What are the key actions you can take to have personal career success? If you could focus on a few issues, what would they be?
Over the years I have learned what allows people to move forward and achieve satisfaction. You can learn from this experience by considering these career tips:
- Develop your own personal style: Behaving like a cookie-cutter image of someone else, no matter how admirable he or she might be, doesn’t work. Focus instead on polishing your strong qualities and smoothing out your rough spots. Above all else, be your best self rather than a cheap imitation of someone else.
- Listen to your instincts: Most of us have strong, accurate “gut feelings” that are underutilized. If you are uneasy with a person or a situation, or have a nagging sense that there is ‘more to the story’ than meets the eye, you are correct. To hone your instinct, don’t turn a deaf ear when it ‘speaks’ to you.
- Increase your empathy level: Want to build loyalty and tight bonds with people at work? Sharpen your empathy level; it’s the glue of human relationships. Make a stronger effort to better understand people’s feelings. When people feel appreciated and understood, it brings out their soft side and makes them nicer to be around.
- Check your motives: Let’s face it; we all have mixed motives at times. Jealousy, competition and resentment cause us to do or say hurtful things to co-workers. While we like to portray our motives as noble, we all have our challenging days. Before you behave in a way that could cause someone pain, take an honest look at your objectives.
- Limit your “issues” to those that matter: Be very careful about negative emotional ‘ranting’. No organization is perfect, and you will find inconsistencies and annoyances. Exercise caution in sharing concerns, it is preferable to be known as a respectable professional. In the end, you will look better for it.
- Know when its time to move on: People, organizations, and jobs change. If you are finding it difficult to cope, it may be time to say farewell. Don’t waste time performing an “autopsy” to determine what happened. Move on! A job that is a constant struggle isn’t a good match, no matter how perfect it may have once been.
- Back up your boss: You don’t have to always agree with, or even like your boss. But the fact remains that he or she holds authority over you. It’s smart to respect the position, even if it is difficult to respect the individual. Bad-mouthing the boss can be tempting, but it demonstrates low integrity and it will not help your career advancement.
- Don’t get complacent; it is hard to coast uphill: If you want your career to progress, stay sharp and marketable. Take courses, maintain contacts in your field, and stay current on business trends and events. Complacent people are easily replaced.
- Be careful about allowing your emotional impressions to become your only gauge of what is going on. One individual was convinced that their withdrawn boss was angry with them. After spending excessive time agonizing over this they discovered that he was going through a divorce and was preoccupied. Keep things in perspective and stop over-analyzing. It’s not all about you!
- Your job or your life? Regardless of how much you love your job, it’s not a fair exchange for your heart and soul. Careers can become too consuming if you are not careful, and the end result is rarely positive. In fairness to both you and your employer, strive for balance in your life.
What’s the bottom line here? It is all about taking charge of YOUR career. It is not someone else’s priority to manage you. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to show you the grand plan for your success. It’s up to you to develop and orchestrate it!
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I help people who desire to change their job or career in any way. To start this process, people need an action plan. My “Career Action Plan” session promises to get to the root of any career problem. I provide a concrete plan to get the problem fixed. People become empowered to take action because they have a plan designed for them. Contact me to book your session!
Photo courtesy of Bad Kleinkirchheim