The posting was first published on the CGA CareerView Blog on March 28, 2012. Read about Elise's first three lessons on how to demonstrate your worth and leadership capabilities when you are near the bottom of the corporate ladder. This week she is back to share her final tips.
The final two lessons that I want to share with you are definitely the most difficult to put into action; however, they are also the most powerful. Follow these lessons and you will be sure to shine as a leader and climb up the corporate ladder at a faster rate.
4. Tackle a Challenging Project
Sometimes we pass up a challenging task or project because we do not feel qualified and we are afraid of making a mistake. However, keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes and taking on a challenge and delivering results will exhibit your proficiency and ambition. A new project may also expose you to a different set of technical challenges that you may find more enjoyable than your current responsibilities; it may even open you to an entirely different professional field that you had never previously considered. For example, how will you ever know that you were born to prepare international tax havens in Bulgaria unless you try?
Taking on a challenge also gives you the opportunity to meet and work closely with new people. The connections and relationships that you create by simply volunteering and challenging yourself could be substantial. If you work in an organization in assurance, for example, perhaps you’ll make a great friend, a potential mentor or even a future employer by doing a special project with computer audits or risk management.
Taking on challenging projects often means becoming the point person in your department for interactions with other departments. And because challenging projects are most often important, they generally involve reporting directly to senior leadership, an opportunity that might otherwise not come around for years. And, when you succeed, you make a name not just for yourself, but for your entire team.
Clearly, taking on extraordinary assignments is one of the surest ways to accelerate your career. And consider this: If you do not attempt to tackle a difficult project now, you may not get another chance to prove yourself in this way later on. So, see challenges as opportunities and use them as a tool to show that you are capable of taking initiative, creating results and developing in the organization.
5. Always Work with Pride and Passion
Finally, do everything with pride and passion. Whether it’s a small, frequent task or a significant project, carrying out your work with these qualities is contagious – you will motivate and inspire others and get yourself noticed. And you never know who you may end up inspiring. You might just have an effect on your boss, which may be the best way to move up and out of that entry-level position.