ASK HR: Forget consulting a witchdoctor, work for your success
What you need to know:
- The consistency between your values and that of the organisation you work for is an important factor in your career.
- If you are known to be dependable and a person of integrity, you are likely to be entrusted with increasing responsibility.
Q. A high flying colleague recently advised that if I want to rise really high up and be successful in my career, I need to work hard, yes, but it also helps to consult a mganga, a witchdoctor. Do you think there is any merit in this advice? I am very keen on going up the career ladder.
The reasons people adduce to account for their career achievements vary. Seldom do individuals apply identical approaches or follow similar paths to scale their career aspirations. Note too that there can be remarkable differences between people’s perceptions of career success - one person’s outstanding achievement might not appeal to another as such.
Regardless of individual differences in approaches and perceptions, there are some elements without which career success would remain elusive. Do you have a clear career objective that is related to your ability and interest? A career goal helps you to focus, thereby making success more likely. Do you consistently meet or exceed performance expectations? Do you challenge organisational inertia? It is unlikely that anyone, especially in the long run, can hoodwink their way to career success without posting results that help drive the organisation for which they work.
How is the quality of your relationships with stakeholders including your line manager, other bosses, peers and those you supervise? Your progress will depend not only on results, but also on how you obtain them, which, especially as you rise in your career, includes your ability to influence and effectively achieve results through others.
What about your character? The consistency between your values and that of the organisation you work for is an important factor in your career. If you are known to be dependable and a person of integrity, you are likely to be entrusted with increasing responsibility, an important ingredient of the fodder required for career growth.
Are you driven and keen to succeed? Career success rarely visits the indolent. Without drive, you will stumble in the face of the challenges that inevitably lie ahead. Do you have a mentor? Along the way, you would benefit from a hand that helps you onto the right platforms and a voice that cheers you on.
All this requires your personal involvement, not the mystical intervention of shamanic mediums purporting to offer direct flights to success.