Career Advice: Coaching By Cath

How To Be King Of The Career Jungle

I remember one of my favourite holidays with my family as a child. We drove up to to the Etosha National Park in Namibia for a week or so of game viewing. Now safaris aren't everyone's cup of tea, but as an 11 year old, I'd only ever seen wild animals in cages at the zoo, so the challenge of spotting animals in the bushes and identifying them in our field book was very appealing...

I'll never forget the first animal we saw - we went crazy with excitement. As we drove into the park gates, there, just on the side of the road was a Springbok, standing gracefully and staring at us. We all jumped up, pointing, yelling, fighting for the window seats, and taking loads of photos.  Us kids were proud because we all knew it was a Springbok. And I thought, "this is the best holiday ever!"

After a little while, we drove on and just a few kilometres down the road we came across some more Springboks - this time a whole group of them. We slowed down and watched them for a few minutes. And then we drove on a bit further and what do you think we saw? More Springboks! This time we didn't stop.

Within about an hour, we went from being absolutely manic with excitement about the Springboks to driving straight past them, barely noticing them. They were everywhere. They weren't exciting anymore. They were boring. We no longer looked for Springboks. In fact, we often didn't even notice them. Springboks became invisible. What we really wanted to see was the BIG 5. They're much less common than Springboks and zebras and giraffe. They're special because they're rare and remarkable.

We All Want What's Rare And Remarkable
And we're all willing to pay more for anything that's rare and remarkable. This is why, in whatever industry you're in, if you want to be successful and you want to increase your company profits and personal income, you need to be rare and remarkable like the Big Five.

If you're someone who wants to ensure that you never have to worry about having a job, or if you're the sort of person who wants to make sure that you get every promotional and growth opportunity that you ever want, and if you want to increase your income and create the freedom to live the lifestyle you want, then here are some tips to ensure that you're the king of the jungle:

Think Like An Entrepreneur
One of the biggest misnomers these days is the term "permanent employee". With the high rate of change in our world today, no job ever has the guarantee that it'll be permanent. If you're an employee, realise that someone else is paying you to work for yourself. And we'll all willingly pay more for something that is rare and remarkable. So make sure you stand out from the rest and you'll never have a problem getting that salary increase or promotion you're asking for.

Identify Your Strengths
Know what your unique selling point is... and then focus on that. It might seem counter-intuitive, but accelerated success comes from focusing more on your strengths than your weaknesses. Whatever you do well, whatever gets you the results - focus on doing more of that.

Commit To Lifelong Learning
Set goals and create a plan for continuously improving your skills, knowledge and attitudes on a daily basis. What do you read? What courses are you putting yourself through? What new skill or hobby are you learning? When your competitors find out what you're doing that pleases your employer and your customers so much, they'll start doing it too. And then you're not rare and remarkable anymore... unless you're committed to lifelong learning and improvement, and you can continuously reinvent yourself. Be the leader and stay ahead of your followers by being committed to continuous improvement.

Always Do And Be More Than Is Expected Of You
Whatever goals your manager sets for you, set your own goals, and set them higher. Find ways to add value in everything you do.

And finally, remember that, as Seth Godin says, "The leader is the leader because they did something remarkable." So go and be remarkable.

Author: Cath Duncan

Cath DuncanCath Duncan is a life and leadership coach and CareerJunction's resident Career Coach. Through one-to-one coaching and projects like the Bottom-line Bookclub, Cath helps people learn the Agile Living Strategies for thriving at work in this high-change era.

Read more about Cath | Get in touch with Cath

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