When you were just learning to write the alphabets, all you had to do to get an applause from people around you was to write the alphabets correctly. Those were the rules of the game. When you moved to school, the rules changed almost without notice. You could not get an applause just by reciting or writing the alphabets.
At that time, I don’t think you complained. One reason – nobody in your school (your friends) complained about these new rules.
When you started your work, the rules changed again. There were no “exams” at work at scheduled intervals but every project that you undertook was almost like an exam.
When you moved up in your career, the rules changed again. If you continued to do what you did to get that promotion, it was no longer sufficient to move up to the next level. The rules had changed again. However, unlike a classroom, you didn’t have company of friends that were comfortable and welcoming the new rules. You were left alone to deal with the new rules.
I guess one of the enemies on our path to new success is the set of rules that made us successful in the past. I think the financial people have got it. They say “past performance is not an indicator of future results” along with every report. I guess this is equally applicable in a career setting too.
If you are a knowledge worker and want to progress in your career, it is guaranteed that every “step up” in your career will require you to play the game using the new rules. This looks like change management 101 where you try to “adapt” to change. What I am referring to is slightly different from change management. Rather than “adapt” to change, you need to “welcome” change. You need to welcome the new rules and eagerly wait for them. When you have to “adapt”, it feels like you are doing some “work” or “going the extra mile” to deal with things. When you “welcome the new rules” you are just dealing with what you were expecting to deal with. There is a subtle difference but that small difference is important.
Questions for you to think:
2. In order to “step up” in your career, what new rules should you welcome?
Note: For the other 177 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself
- Ways to distinguish yourself #131 – Know your rules for small things
- Ways to distinguish yourself #152 – Re-visit your undocumented rules at regular intervals
- Ways to Distinguish Yourself #203 – Focus on the edges
- Mitchell’s three rules of business success
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