As Christians, the bible holds us to a higher standard and work ethics wherever we are and in doing so, offers us a timeless principle for career success.
Diligence! If you have a job you want to excel in or are planning to get noticed, promoted and headhunted or recommended to another job, then diligence is one career discipline that you need.
If you are wondering how to demonstrate diligence at work or anywhere else for that matter here are a few tips on what diligent behaviour looks like.
INTEGRITY: Can your colleagues take you at your word? Can you be trusted with critical organisational resources?
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: Be able to communicate your ideas clearly and constructively. What you have to say matters but just as important is how you say it.
SELF-DEVELOPMENT: Always invest in yourself and your development; don’t wait for the organisation to train you.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Demonstrate empathy and understanding in dealing with people. More employers are beginning to realize that soft skill are just as crucial to career success as technical know-how especially when looking to promote or hire for management roles.
RELATIONSHIP SKILLS: Be a connector not a destroyer. Don’t be that toxic colleagues everyone avoids.
PROBLEM SOLVING: Find problems within and outside of your primary function and solve them. Make yourself valuable! Problems are often opportunities in disguise.
STRATEGIC THINKING: Don’t limit your thinking to your job/department. Think cross functionally.
INITIATIVE: Don’t always wait to be given instructions, exercise initiative within your level of authority.
If you are going to be recognized as a diligent employee, here are a few behaviours you should avoid. I call the toxic Behaviours’ because even though you think that no one notices, they gradually erode your credibility until you establish a reputation for being slothful.
NOT A TEAM PLAYER: The importance of team play at work cannot be overemphasized. Nobody wants to work with a person that only thinks of him or herself.
PRETEND TO WORK (EYE SERVICE): This seems to be a scourge in Nigeria. Trying to look good before your boss while actually adding no value.
DOES THE MINIMUM REQUIRED AMOUNT OF WORK: Have you worked with a colleague who was very ‘diligent’ at finding the least amount of work and feeding off the efforts of other members of the team? Always go extra mile where you can, it pays off in the long run.
TAKES CREDIT FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK: These are the shine stealers. Colleague who flourish by taking credit for work not done by them. Eventually when they have to back up the ‘Experience’ with knowledge they usually falter and end up missing significant career opportunities.
GOSSIPS: Gossip more often but don’t kill team work, effective communication and work relationships. It could potentially nullify the effects of at least three diligent behaviours.
FOCUSES ON NEGATIVE: The cup is always ‘half empty’ with this type of person. People avoid them because they generally kill morale so they are often overlooked for promotions and supervisory positions.
LACKS COMMITMENT TO WORK: Late coming can be excusable sometimes but what is not acceptable is someone who comes late with no valid excuse yet clock-watches, Diligent waiting for 5pm so they can storm out of the building.