Whatever stage you’re at in your career stage or whatever path it’s taking, it always pays to have a few pearls of wisdom in your back pocket for when imposter syndrome hits or you have to navigate a difficult work situation. Changing sectors, interviewing for a dream job, plucking up the confidence to present or building a rapport with your team can feel insurmountable. Here’s some tips to help!
Be your own competition
Through establishing a vision and purpose and setting goals for your career, you’ll learn early on in your journey how important progress is; regardless of the size, progress allows us to get closer to achieving our goals.
To make progress in our career journeys, we must not allow ourselves to get distracted with what others are doing. Everyone is on their own unique path. To be successful, you must remain focused, constantly revisit your goals and ensure you are consistently making progress from where you were yesterday. And remember, even the smallest improvement is still an improvement.
Never stop learning
Keep investing in yourself and never stop learning. You can use this knowledge to come up with innovative ideas and make yourself aware of how you can progress and grow in your career.
Write down all your fears
A good exercise to help increase your success would be to write down all of your career fears and doubts. Whether you want to ask for a pay rise, promotion, change your career or start your own business, you’ll soon realise that the list is a lot shorter than you thought.
Next to each one, write down how you can overcome this. What you thought was completely unachievable and daunting suddenly becomes manageable.
Hold yourself accountable
Similar to writing down your fears. Make measurable goals and write them down. Hold yourself to your goals and make sure you know what you have to do to achieve them. When you accomplish one goal, write down another one.
Don’t forget to be yourself
Always be true to yourself and be authentic as it will shine through. You might admire others or aspire to have their attributes and success – and there’s nothing wrong with listening, absorbing, and channelling this in your own work – but don’t forget to be yourself. Your actions will be more natural and there is no one you are more suited to being than yourself. Remember happiness and fulfilment in your career isn’t just about what you’re good at; it’s about what you’re passionate about.
Stay on good terms
Stay on good terms with good people because you never know from where the next opportunity may come. You may one day find yourself in contact with a previous acquaintance who is willing to help you move forward better than you ever thought before
You can’t do it alone
Similar to the previous point, surround yourself with good people. You don’t have to do it alone. The ones to give you good advice, the ones that can challenge you and the ones that will be there to lift you up when it doesn’t go right.
You're only as good as your team
Surround yourself with like-minded people. It’s a simple one but it makes the difference between success and failure when you’re setting up and running a business. It also makes the day-to-day more enjoyable and inspiring. It’s also important to remember that you’re only as good as your team.
Utilise the strengths of others
Stay humble and listen to the thoughts of others. Never be in a state where you think you know it all, whether you’re employed or building your own business. It’s so important to be self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you know when to utilise others’ strengths and achieve more together.
Don’t be afraid to be different from your mentors
Put the hard yards in when you’re young, in your 20s and 30s. Stay focused on your goal and don’t get distracted by other people. Don’t be afraid to be different from your mentors.
Building a career takes time
Have patience with yourself. Building a fulfilling career takes time. When you are laying the foundations for yourself, you’lI want everything (ie new opportunities, a promotion, pay rise) to happen fast. But that’s blind ambition and will lead to nothing but internalised frustration and heartache. Remind yourself that as long as you’re applying yourself wholeheartedly, studying your industry and taking the opportunities that are offered, you’re putting in the work and it will pay off eventually.
Don’t be afraid to say no
When climbing the business ladder, any ambitious person will want to make sure they deliver on projects, show initiative, and go the extra mile, but a quality that is often not easy to stick to is having the strength to say no.
Often people want to say no in work situations but feel like they can’t, not because they don’t want to complete the task or project at hand, but because they already have a high workload, set priorities or tasks in motion. If you want to say no to an additional task or project at work, a great way to do this confidently is to offer an alternative solution. This shows you are strategically considering the business impact of taking on more than you can manage, and you’re bringing a solution to counterbalance your ‘no'.
Learn from your mistakes
You can’t fear failure because you’ll always learn from your mistakes. Take those risks; you’ll be rewarded.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Never be afraid to ask for what you believe you deserve, but always use solid proof points and data to back it up, whether it is a pay rise or promotion. A career doesn’t always just happen; it takes a lot of planning. If there are things you want to achieve, work backwards to understand the steps you might need to take to get there.
Be your own biggest fan
People will always doubt you, but don’t let that cloud your judgement. The journey of real development will have you faced with challenges and people who question your abilities, as long as it’s not the person in the mirror having those potential doubts then you’re fine. Talk to and about yourself as if you are your biggest fan, because that’s always exactly who you should be.
Always show up
Always show up. And show up with a positive attitude and initiative. You will be noticed, even if not right away, for your commitment.
Don’t make your career all that you do
You can’t succeed in your career if your career is all that you do. Sacrificing your health, self care and relationships may get you short-term success, recognition from a boss or a promotion. But if you are looking to thrive in the long term, discovering balance is the most sustainable and enjoyable way there.
Act confident, even when you're not
Even if you’re not confident, it’s essential to act as if you are. In turn, it can also lead to you actually feeling more confident in the long run. Not only can this help during the interview process as employees look for people who seem confident in themselves as people assume they must be confident in their field, but it also helps with things such as career progression
Put in the work with relationships
Always try to be helpful and communicate to others as you would want in return. Look back on your career and every position you have had and see which have been a result of your networking and relationships. Do your best to keep up with everyone you have met along the way and are fortunate enough to have shaped your career as a result.
Don’t always expect something in return
Making introductions and connections when you feel people have similar or matching energies, is a core necessity for future success. By sending good energy into the world, the world gives back. So even if something doesn’t seem like it’s going to pay off right away, wait a little while longer and maybe it will.
Take quality time for yourself
Take quality time for yourself, for your work and for your family – quality over quantity will make you feel at your best. Learn what to say no to, personally and in business. If you’re thinking of changing roles or creating your own business, then do it now. Be clear on your goals, write a good business plan and build a strong support system.
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