At work the most important aspect is for you to acquire a reputation within the company or organisation of being reliable and efficient.

Okay — you have got the job you always wanted. Fantastic! Does that mean that you will succeed? What does one need to do to move up the career ladder quickly?

While different roles demand different competencies, there are two areas that can be generalised across roles as well as industries which are determinants of success.

When you want to get some equipment that you use on a regular basis, what are the most important things you look for? Reliability and efficiency are usually on top of people’s list.

For example people buy Toyota cars because they are reliable and efficient. Similarly, it is important for you to acquire a reputation within the company or organisation for being reliable and efficient.

The seniors tend to give such people more responsibility which in turn helps them improve their position. People who are considered reliable and efficient get promoted faster and soon become indispensable.

So, how should you go about doing this? First, know where you fit within the company and what your role is.

In most organisations, there will be other people who will depend on what you do. For example, if you are in the final assembly unit of a manufacturer, the sales team will rely on you to receive the product at the time specified.

Similarly, in the same example, you rely on different members of the manufacturing team to produce the various components and give it to you at the right time.

Any delay will result in a problem for the next person in the chain. Hence understanding your immediate “dependents” is important.

Second, identify the “critical elements” about your role and get them absolutely right.

For example, if you are in charge of the stores in a large restaurant, you have to ensure clean, hygienic supply of food materials to the head chef at the right time. The head chef relies on you to take care of this.

If you buy wrong or contaminated ingredients, it can have serious consequences. Similarly, in a hospital, one of the responsibilities of theatre nurses is to ensure that they keep track of every piece of equipment or material that comes into the operating room.

This is vital as a missing piece might indicate that it has been left inside the patient! These “critical elements” have to be done correctly all the time. There can be no lapses. Ensure that you never fail on the critical elements of your role, no matter what.

Understand your role

In case you are unable to fulfil a promise made or have any concerns about the critical elements, you have to let your supervisor know.

Communicate to your dependents about these issues too. Your dependents will appreciate being forewarned of issues that may arise so they can be prepared better.

Over time as you do your job addressing the above two areas consistently, people around you will gradually start noticing.

At annual reviews, you will become known one who can be trusted with greater responsibility. And that is what will lead you to rapid career growth.

The writer is a director of Thinking Palm. Email:


Know your jobJuly 21, 2013