This week, I was talking to all our product managers, engineers, designers, sales and service professinoals. I told them about 3 powerful tips to grow at work (in our or any organization). Here they are: 1. Learn. 2. Do what is good for the organization. and 3. Market yourself, your work and your organization to everyone around you.
- Learn: In order for you to drive change, you need to continuosly learn. Get a certification, read blogs, take courses, watch videos, attend webinars, go to conferences, teach, learn to teach, get a weekend degree or do any one of miriad other things. Whatever you do, continuously learn and move the organization forward not backward.
I will give an example. After I joined my current organization, we moved our website to scalable and available architecture. Moved our webapp from virtual machine to an architecture containing public load balancer (Azure Web Application Firewall), Azure App Service and webapp container with multiple pods on Microsoft Azure using Kubernetes (K8s) API server. Everything was working great until we needed both Nodejs and PHP on the same container. Microsoft engineers and our engineers were not able to make this custom container work. Our product managers were pressing me to move back to virtual machine (vm) jettisoning all the progress we made for availability and scalability. I always had this philosophy that we will only move forward not backward. This philosophy enabled one of our engineers to learn and find a solution. Keep the can-do attitude, continuously learn.
- Do what is good for the organization: For every employee, there are always one or two key metrics which benefit the organization the most. Do everything you do, to improve those metrics. If you are building invoice to cash application, key performance indicator is reducing days sales outstanding (DSO). If you are building supply chain software reducing fulfilment time is most important. If you are building ecommce application, improving conversion is most important. Help the customer find you, pay you quickly and derive value quickly.
- Market yourself, your work and your organization to all around you (360o): It is not enough to work hard and do everything you can to improve the key metrics. It is equally important that your boss, colleagues, those who report to you, those outside your organization know why and what you do is critical for the organization and what your organization does is critical for your customers. You evangelizing your organization outside work will help you in recruiting, adding new customers, getting feedback on your products, etc.. For most engineers, product mangers, designers and employees, marketing ones work is the hardest part of their job. When you are communicating, drop the jargon. Not everyone understands your lingo. It is Customer Acquisition Cost, not CAC. It is highly scalable and available solution, not K8s API server. You get the gist.
In whatever field you work, there are 3 powerful tips to grow at work. Continuosly learn, always do what is good for the organization and make sure everyone knows about you, your good work and your great organization.