Is your career at stalled out? It’s easy to look outward and blame company politics, a bad jobs market or even your colleagues.
But, what if the problem is you? From coming across as a braggart to presenting problems without solutions, nuances in our behaviours can make or break success. It’s a topic several LinkedIn Influencers weighed in on this week. Here’s what two of them had to say.
Jack Welch, executive chairman at Jack Welch Management Institute
“Careers rarely follow a smooth, linear trajectory,” wrote Welch in his post 10 Behaviours That Could Kill Your Career. “If you’re experiencing a stalled or faltering career — and most of us do at some point or another — take a good look in the mirror.”
There are career-killing behaviours that many people do not recognise, but “can mean the difference between an upward ride and a downward spiral at work,” he wrote. Among them:
- Overcommitting and under-delivering
- Resistance to change — failing to embrace new ideas
- Winning over your boss but not your peer group
- Complacency — you’ve stopped growing
- Being a problem identifier versus a problem solver
“If you recognise your own behaviours, make it your mission to change them — before you have to,” advised Welch. If you do, he wrote, your career is “likely to… move from a stall to a soar.”
Linda Descano, managing director and global head of content & social at Citi
New research from Citi and LinkedIn revealed that “men are less likely than women to share news of professional accomplishments at work,” wrote Descano in her post 5 Ways to Promote Yourself at Work — Without “Bragging”.
“Men [were] also more likely to view self-promotion as being in poor taste, which is perhaps why many of the women respondents expressed concern that their efforts to self-promote… will backfire on them,” she wrote. So how, exactly, can someone with big aspirations promote themselves without damaging their reputation?
Descano asked a group of executive coaches for their perspectives. Among their advice:
“Communicate, communicate, communicate,” wrote Diane Baranello of Coaching for Distinction. “Do it clearly, articulating the difference you make and why it is important to the business. Do it consistently. Do it confidently. In other words, don't apologise for speaking up, speaking out or speaking truth.”
“The most effective way to establish the credibility and visibility [that women] desire without the backlash is to focus on their value proposition (the unique way they do their work that adds value to the business),” wrote Bonnie Marcus of Women’s Success Coaching. “Once they understand this, they can offer to help others achieve their business goals based on what value they know they can add. Instead of talking about past accomplishments — which might be interpreted as bragging — if they position themselves as having the potential to solve on-going challenges in the business, it establishes them as a leader who is willing to work for the benefit of the organisation and not for self-gain.”
"Include an 'I' and 'we' mention,” suggested Nancy Joyce of Joyce Advisors. “Many women are uncomfortable using 'I' when self-promoting. Research shows that if you only use 'we,' you may not get personal credit. On the other hand, if you use 'I' you may get a reputation as someone who’s not a team player.” How does one accomplish this balance? Joyce offers this example. For instance, you could say, “The brand positioning strategy exercise I took the team through has really paid off. We have developed some innovative ideas and the team has fully embraced the effort.'"