Growth v/s Sabotage

For quite some time now, the country has been witnessing a continuous stream of defections from one political party to the other. There has been intense debate around these defections – can people really change their ideological stance for power and authority? Or is the leaving a sign of a larger, deeper malaise of having a bad boss? Of course, as politicians and politics go, we will never really learn the truth.

What stands common though is the risk that politicians take in moving across party lines. In a way, as they work towards growing bigger and more powerful, there is also the risk of sabotaging their career if they fail to adapt to the new ideology.

In the professional arena too, moving goalposts can either lead to growth or harm. How do we then recognize the signs? How do we ensure we do not sabotage our career trajectory and instead stay on the right path?

Asking yourself some tough questions could open the door to understanding exactly where you stand. More than the questions, your honest answers can pave the way for intense reflection and in the end, lead you to make that right choice.

Let go and take control

The right place to begin is by listing your strengths and competencies. Once you have got that zeroed down, focus on getting the best deal wherever you apply. Most importantly, do not allow your ego to sabotage your dreams! Be flexible and open to new learnings.

Make a list of things that you have no control of and focus on what is within the sphere of your control. Many of us do the mistake of getting mired in things that are beyond our control. For example, while going through a particular interview question, your mind may go round and round on ‘Why did the interviewer ask a particular question?’ Remember, you are not a magician and cannot read someone else’s mind. Let go of that thought and avoid feeling demotivated.

Focus on enhancing your experience and performing well in the selection and interview process. The pandemic has made jobs scarce so, if you are that lucky one to have found a great fit, give it your best shot. Prepare well for the whole process. Check within your network if you know someone who works in that organisation. Try to get an inside view on the culture, policies, and people. These things matter.

While preparing, it is but natural to write down all the likely questions that may be asked in the interview. But more than that, list down questions which will be a real challenge to answer. Go ahead, think deep and do your research here.

Go with the flow!

In the varied interviews that I have faced, each interview and interviewer has been different. Interviewers have their own distinct style. Some are warm. Some know how to make you relaxed. Then there are those who use humor and laugh a lot.

While trying to navigate your own emotions and the umpteen butterflies in your stomach, you can easily sabotage this one by sticking to a scripted approach and not going with the flow. Stay calm and go with the rhythm set by the interviewer. Put your authentic best foot forward. Relax and enjoy the whole process. Look at it as an adventure to experience and savor.

List down your achievements and…

This sounds easy but is so underrated and underestimated by many. As you grow in your career and gather experiences over the decades of your working life, it is easy to forget the achievements that brought you glory.

Have you thought of journaling your achievements across each job? This makes for an easy-to-refer guide when required. Whether it is for your performance appraisals or new role/job interview, recalling your best will make you give your best.

Do not however forget to make a note of lessons learnt from things that did not go the way you wanted. On hindsight, what would have you done differently? Think of those situations and be truthful.

How you handle your career growth is entirely in your hands. Do not sabotage the opportunity that comes your way. You have the power to recalibrate the narrative and recalibrate yourself.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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