A few months ago I gave a presentation in Womens phere about the most valuable lessons I learned in the early years of my career and I remembered that when I started working as a bank analyst, my coach gave me several valuable tips feng shui world. Honestly, at that time they seemed very obvious to me, but today I realize that a lot of success in my professional career is due to the fact that I have followed them.
I leave these tips that helped me improve the progress of my career.
- Listen and write down everything you hear: they told me to always carry a notebook (today it can be a gadget), because your clients or bosses will ask you to make changes. If you write down all the observations that these people do to you and you execute them well, you will make yourself known as someone capable of fulfilling expectations, however small they may be.
Today, as an investor, I usually make suggestions to the entrepreneurs I know. I tell them which competitors they should analyze and what ideas they should express. I do not always expect you to follow my suggestions, but I always noticed who makes notes. For me, this indicates whether or not the person will be willing to listen to the market and, frankly, encourages me to invest.
- Organize your information: successful people are very careful when taking notes. Paying close attention to details is a great professional characteristic.
For example, one of the questions I usually ask in my interviews is “What control do you have for your electronic mailings and how many people are in your database?”. One bad answer would be “Excel and a few hundred”. Instead, a good answer would be “Salesforce (or any professional mail management system) and (a number that is larger and proportional to the number of years the company has in operation).”
- Follow the instructions: before doing any work it is important to ask for instructions. It amazes me how many presentations of entrepreneurs seeking capital lack the basic information that investors need, even when Google gives that data in seconds. If a founder does not
It makes the research simpler before talking to people who have capital, even though I have recommended them and it does not take them much time, then they are not able to follow advice.
- Look for previous experiences: Lilin Wang, a former student at Cornell Tech, said that 80 percent of the research projects had already been reviewed by other people. There are forums such as Stack Overflow and Authorea that will save you a lot of research time. You can also research in Quora.
- “Sobrecomunica”: it is important to maintain an open line of communication with your colleagues in case you do not understand the objective of a task or if someone else has already achieved something in the area you are working on. On the other hand, if your effort gives a better result, you must make it known so that your colleagues can tell you if it is aligned with the established goal. In any case, talking and keeping communication open prevents you from working twice as meaningless.
- Double check: it is not always the smartest person who gets the promotion. Sometimes, it is the one that captures the mistakes of others and corrects them. It is essential to review twice – and up to three times – the work you do.
For example, Raffi Sapire, an Acumen analyst, prints and reads twice all the tweets that his team will send during a specific event. Lisa Shalett, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, said there are two types of things: those you can control and those that you cannot. But what you can master must be perfect.
- Follow up: check when a person does a job that you entrusted. When I meet a group of entrepreneurs I always ask them to send me a business plan, competitive analysis, curriculum or any document. In my experience, only 20% of people do it. Very bad.
Alberto Pepe, CEO of Authorea, made me notice that many entrepreneurs – especially those who believe they know everything because they went to a business school but have no practical experience – do not do this kind of follow-up because they do not want to bother others.
The trick is to be “professionally inopportune”. David Allen says in the book “Getting Things Done” that it is important to have a list of “pending pending” to know what you have to follow up.
- Play clean: when we first start working we usually move fast thanks to the skills we have. However, soon after we improve our career prospects for the contacts we build and the ability we have to work as a team.
- Think differently: every month think of an idea that helps your company achieve its annual goals. Study all the steps you have to take to reach that goal and what people need to be involved in specific projects to achieve it. Even if your ideas are not chosen by your superiors, being proactive will demonstrate your desire to work for the good of the company, something that will help you a lot when talking about promotions.