My Conversations with Muyiwa Ayodele
The law of trade by barter that defines the marketplace is based on the principles of exchange of goods and services. In simple terms, you are remunerated for the value you deliver. The smart approach to work being discussed in this series is focused on maximizing the value your deliver in the market place while giving you more time to focus on other things. Smart workers are generally known to experience better career advancement (in terms of remunerations, promotions, etc) than their peers.
#5. Be visible
Another smart strategy to increase your efficiency is to seek the spotlight for your work and accomplishments. Just like advertisement is an integral component of advance a company’s financial and public standing, you need to promote your own work while carefully walking the fine line of not appearing as a “shameless”, limelight-seeking, self-aggrandising person! Being visible involves promoting your expertise in order to create opportunities for collaboration and networking. Your work/, no matter how good, can go unnoticed leading to career stunting and lack of opportunities. It was Joseph’s promotion of his expertise through interaction with Pharaoh’s officials (Chief Butler and Chief Baker) in the Prison that landed him before the king. Explore opportunities to promote your expertise, advertise your business, and showcase your projects both online and in person. Leverage existing and emerging technology platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, professional websites, etc) to promote your work, and explore opportunities for growth. Also, don’t shy away from work-related social functions, team retreats, and other networking events where you can show case your expertise. In our discussion, we both realized that our attempts to be humble with our successes (by shying away from the limelight) has shut somes doors of opportunity again us. In Muyiwa Ayodele’s words, “…this is not humility but ignorance!….” If you don’t blow your own trumpet, nobody will!
#6. Don’t re-invent the wheel
Smart professionals are not necessarily the most technically gifted folks. But they are known to recognize their strengths while leveraging the knowledge/expertise of others to get the job done. No man or woman is an island of knowledge or expertise. Someone out there has probably solved the problem or done something relevant to the project you are trying to tackle. Even in a new/emerging field, there is a relevant body of knowledge that you can leverage to fast-track your completion of your project. In this era of information deluge, develop a smart strategy for searching and sieving information relevant to your career advancement. Endeavor to keep abreast of the emerging expertise, information, and trends in your field. Be smart to leverage or adapt methods/strategies/frameworks developed by others to solve projects, but be quick to give credit where credit is due (avoid plagiarism!).
#7. Pay attention to your physical and mental well-being
Scientific research has now linked physical and mental wellness to increased work productivity and creativity. Stress and ill-health are two major inhibitors of increased productivity and creativity. Devise strategies to improve your physical and mental well-being and see your level of productivity rise. For example, Muyiwa and I brainstormed and identified relevant activities to improve our physical and mental health such as regular annual physical exams, more regular exercises (we’ve both added extra pounds that we needed to shed), spending more time with family, regular annual personal retreats, family vacations, listening to inspiring podcasts, fostering new relationships with people of like minds, our spiritual growth, more sleep, and so on. We have, since, noticed increased levels of productivity in our careers. While these strategies have worked for us, you need to figure out what works for you. Recognize stress-inducing situations that may inhibit your creativity/productivity within and outside the marketplace and devise appropriate strategies to avoid/minimize these issues.
#8. Explore opportunities for flexible work hours with your manager
Employers and organizations are increasing embracing flexible work culture to improve employee productivity. As an employee, explore opportunities for flexible work arrangements with your boss. This might include earlier or later resumption at work, working from home, teleconference opportunities rather than in-person meetings. While it’s often thought that entrepreneurs and business owners tend to have more flexibility in choosing their own hours, I find that running your own business even confers a high level of responsibility, leading to long hours of work to keep the business going. Business owners need to take a disciplined approach to create flexible work situations for themselves.
#9. Prioritize your work responsibilities
Your productivity and creativity is strongly linked to your ability to effectively manage your time and resources. Creativity can be hampered by “legitimate distractions” in the marketplace that may hinder your productivity. Regardless of your field of endeavor, make a list of your professional responsibilities and rank them in order of importance (“importance” here can be defined based on your manager’s expectations, company expectations, or your career goals). Reserve dedicated time to focus on high priority tasks, while making room for impromptu tasks.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> To be Continued <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Muyiwa Ayodele is a United Kingdom-based Information Technology (IT) professional, consultant, and entrepreneur with over 14 years of cross-industry experience consulting for government, financial, and energy industries (https://www.linkedin.com/in/olu-sola-ayodele-77491730/)