ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Use the Strategy of Choice to Unlock Your Career

Updated on October 22, 2018
Suresh Sambandam profile image

Suresh Sambandam is the CEO of KiSSFLOW, a disruptive, SaaS-based enterprise-level workflow and business process automation platform.

Source

Early in my career when I started working within Hewlett-Packard, I noticed that my programming peers were all pursuing new projects by pitching the same kinds of ideas, all programming-heavy — and only a few people were successful. I could see that if I offered a similar idea, I would be just another identical voice in a sea of programmers.

When I saw a different opportunity that would improve the company’s overall efficiency, I chose to enter unfamiliar territory in order to escape the mob mentality and showcase my talents. In basic terms, I updated one of the company’s record-keeping systems to process those records 250 times faster than before. This project required me to cultivate an entirely new skill set, but my hard work paid off: When a large client in London implemented the system I helped to build, I was sent with the installation team as a subject matter expert.

This outcome arose not just from my utilizing resources and adding skills but by my initial choice to act. No matter the field, the strategy of choice is a vital tool that can propel you forward on a new path. Putting this strategy to work begins with four steps.

Utilize micro-strategies.

Rather than setting audacious goals like purchasing a year-long gym membership on the first of January, use simple strategies that enable you to experiment with new ways of behaving, such as resolving to wake up early for the month. These miniature stopping points on the way to a larger goal often yield disproportionately different outcomes.

If I had started my career at Hewlett-Packard with the goal of increasing our processing speed by 250 times, I would have been unlikely to succeed. When I took the small step of proposing a different technical approach, the project realized a large end result. Make a conscious choice not to do what others are doing; instead, choose a small, valuable project that differentiates you from the group.

Build multiple skill sets.

It’s not uncommon for engineers to just, well, engineer — and not think or act beyond that scope. However, the minute you choose to step out of your comfort zone to add new skills, whether it be a new language or a new domain, your capability for success improves exponentially. When I took on the call detail record project at HP, I knew it would require skills that were quite different from those I developed for hardcore programming and coding. I chose to build those new skills in order to solve a problem for my company.

You can build your knowledge base by volunteering for training initiatives or taking on experimental projects that offer opportunities for creative problem-solving or relying on new technology. No matter how you choose to add to your personal toolset, stay open to continuous learning opportunities.

Articulate your biggest ideas.

Professionals often want to hoard their ideas. If they pitch a plan, they want due credit for it. There’s no shortage of ideas; choose to pitch and share your thoughts as much as possible instead of keeping them to yourself, even if they, like my project, involve the hard work necessary to develop new skills. The more often you hone your abilities to look at problems and come up with solutions, the better those solutions will become.

Exercise your problem-solving skills like they are a muscle. Observe which of your ideas work and which don’t; when ideas fail, try to understand why they weren’t successful. Speaking up early and often ensures that you don’t lose the chance to get in a few iterations of solving problems, both on your own and as part of a team.

Eliminate the obvious.

Imagine brainstorming ideas for a new restaurant — but removing food from the equation. If you were to build a restaurant that serves a function beyond just serving food, what would it be? This brainstorming tactic allows you to think beyond the ordinary and get your mental juices flowing.

As an engineer with a desire to prove myself, I needed to bring something to the table beyond typical engineering solutions. If I had continued to pitch programming-oriented projects with the rest of my peers, I wouldn’t have moved forward. I made a conscious decision against fighting the same fight as everyone else. Create a mental environment that allows you to explore new options, use your strengths in new ways, and stand out from the crowd of boring ideas.

Achieving your desired end result, such as a promotion or a new initiative, comes from mobilizing resources appropriately along a plan of action. But neither the resources nor the plan means anything until you’ve chosen to act. The strategy of choice is the key to unlocking your future career.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)