succeed in career and life at all, you need to work on strengths but never ignore your weakness too. Acknowledge them and find strategies around them.
So, when next you are asked in an interview
“what is your weakness?”
Although an uncomfortable question, don’t say:
“I don’t have any weakness”
Instead, say something like:
“My perfectionism before now hampers my meeting deadlines but I have become aware of it and pulled that energy into my attention to details and getting the job done well and on time.”
Consequently, if you haven’t taken the time to discover and know yourself, you wouldn’t be able to creatively answer such questions.
Note here that the interviewer is looking to know how self-aware you are, what you are doing about self-development and that you are not deluded!
There are a couple of proven tests to help you figure these things out. DISC and MGBTI tests would help you provided you are willing to be honest and objective with yourself when filling the questionnaire. Remember there are no right or wrong personality types and there is nothing that cannot be learnt.
6. Be ready
Funny how this might seem obvious but I need to end with this tip. Be ready. If you have started to invest in yourself as a brand, putting action behind all the advice you have read and more, next thing to do is to put your mind in the ready state. Be prepared, stay focused. Your time to shine might just be around the corner and you might have your head buried deep in work!
Read up internal appointments and adverts, look up job ads outside of your current workplace, prep your resume -work on it as often as fortnightly. Get active on your Jobberman profile and LinkedIn account.
I hope these personal branding tips help you creatively place yourself out there as a brand ready to take on the world. Don’t be winking in the dark. Take your spot, you owe it to yourself, your purpose in life and the people you are called to serve!