Staying the course is crucial at every stage of a professional career

22 November 2019 2 min. read
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Staying focused and sticking to the brief is among the most challenging yet crucial things to do in the heat of one’s professional career, according to SV Nathan, Partner and Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte India. Writing in the Times of India, Nathan reflects on learnings from his own professional career.

According to the Big Four accounting and advisory firm executive, young professionals are vulnerable to a whole range of factors that might distract them from the job at hand. The biggest driving force behind errors is the desire to accelerate career development as hastily as possible.

One of the most important things is, in the eyes of Nathan, finding the balance between instinct and emotional reactions. Many youngsters tend to lose their cool in highly trying situations, which takes them down a path that they are not ready to face. Taking the time to think things through is crucial.

Nathan also has a clear set of donts in the workplace, which includes the age-old advice staying away from office gossip to the largest extent possible. Gossip of any kind in the workplace can lead to a trust deficit, which could be devastating for a career. Lying could have a similar effect.

SV Nathan, Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte

According to Nathan, facing facts and admitting to mistakes is a far better strategy than trying to cover things up. He speaks of the “snowballing” effect that lies tend to have, which can have significant repercussions for reliability and trust in the long run. 

“A career is built over time. Trust and reputation are, likewise, built over time. Small mistakes are made in the course of a career. As long as it is not career-limiting, and we learn from them, it is an investment in the right corner,” writes Nathan, summarising his entire principle succinctly.

Other aspects that buy into this school of thought include a focus on integrity, even when it means disagreeing with senior officials. Agreeing with every idea for the sake of it can also be a damaging move, as it limits growth and contribution.

Nathan’s thoughts come at a time when hiring is booming across the Indian economy. Many businesses have realised the value of human capital management for their success, and are looking to instill the right principles and company culture. As Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte, Nathan has his own work cut out for him as well, given the company’s substantial recruitment drives in India.