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Navigating for better prospects at work

A rose only becomes beautiful and blesses others when it opens up and blooms, its greatest tragedy is staying in a tightly closed bud ,never fulfilling its potential.


Therefore, the day you start a new job, one should begin planning for the next chapter, navigating for better prospects.

There is need to stay focused on the job you were hired for, so as to outshine in that position, before looking for the next one to move up the ladder of success.

Hence, one should create and manage his/her career path.

In this installment, I am talking about moulding your career, as well as getting the right direction to propel yourself to greater heights. Getting hold of a promotion means getting noticed, therefore, you should not be under the illusion of deeming it “obvious” to get noticed.

Personal grooming
In as much as you should not judge a book by at its cover, it is clear cut that, to get noticed where there are a lot of employees, the impression that your boss will have of you is the way you present yourself, your personal grooming. Dress as if you already have a promotion.

People often take this for granted but it is crucial. Let me emphasise that we dress for three things, that is, for confidence, for success and to impress. That is why every professional and aspiring professional should be particular about how they dress, as it is the first step that can unlock any door.

Create/maximise on opportunity
When one is in the organisation, you must be aware of the systems, structure, shared values and so forth, you should have eyes that see, not eyes that look.

In other words, you must diagnose your environment and identify opportunities that you may capitalise on.

Certain jobs are created simply because somebody has developed an interest in a certain important aspect of the business.

A careful study of the challenges the organisation is facing, as well as its needs should be identified. Identify corporate key rigidities and recommend improvements.If you possess the skills in those areas, there is no harm in writing a proposal for a new position, emphasising on how it will be aligned with the organisation and how value will be created.

Even if the proposal is turned down, the good thing is that you would have shown your thinking capacity, engagement level and your willingness to go the extra mile. Rome was not built in a day, the next time you try, you never know.

Augment knowledge and skills profile
There is a biblical verse which states that wisdom is better than rubies and that knowledge is better than gold or silver. Knowledge and skills profiling is a necessity time and again, so that you are not left behind. Acquiring these, impacts the way you think and make decisions, which also influence your competency.

Thus, it is imperative to increase your knowledge base and the skills.

Does dress code at work matter?

During a conversation recently the topic of clothes at work came up and whether it is appropriate to wear certain items of clothing at work.

A well-known public sector employer who has daily contact with members of the public was discussed. It had been observed during a hot spell of weather that the staff were dressed very casually, with flip-flops and strappy tops whilst dealing with members of the public.

Such attire begs the question what impression does it give of the organisation and should it be allowed.

Having a dress code in place can help set standards within an organisation. A failure to meet even minimum standards can lead to disciplinary action.

Some companies provide a uniform for their employees to wear, which helps promote corporate branding, so they can be identified by the public.

In these circumstances it’s important to have a clause in a dress code policy that requires the employee to take care of items of clothing that the employer has provided, for instance in relation to its maintenance and cleanliness.

Sometimes employees fail to do so, and the provision of repeated sets of uniform will be costly to an employer, so a policy outlining actions they will take in respect of failing to look after it, is important.

When developing a dress code an employer must consider that when it is applied, it does not discriminate against anyone either directly or indirectly.

Restrictions on dress need to be justified. For example, tying hair back needs to be health and safety reasons or to promote a company’s image for smartness. Customer facing roles could dictate a specific type of clothes, with a ban on jeans which would also enhance an organisations image.

A ban on head wear needs to be justified, bearing in mind that certain religions require this be worn at certain times. In such instances some flexibility should be required.

A dress code policy should contain guidance to employees about suitable dress on public holidays and dress down Fridays, so that staff do not dress inappropriately wearing, for example, offensive T-shirts, low cut tops or very short skirts. —businesszone.co.uk

Request Machimbira is the Group Chief Executive Officer for Proficiency Consulting Group International and StrategyWorld Consulting. For feedback, consultant@proficiencyinternational.com or visit website www.proficiencyinternational.com. Phone 0772 693 404/ 0776 228 575. Facebook Profile: RequestTinashe Machimbira

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