Category Archives: Workplace Wisdom

When opportunity swings by, will you be wearing the Right shoes?

ProactiveThe ‘Swing’ is a dance style set to jazz music that developed and became popular in the 1920s-1950s. It is characterised by fast movements and one has to be nimble on the feet to get the right rhythm. While learning the Swing, or any other Western dance style- the right kind of shoes are important as it sets your posture & movements right.

So what does a retro dance style have to do with achieveing career success?

I was told a long time ago that every job I do will be a combination of dull, mundane work and exciting and stimulating tasks. The challenge is to maintain a healthy balance between the two. It is not always easy to be excited about work all the day, but having a positive attitude helps; along with being proactive and taking on a sense of responsibility. My work may not be always be the most exciting, 5.00 PM coffee conversations might not be the most stimulating, but I try to make the best of the situation I am in.

In the workplace, there are many around who we get influenced by, through their thoughts, words, and deeds- in ways both positive and negative. What is important is to remember to focus on the positives. And when that becomes difficult, looking at the big picture gives me perspective- one that might be different from mine. It also gives me a sense of my contribution.

Whether it’s a big, corporate setup, or a small agency- everybody wants to work with a team which is made up of enthusiastic, excited people who are proactive.

So what does being proactive really mean? There are some who look at only the responsibilities they are tasked with, things they are ‘supposed’ to do, maybe what is mentioned in their job description; but no one who ever rose to the top of the ladder ever did only what they were supposed to. Taking additional responsibility, trying to do new things, or just doing things in a new way- that’s what being proactive is all about. And that’s also what gets you noticed.

When I do my work well, it imbues a sense of confidence in me which excites me to do even better. As the Bhagvad Gita says, “Do your duty without expecting anything in return. If you do your work well, recognition will automatically follow”. And it certainly has.

And just as in dance you need to wear the right shoes to dance well, so in life do we need the right attitude- being proactive and making the best of every situation by seizing the day. Carpe Diem.

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