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The value of reliability in building a career

By Goretti Kimani | October 25th 2013

By Goretti Kimani

Kenya: Some people work for fun, others work to put food on the table, while others still work to build a successful, enviable career. More often than not, the majority of employees are in the last category.

However, successful careers are not as commonplace as they should be. Many factors are responsible for this dearth, but a lack of reliability is among the main reasons.

Reliability is the quality of being dependable. When you are reliable, people can trust you to do what is required, and to go even further than you need to.

Unfortunately, many people are far from reliable. Most are whiners and complainers who view their job as a bother. For them, the employer is the number one cause of all real and imagined miseries. Subsequently, they cannot be depended on to deliver.

Such people are more of a liability than an asset and are often merely tolerated at work. The average workplace is in dire need of pushers — the aggressive kind of employee that helps make decisions and gets things moving in the right direction.

But what causes this lack of reliability?

It may be poor upbringing, where children end up modeling the negative habits they see in their parents, guardians or even teachers. In addition, prolonged abuse from a parent or guardian may end up making a well-endowed individual develop a good-for-nothing self-image.

Negative influence

Other people may develop this habit out of sheer ignorance, lack of appropriate training or negative influence from peers and friends. Yet others take this route out of the overbearing desire to advance their selfish interests at the expense of their colleagues and the wider organisation.

Needless to say, it is in one’s best interest to develop reliability. To start with, you need to know whether you stand on the scale.

Are you struggling to meet deadlines? Does your boss raise frequent complaints about your performance? Do you get bypassed for roles and promotions? Have you been stuck in one position for a long time?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you need to take the necessary steps to cultivate reliability.

First, ensure you develop clear, long-term career goals. Learn to seek greatness from serving others and resist the temptation to be a taker. Remember, those who learn to serve reap the best fruit.

Second, seek to improve your skills on a continuous basis. You will not be reliable if you settle on skills that were relevant in yesteryears.

Third, develop a belief and value system that will see you uphold virtues like honesty, integrity and respect for others. Get a successful role model who has integrity and can offer first-hand advice from personal experience.

It is said that having one person you can rely on is worth more than a bunch of self-serving employees. However, reliable people are like gold and are very rare in the workplace. The good news is that cultivating this virtue often translates into profitability, so you cannot go wrong with it.

The writer is a human resource specialist with Peoplelink Consultants Ltd. [email protected]

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