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When you look around the workplace you see a lot of people who keep themselves on the sidelines of everything. At meetings, they choose not to speak; when projects arise, they choose not to volunteer themselves; at company events and gatherings, they stay within a small group, afraid to venture out of their comfort zones.

Are you one of them?

These are the same people who will complain about being ‘overlooked for promotion’, or about not being given the recognition they deserve. But how can you blame anyone for where you are, if you don’t show up at the starting line to compete in the race?

There are many questions you need to ask yourself if you wish to get ahead in your careers:

“What have I done to establish myself as a credible player?”

“What skills or accomplishments do I bring to the team?”

“How often have I picked up the slack of a fellow team member or gone beyond the call of duty?”

“How have I kept up with the changing times and requirements and so, remain relevant?”

There is no easy route to a successful career and avoiding challenges is certainly not going to help. If in doubt, study the skill sets and attributes of senior corporate leaders; you will find that they really have much to their credit.

There are very few who skim the surface and reach the top and such people do not have a foundation to rely on. So, what is it going to be for you?

The stadia are full of spectators but the world belongs to the ‘players’.

– Leon Menezes
The writer is General Manager, HR, at a multinational company.

First published on February 5, 2012 in the Careers Section of the DAWN National Advertiser.

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