POSITIONING YOURSELF TO BEAT THE COMPETITION IN YOUR CAREER

It is a popular saying that life is competitive. This is true for everything in our lives – business, career, education, etc.; and the competition becomes fiercer as you climb up the ladder of success. While rising through our career paths comes with much uneasy steps, the advent of Covid-19 has made it even more daunting.

According to BBC report, Africa will require $1.2 trillion in the next three years to cushion the effects of coronavirus on the continent.[1] This report explains the current economic mess in which the continent is. While majority of Nigeria’s civil servants had their jobs and salaries intact during the pandemic, the story isn’t the same for employees in private companies. Without doubt, Covid-19 has ushered in a new level of competitiveness – for existing and new jobs – in the career space.

In the midst of the certainty of job layoffs, work drudgery and job instability, what will you do – panic and cave in, or stand out and prosper – to beat the competition?

Here are three things you should do to beat the current and emerging competition in your career:

  • Project your authenticity
  • Network with pros in your career niche
  • Prize excellence above Wages

Now let’s dive into each of these points.

Project Your Authenticity

Leon Brown said, “You have the power within yourself to make anything possible. You must diminish the doubts and ignite the self-belief.”

Leon was right. Being another person limits your capacity to deliver greatness, and in the midst of a pack that conforms to a pattern, you’re just like every other employee. John Mason refers to such a life as an average life. And no one makes reference to a person who delivers average-grade services.

The authentic “You” places you in a class where you compete only with yourself. It stands you out from the same-look crowd. It is one effective way to distinguish yourself along your career path.

What are you good at? What skills do you have that stands you out? In what ways can you combine these skills to solve a problem in your office? Find you in this pack, and let everyone know you’re that different professional.

In a nutshell: make some noise with your unique trademark identity.

Network with Pros in Your Career Niche

It’s no news that the world’s successful leaders are pros when it comes to building networks. The popular slogan “Your network is your net worth” drives this home further. The investment expert and author of the bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad lent his voice to the priceless value of networking when he wrote:

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”

Your growth speed greatly hinges on your networking with people who have blazed the trail in your career. There’s a lot to learn from such people. Their grey hair of knowledge will prove helpful to you on your career path. Ronald Burt puts it more excellently:

“Instead of better glasses, your network gives you better eyes.”

You’ll sure need such eyes to see beyond your peers on your quest to standing on top of the industry’s fierce competition.

Prize Excellence Above Wages

We are usually drowned in work drudgery when we have our focus set on the wages. Having your eyes fixated on remuneration is a wrong way to start off your career aspirations. Everyone loves good pay. I do, too. And it’s not bad to want to be in a vantage position where your income gives you the much-needed comfort.

But that’s just a glimpse of the big picture.

The big picture of any good work is fulfilment. And excellence always almost brings us to this brink of fulfilment, with accompanied distinct identity and good financial benefits.

When you’re known for delivering topnotch services, you automatically place yourself in a strategic position for promotion and growth. Excellence attracts excellent privileges.

Booker T. Washington wrote that “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” And he lived every word of the sentence.

It will help you to know that “Excellence is not where you arrive at. It’s a journey that leads to you.” – Oluwatosin Ibiwoye

Make a commitment to continuous self-development. Enroll for career-related courses. Read books. Invest in mind development. Acquire skills for the future. The work space is changing. The future of work is not what you see today. So, position yourself to lead the coming change.

Conclusion

Success in career, like in all areas of life, answers to Newton’s Third Law of Motion. You can produce great career feats only to the extent of your inner purpose or motivation. The competitions we see in our today’s complex world will not abate. We must be the one to rise to the challenges, and triumph. What will make the difference is not that you read this article, but that you acted on it.

Oluwatosin Ibiwoye

I believe that “Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, and transform into the brightest, strongest version of you ever.”


[1] https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-africa-54491053

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