30 Career Management Tips – Do something proactive every day

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 21

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Do something proactive every day.

Here’s the operative statement: “When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember your objective was to drain the swamp.”

When you are trying to deliver on your personal brand by showing that you can deliver the tasks for your work, it’s easy to get caught up in the fires of the day.

You can spend your entire time at work fighting fires. There is even some reward for being the “hero” putting out fire after fire after fire. But at the end of the day, fires are merely distractions. Determining what causes the fires and preventing them from happening in the first place is what makes you a cubicle warrior.

If you want to stop fighting fires, here’s the simple solution: do something proactive every day.

  • If you work to fix that broken process, the fire the broken process causes will go away.
  • If you call the customer where your order is late and explain what you are doing with the order, you will prevent the fire of escalation.
  • If you look at your inventory and determine the correct amount to order, you will prevent the fire of being out of stock and expediting shipments.
  • If you determine what can be remotely fixed, you can prevent the fire of the expedited dispatch to the customer site saving you both the time to get there and the expense in the dispatch.

Step back for a moment and look at the work you do. Determine what could have been done to prevent the fire you are fighting.

The go do the proactive deed that fixes the problem in the first place. Doing so will help your career — you fix problems before they occur.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.