Avoid making the wrong top career choices
…and a super elegant way to circumvent snubbing your boss or your colleagues.
Why can taking on too many changes actually endanger your top career?
Usually, the common belief is that you need to take your chances to boost your top career as fast and as often as you can – as the perfect time or circumstances might never come (again).
And that’s right - to a certain extent.
Staying impassive and waiting won’t advance your top career. But being overly active, unable or unwilling to say no and taking on every available opportunity will serve you neither. There’s an imminent danger in doing that, which most aren’t aware of.
It’s true, sometimes you’ve got to give it a go. But on other times this attitude might even forfeit your career opportunities.
1. How to advance your top career without being busy but smart
There’s a difference between intentionally and selectively choosing the best options or greedily sniffing any chances that might appear.
There are three main reasons why you might be tempted to do such a thing.
- The fear of disappointing others or risking your job.
- The idea to advance your career and reputation.
- The wish to impress others with your capabilities.
But opportunity chasing and taking on ever tolerable task when it arises makes you look needy and turns you into a busy work-bee.
It will hardly ever advance your top career.
My father in law was the CEO of a leading turbine building company in Austria - their expertise making them a global leader in hydroelectric plants. He was a rather quiet man and seldom spoke about his work. But I won’t forget the few times he did. It was always eye-opening.
Especially his statement about work-bees. He spoke about promotions and how he never promoted the busy workers but only the smart-lazy ones.
He said, to keep the business running, you need the busy workers for the daily tasks. They always take on as much as possible – out of responsibility or out of a lack of self-esteem.
Without them, the company wouldn’t function as it’s core tasks and implementations weren’t being met. You can count on the busy work-bees to get the job done and to do it well.
But except their eagerness to meet their daily chores, in his eyes, they had no further qualifications speaking for them.
The promotions got the lazy-smart ones.
Those who took on specialized tasks and delegated the rest.
The ones who weren’t afraid to invest brainpower first to optimize and maximize their output.
And who weren’t overloaded with work, but knew how to manage their time and resources.
Because once the right chance arose, they were free to quickly and strategically act on it. That’s why they've earned a chance in his eyes firsthand.
Doesn’t this change the meaning of being busy totally, if you look at it this way?
I hope it does, as I want you to take the RIGHT opportunities and never again chase the wrong ones anymore.
Not saying NO won’t impress anybody. Nor will it bring your top career into the spotlight.
Because NOT saying NO actually means you’re keeping your job but are losing your career!
While a job is just a way to earn money, your career is different. The right career will give you purpose and direction. And it also will bring you deep joy and meaning.
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2. The 11 top reasons why chasing opportunities will hurt your top career
So here are 11 reasons why chasing every opportunity is a bad idea.
- It will make you a jack of all trades instead of a specialist.
- It will diminish the respect your boss or colleagues have for you as they perceive you as needy and weak.
- It will lead you astray from your will serve you neither career advancement goals.
- It will burn you out and exhaust you as you don’t manage your limited energy wisely.
- It will kill your efficiency and productivity.
- You will lose yourself more and more as you’re ignoring your instincts.
- It will cost you promotions and money as the quality of your work suffers from your lack of focus and specialization.
- It will make you lose your joy and inspiration and become the trash can for your colleagues.
- It will boost your self-sabotage mechanisms.
- It will diminish your self-respect and self-worth as you constantly ignore your core values.
- It will spoil the once in a lifetime changes as you have no quality time left for them.
Just staying busy won’t qualify you for the next promotion, nor will it boost your reputation. Only purposeful, intentional and actions in alignment with your career advancement plan can achieve that.
So the main question that arises is: How do you prevent taking on the wrong opportunities?
3. How to elegantly boost your value and top career by saying No
One thing is to stop your eagerness of taking on to much. Here awareness is key.
But another thing altogether is to refuse tasks when they are delegated to you or your help is needed. How do you refuse such a request and say No?
Maybe you don’t have any trouble with it at all. But if you’re like me, you might have a hard time saying No.
That is until I discovered my super elegant way to avoid making the wrong career choices while simultaneously boosting your value.
So if somebody approaches you and wants you to do work you don’t like to do or isn’t in alignment with your career advancement plan, then use this little script below to say NO politely, and to easily skip the wrong chance.
…By the way, your lack of joy is always a sign you’re not doing your best work but are holding back!
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4. The Elegant No Formula
- Step: Express that you appreciate their request and state that you feel truly honored by their request. Something like:
“Thank you for your trust in me. I’m truly honored!”
- Step: Emphasise your wish to produce the best results possible for their sake and the benefit of the company.
“I want you to be successful with his task. I also know how much value it will bring to the company. So it’s important to have someone with the right ABC strengths do this kind of work.”
- Step: Now name your strengths but state how they do not fall in the required scope of the task.
“As my strengths are XYZ, not ABC, Im sorry but need to refuse your offer.”
- Step: Recommend another co-worker who has the required qualities and is better suited for it.
“But ABC is definitely one of Mrs. Browns’ strengths. So better offer her this opportunity!”
- Step: Wish the other person good luck with his search. And state your willingness to help him another time if he needs something that truly falls into your competence.
“Much luck for your search! Let me know whenever you have tasks where XYZ are needed. I gladly will help you out!”
Do you see how you’ll elegantly move yourself out of the danger zone while simultaneously boosting your value and your top career at the same time?
The more you emphasize your value, the more others will perceive you as a valuable asset. Don’t be afraid to repetitively use the “Elegant No” formula whenever you need ist.
Just take time beforehand to identify your core strengths and have a handful of arguments ready.
This will make it easy to react quickly and spontaneously once you need it.
Another recommended strategy is to make a strengths list of your co-workers. To attain it, observe them closely and state at least 3 core strengths of them. Do this in advance to be prepared and before you even have been asked any request. This way it will be easier to make a valuable suggestion when needed.
Also give your best to recommend the best. Don’t just name anybody who comes to your mind. It will look like you want just want to get rid of unwelcome chores. If you don’t know a really good match, say so and tell the other person that you’ll think about and that you’ll get back to her when you have an appropriate suggestion.
This technique is also quite adaptable. You can use it for many different occasions! With your colleagues, your boss, or even your friends.
Of course, a prerequisite for doing that is to understand yourself, to know your strengths and abilities and even your purpose first!
And then you also need to have your career advancement plan made already. Only then you know in the first place when you're out of alignment with your career plan and whether it will advance or damage your top career.
To your greatness!