Six sentences you should never ever say at work
The “victim” mentality is only detrimental to career growth, so ask yourself if you really are being overlooked or simply unhappy with life in general.
One of the most dangerous mistakes you can make at work is unknowingly getting in the way of your own success through self-defeating thought patterns. These can manifest themselves through detrimental work attitudes, inappropriate expectations, poor self esteem or misplaced preconceptions that lead to chronically misjudging people and situations. The reality is that many of us simply fail to see or refuse to acknowledge simple errors in judgement we may sometimes make that may be hindering our growth. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but once you accept that you may be unwittingly hindering your own growth through negative thinking, you can choose to break the pattern and indeed thrive.
Below are six common excuses professionals make to themselves that may be getting in the way of their success:
1. It’s not in my job description
A job description is there as a guide and framework for your daily activities, not as a limitation on growth, exploration and innovation. If you are presented with opportunities to innovate and create and improve things outside of your actual job description and if you find you can solve problems and increase productivity in ways that benefit the whole organization, even though these are not literally spelled out in your job description, then by all means get the support and buy in of your manager and adapt your activities accordingly. There is little that frustrates a manager more than subordinates who hide behind their job description as an excuse for sloth, inertia and lackluster productivity. Whatever your job description, it is safe to assume that you are encouraged, if not expected, to augment it with tasks and improvements that increase your personal productivity and benefit the organization as a whole. In fact, 78% of respondents in the Bayt.com ‘Innovation in the MENA’ poll, January 2014, agree that their organization encourages new ideas to be tried out, while another 78% say that their company praises and rewards employees for coming up with new ideas.
2. I didn’t receive the right training
We all know professionals who lambast employers for not “investing” in them enough and use that as an excuse for their perceived failure. While ideally every employer would have the budget and resources and sophistication to implement formal customized training programs for each employee, in reality, training processes and procedures vary tremendously from employer to employer. Successful professionals have taken it upon themselves to ask for and get the kind of training they need. How? In today’s networked world it has never been easier to learn and expand know-how and ideas, whether it is by formal or informal classes and courses by educational institutes and training providers, online courses, independent reading, proactively sought mentorship, aggressive networking and/or active participation on online specialties forums and industry boards. Continuous learning is the one factor that is non-negotiable if you aim for lifelong success. Bayt.com Specialties, for example, is a great platform where you can interact with other professionals and build on your knowledge and learning through community discussions and interactions.
3. I won’t put in the extra effort
Whether it’s extra hours or extra effort to learn, produce and grow, you need to be willing to do what it takes to reach targets and achieve your goals. This is not to say epically long work days are sustainable or desirable or even optimal as a way of life, but professionals who lack the flexibility and hunger to do what it takes to succeed in the short term will most definitely set themselves up for disappointment in the long term. We all know professionals with amazing “can-do” attitudes who put in the sweat and extra hours when needed without complaining, and the last thing any organization wants in its ranks are team members with a poor work ethic or contagious negative attitudes to dull their fire and extinguish their spark. 52% of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa said that they want to learn new skills in 2015; 34% aspire to become more effective at their job, as revealed in the Bayt.com Career Aspirations in the MENA survey, January 2015.
4. I don’t like to work with that kind of person
In today’s workplace you will in all likelihood be working with an international set of peers, managers, clients and suppliers, so it’s essential you put any prejudices and preferences aside and learn how to work effectively with different personality types. There is no excuse for personal baggage in the workplace so approach all relationships in a purely professional context and at all times show respect and decorum and attention to the organisation’s business objectives and goals. Professionals who refer to teams,managers and clients negatively are invariably feared and shunned by their peers in the long term. Learn to see the beauty and richness in diversity and to enjoy the learning that comes from a truly varied workplace. According to the Bayt.com ‘Workplace Dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll, June 2013, 16% of respondents believe employers in the region are looking above all for team players when hiring.
5. I don’t have the right resources
The old adage of “a bad workman blames his tools” is still rather apt today. The Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, April 2014, shows that 65% of professionals in the region believe they have everything they need to do a good job. So instead of hiding behind “dated” tools and budgets why not try to successfully make a well-thought-out and well-defined business case for changing that resource pool, and why not start by showing you have truly made the most with what you do have. Managers rarely allocate increased budgets or resources to units or employees who have been wasteful or unproductive or unsuccessful with what they do have, so show your appreciation, skills and respect for company resources before you ask for more. Resources invariably go to people who show the best plan to optimize them and have a track record of success with meeting ROI and growth targets.
6. Nobody appreciates me
The “victim” mentality is only detrimental to career growth, so ask yourself if you really are being overlooked or simply unhappy with life in general, and if you really are being treated unfairly then take the bull by the horn and try to proactively get the appreciation you deserve. When you are really good at what you do, the universe usually has a way of conspiring to make everyone realize it. But if you truly feel underappreciated or unrecognized why not learn to blow your own horn a little bit especially if you are usually the shy, retreating, modest type. Salary comparisons are available readily on sites like Bayt.com Salaries and your performance appraisal is a good indicator of how your manager rates your progress. So before you professionally and cordially approach your management with a solid case for that promotion or raise or better perks, study all available materials and understand if you really do have a case.
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