Never let your standards drop

Never let your standards drop

 30 Aug 2018

4 situations where dropping your standards can affect your career
 
There are many occasions on a daily basis where we are presented with an opportunity to maintain and exceed our own personal standards, sadly though many of these opportunities can be passed up due to many different reasons.  It is of the upmost importance that we don’t let the pressure of a situation or a deadline allow us to drop these standards.  It is perhaps too easy for any of us to let our standards drop just this once, “I’ll do it differently next time” we might say.  This is can be a dangerous path to tread.
 
Whether we are job seeking at the moment or would class ourselves as more of a passive candidate we need to approach every situation and opportunity in the right frame of mind.  Reminding ourselves throughout each day that maintaining high standards in everything we do on a consistent basis is the key to not only having a good career but also to be the colleague that people want to work with.
 
We have identified 4 different situations where we can ensure our personal stock is not only maintained but strengthened by refusing to let our standards slip.
 
  1. YP – Your Problem
My personal favourite and let’s be honest we see this throughout our lives in so many different situations.  The infamous “that’s not my job” line, if you have ever used it probably makes you cringe when you think about a time you let it slip out.  Being a good employee or colleague will never mean pigeon holing yourself and your responsibilities so much so that you don’t or can’t help out a colleague when you perhaps would do if your boss had asked. 
 
It doesn’t exactly smack of the teamwork skills stated on your CV. To turn this into a positive point we can view these occasions as an opportunity to help someone out, or go the extra mile and lead by example without the need for praise or thanks but simply as a way of building a great team spirit. 
 
  1. Career limiting conversations
Bitching!  I can count on one of my hands the amount of times that this has assisted anyone in advancing their career.  This one occasion was down to an individual sharing a common disliking for someone with a superior and using that as common ground to build a rapport.  99 times out of 100 we can be sure that participating in a conversation with a colleague about another colleague will never cover you in glory.  Don’t allow your standards to slip when it’s much easier to either say nothing or change the subject completely.
 
  1. Painting the top of the door frame
At the weekend, my wife and I repainted our bedroom and the hall, exciting as this may be for you to read there is a point here.  Whilst painting the wall above the door frames something that one of my dad’s friends had said to me years before kept coming into my mind.  “You can judge a good tradesman by the work he does in the places he thinks no one will see”. I am confident that there are many points where in our daily lives we could let our standards slip because we think no one will ever know and perhaps rightly so there may be points where no one will know but a lifetime or career of these moments can become quite substantial and undoubtedly lower our professional or personal stock to a point that it is hard to come back from or when no one will want to hear about the excuses.
 
  1. Over promising and under delivering
Whilst it may be tempting to over promise to potential clients or your boss before the work is carried out it is a sure-fire way to put yourself in a position where no matter if the results you deliver are good if they don’t meet the standards you have promised it will result in frustration and annoyance all round.  You can’t bake a loaf of bread any faster by doubling the heat in the oven, it will take as long as it takes.  Allow your other standards for the quality of your work that you ensure be the guiding light rather than what you think people want to hear.
 
 

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