When you take stock of your career achievements and failures, be sure to also look ahead and consider forming these good habits.
In our ever-changing business environment, how do you stand out amongst your IT peers? Below are tips that I hope will help you get started down the right path. If you form these habits properly, they will transcend the workplace and flow into your personal life as well.
1. Evaluate your present position
In Robert Greene's book The 33 Strategies of War, he explains that "…seeing things as they are…" is a key component in any successful strategy. So, the first step in planning for the upcoming year is to assess yourself honestly and make a change where there is weakness, confusion, and self-doubt.
2. Give solutions, not complaints
There are always problems at work; fortunately, problems come with opportunities. You should focus on the problem rather than the hype and then map out solutions as a result of what you see, taking into account all of the circumstances that caused the issue (be sure to integrate tip #1 into this process). When you present your solutions, you'll be perceived as a problem-solver, and this could open more doors for you in the future.
3. Be strategic with project tasks
You should see every task as being part of a larger project or goal -- in short, look beyond your assignment and at the big picture. As you break down projects into manageable parts, try to foresee what could go wrong at each step. If something arises that was not accounted for, respond accordingly, taking into account the present situation and compensating/eliminating the emotional reaction. By seeing things as they are and not just how they appear, you'll separate yourself from those who panic.
4. Serve others
If you're a manager, you should serve employees who report to you by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. This can range from good communication and trust (the antithesis of micromanagement) to actual tools they use in their work. In doing so, you enable each one of them to successful, which in turn leads to your success.
The same concept applies to working with clients; you should serve them in their expectations, and be honest at each stage of their prospective campaigns. When you support others to whom you are dependent, you also empower them and support yourself in the process.
5. Create opportunities for yourself
Every industry has questions that need answering, so you find ways to answer them -- even if it means creating the project for yourself. This will show others where opportunities lie, and it will create a lasting competitive edge for yourself and the company. Contrary to popular, we are all responsible for what we do and don't do, the latter becoming a regret. You can create opportunities, even where none appear to exist.