| December 17, 2017
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Workplace survival kit

Workplace survival kit
Workplace has become a "jungle" where employees are continuously struggling for survival. And for sure it is survival of the fittest as very few become successful climbing the organizational ladder. More often than not it is the most honest and hardworking who get the blame and are also the ones to not get promoted. This has left many good employees frustrated at their current job.

We do not have control over how our supervisor or peer treats us. However, there are few workplace survival kit employees can practice to at least get some control over the situation. The workplace survival kit is based on Jobs Dynamics experience in management consulting, seminars and workshop conducted in diverse organizations in Nepal. Let's explore the survival kit, which is divided into two categories—external and internal.
EXTERNAL SURVIVAL TOOL KIT

Develop and revise your job description

In one of the human resource (HR) consulting assignments conducted in a reputed insurance company in Nepal, most of the employees vented their frustration, saying, "No matter how diligently I work, my supervisor doesn't appreciate my effort." Having analyzed their work, it was found that the employees were doing their best. As a part of the consulting, we developed their job description (JD) with observation and personal interviews. After showing the draft version of JD to concerned supervisors, they were shocked to know that their subordinates were doing so much. Thus the moral of the story is you need to develop your own JD even if your employer does not make one for you. Similarly, either you make it or your organization issues one for you; it needs to be updated at least once a year as your job is continually evolving. Lastly, don't forget to share it with your immediate supervisor.

Document your achievements

You have just sealed one of the most profitable deals for the company. You consistently think about ways to redesign the work process to achieve efficiency. You come up with new techniques in Excel that slashes about an hour of extra work for every team member in your department. However, at the end of the appraisal you were rated just as good as any other teammates. You couldn't even convince your supervisor when you disagreed with her.

This mainly happens to employees who have actually put on a lot of effort in their work and gone an extra mile to achieve organizational goals. However, the brutal fact is that while it is not possible for your supervisor to remember all your efforts, most of the time she doesn't want to remember your achievements. You tend to forget about your own accomplishments during the appraisal period. So it is extremely important to document your achievements and keep discussing with your supervisor in informal settings such as lunch, evening outings, company gatherings, etc. You can document your achievement by using simple format in Excel or Word with column headings such as 'Date,' 'Task,' 'Outcome,' and 'Benefit' to the company. Keep this file of achievements for review during the appraisal and share it with your supervisor, too.

Small breaks

Employees often take small breaks for tea, coffee, water or smoke. You might have heard that your friend in IT has figured out a cool patch of code for your organization's website while he was on drinking tea with his colleagues. We are not claiming that drinking tea or coffee gives you ideas. However, the informal environment set during such small breaks can help people come up with innovative ideas. Things about the company, which you would never hear otherwise, are usually discussed and revealed during such breaks, too.

In a recent such break, members from different departments of the same organization were able to bond really well by sharing the secrets of their respective departments to one another. Secrets such as how to save tax on your salary, how to increase marketing budget without any obstruction from the finance department, why your supervisor doesn't like his teammates leaving before him, etc were talked about. So even if you don't particularly feel like drinking tea/coffee or taking a break, join the band to learn these secrets.

INTERNAL survival TOOL KIT

Thankfulness

It is easy to be frustrated in Nepal. There are many incongruities you as a working professional have to deal with your life on a daily basis. Your work performance largely depends on how much time you spend stressing over basic amenities like cooking gas, water, electricity, petrol, commute, etc. This is where the habit of writing what you are thankful for comes in handy. The daily practice of what you are grateful for will not only leave you content but also help you to focus on what you have rather than what you don't. This mindset will have a positive impact on your work, too.

Achievement of the day

Similar to jotting down what you're thankful for in life, develop the habit of noting down your everyday achievements, however little they be: Finished reading a chapter of that book you had been putting aside for a week? Walked an extra 20 minutes in the morning? Sorted out important emails from your inbox? Presented your case in the office meeting without messing up a bit? Write them up. It helps to record your achievements both personal and professional. Furthermore, it also helps you to program your brain towards achievement, and this in turn will help you shine in your job.

Goals for the day

While it's important to be thankful and celebrate every little achievement of the day, it is even more significant to set goals for the day. This will help you to prioritize work efficiently, and it has been proved that practicing this habit enables you to achieve more. One secret of achieving goals for the day is to have a small 'not-to-do' list. People often have a 'to-do' list to meet their goals of the day, but actually having a not-to-do list will keep you away from things that can come between you and your goals.

Both internal and external tool kits should be practiced simultaneously. Having control over your internal self will help you to have control over your external affairs. You can always tweak, add or customize these tools to suit your case.

The author is an associate with Jobs Dynamics Pvt Ltd, an organization driven towards providing the widest range of job solutions to people looking for work in Nepal. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..