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Your Career Development is On You

We all know the complainers "I work very hard and I don't get promoted and Debbie who does nothing but self-marketing is now promoted three times."

Well lovely, stop complaining and start learning about why that may be. That is likely on you. The answer can be found either in your strengths or personality traits.

If you need help I can guide you through it here:

Majority of the people are doers and thinkers (Executing and Strategic Thinking strengths in the CliftonStrengths assessment) and they do what they are strong at; they get things done and think about solutions. They are not likely to make a fuss and shout about their achievements from the rooftop because figuring things out and getting things done gives them satisfaction. They almost always go unnoticed in organisations. They are the ones companies run by. They are the most valuable if you ask me.

Then you have the "I want to be seen" (Influencing) type of guys and the "I use my connections to get where I want to be" (Relationship Building) kind of people. Neither of them requires one to do a great job to be promoted but self-marketing and networking.

Guess which one works better in the world where awards and magazine cover photo can be purchased and social media likes and number of views not only idolised and valued but are also aspirational.

Don't blame Debbie for using her strengths! Blame yourself that you don't play by the rules of the game. It doesn't mean you become somebody else or break your standards but bending your style and adjusting your actions.

Hard work will never beat PR and networking in a world where paid magazine covers industry awards and connections are valued.

We know that 50% of jobs are filled through some form of referral. That's why you keep hearing this in organisations "How did this guy get the job?" Well, think again but don't be bitter about it. They use their strengths like you do.

Also, ask yourself the question, have you done the work (apart from your work) to get that promotion? Some part of that work is connection and PR. But do you actually know what that promotion would come with and have you done the work to be ready for it and show that you are ready for it?

Do you want to be responsible for millions $ revenue? Do you want to take the responsibility for other people's performance? Do you have an executive presence that will make others listen to you in the boardroom or even during a simple meeting? Do you have the self-confidence and awareness that will help you fight and stand the blows when they come? Because they will come! Life and the corporate world is the fighting arena make no mistake about it.

As Marcus Aurelius said, "The world is like an arena, where people play by different rules and clash with your own nature, but it is part of being an adult and a human being. We must be smart and intelligent, accepting the fact that some people play dirty and hurt us, but instead of complaining, we focus on how to defend ourselves and outmanoeuvre them. You have to be prepared for sudden attacks and stay resilient. Adopting the stance of a warrior in life allows one to be composed, prepared for the worst, and equipped to defend oneself and navigate difficult situations."

Today's social narrative doesn't help cultivate this. It aims to weaken everyone by dismissing Aurelius's wisdom making people believe that the world is fair, nobody should get hurt and we can all play by the same rules. How is that working out for you?

That's not how it works and we know that. So, stop complaining and look at the rules you are playing by and how the environment you want to succeed in plays. Then adjust your behaviour and actions. Is it hard? Yes. Will you get hurt? Yes! Have you seen a gladiator in the arena stopping the game and complain about getting hurt? No! Have you seen them complaining about the rules? No! They played the game knowing the consequences. I understand that most had no choice and I know that you are keen to come at me with that. Guess what, you don't have a choice either if you want to be successful but to stop complaining and play by the rules. The alternative is, you will continue complaining and wondering 17 years on why you are constantly being overlooked.

As Candice Owen said, "Life is tough, get a helmet." Your helmet is you finding out who you are and then adjust!

PS: When am I going to see L&D or Talent Development professionals talking to people about these things instead of the wishy-washy off-the-shelf programs?

Here I break down these four styles have a listen and try to figure out where you fall and what might hinder your career progression. If you need help decoding it drop me a message:

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