Your free time is important. At work too.

We often read how important is our time. This post is not about the meaning of life, though.  There are several studies that have highlighted that people are likely to sacrifice a compensation component (a bonus for example) in exchange for free time. It is interesting, isn’ it?

How do you use your free time at work? You can use your spare time at work to rest a bit… however, is it worth? You should invest your time; use it for training purposes, to meet new people or to nurture your network.

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Automation is not a factor for…

… wait for it.

The automation of processes and systems is changing organisations.

The automation will also change our way of working. There is no doubt about it. What is going to change regarding our employability? We’ll need to learn new skills and adapt to new demands.

The talent acquisition departments need to adapt and understand the talent market trends. Which is a need that will not change? The need for soft skills. Being able to influence your stakeholders and be great storytellers won’t change.

 

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Their story is not yours!

You can read about other people careers’ failures and successes. There is a lot of content around that.  There is definitely a lot of content. What’s the best approach towards those readings? You should read it but take a step back when you reflect on these stories.

What do I mean? The stories that you read are not yours. Your view of success and failure can be different from other professionals’ ones. You have to be aware of it and take time to think about those differences; in other words, you have to understand what is important to you. You should not automatically adopt other professionals’ schemes. It could work or not. If it does not work, it is not your fault. Happiness and success are very different for all of us.

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Question yourself…always!

Feeling confident at work makes our lives easy. We feel good, comfortable and happy with the status quo. That’s great.

What do we do when we feel confident? We stop asking if it is all good for real. Normal. We stop asking for feedback, we do not research what is requested on the labour market and we stop working on our self-improvement plan. We lose curiosity.

Having confidence is great; however, it’s better to double-check where we are going!

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No time, no innovation!

Where does the lack of innovation come from? The answer is the lack of time.

What does it mean? A team is often focused on the transactional and the operational activities; in other words, a team needs to deliver and complete tasks. However, being completely focused on the delivery does not allow a team to take distance from the “operational” side of work. In the case your team has not the chance to pause and think, it is impossible to work on innovation, transformation and operational reviews. A limited space to innovation leads to the creation of an operations-oriented culture. With no time you will never ask “why”.

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Look for people who empower you!

Taking risks is a stressful experience.

Taking risks means learning.

Taking risks can lead to failure.

Taking risks fosters innovation.

When we embrace a new challenge, we do not have full control.  We have the fear of failure and being considered a failure. What can we do about it? We need to look for people who give us feedback, support us and empower us.  Building a network of people who empower us is key. Empower us to risk. Empower us to try.

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No clear mission? Your team will fail…

There are many articles that talk about the importance of having successful teams as they help organizations to achieve their goals.  It is complicated to define a common strategy around a team’s success. Teams are built by professionals with different experiences, approaches and interests.

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There is one thing that makes all teams vulnerable: the lack of clarity about their mission.  A team without a mission can achieve short terms goals; a short-term goal is a transactional objective and it is usually self-driven. If you want your strategy to be accomplished, you need to be very clear on the mission.

Don’t you agree?

You will not change overnight!

Changing is not easy.  Suprise? Surely not.

You need to decide to change and you need to be ready for it.  You can decide to change but also other people can “decide” for you. An example at work? You are asked to learn something new or you need to perform a new task.

You need to invest energies if you want to maintain your new behaviour over time. If adopting a new behaviour is just a response to an external event, you are reacting more than changing. In other words, if the results of a change were immediate and visible, you would just modify something or react

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Dedication and hard work lead to the creation of new actions and habits. You must keep working and remaining patient even if you fail during this changing process. Only if you’d continue to invest time and energies, you will change.

Are you better than your manager?

You work with colleagues who have different soft and technical skills than yours. Is it not the case? Think about the person who sits close to you. He or she could be better than you in running presentations, analysing data or in collaborating with other teams. The differences between professionals are the beauty and the secret of successful organisations. Many studies have proven that diverse teams work and perform much better than teams that are not diverse.

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Do you work in a diverse team? No? Well, you should think whether your team it is the right one for you. You are also different from your manager. The backgrounds, the experiences, the skills and the competencies are (and should) not be the same.

What should you do if you do something better than your manager?

Simple. Keep working at your best even if you are showing better skills/experiences than your manager. Do not be afraid of being better. Your manager should sponsor, support and present you as a subject matter expert within the organisation. This is what happens in healthy and positive organisational cultures.

Is it not your case? It’s time to change team then.

Stop looking at the years of experience!

There are many recruiters and hiring managers who still evaluate candidates for their number of years of experience. What do I think? It is time to stop this practice.  The real focus needs to be on the quality of the years of experience, not the quantity.

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One year of experience in a company is different from one year into another one. There are companies that give visibility and autonomy to their employees; other organisations do not. There are companies which constantly innovate and other companies do not. We need to evaluate the quality of the years of experience considering the better fit for our organisation. The amount of years of experience is a wrong perspective on talent, potential and core capabilities.