My very first piece of career advice came from my dad, he said – ‘that this was a big step, that I was embarking on an important journey and to be honest, mature and responsible, and at the same time have fun and make new friends.’ Important precious words, ones that I’ve held onto and that have served me well over the years. Perhaps you can relate with this and remember your own piece of wisdom that you received from your parent as you were getting ready to step into the working world. Career advice can come from all different places; mentors, bosses, colleagues, and learning from their experiences both good and bad can be important for your own personal and professional growth. Here’s some more of what I’ve learnt along the way:
1. Listen to your intuition
With all the advice out there, there is no better guide than your own inner voice; pay attention and listen to it. Trust and follow it, it will lead you in the right career direction.
2. You are much more than your resume
As you are working on advancing in your career, don’t just focus on money, titles and what looks good on your resume; you are much more than that. In order to sustain long term satisfaction, you must take time to nurture yourself as an individual. Pay attention to your personal development and growth as well. If your current organization supports it, great; if not, take your own initiative and look for places that do.
3. Be interested in your career
A good career path is more than just a list of jobs and positions, it is also about learning, reflecting and growing. These are also important to incorporate for leadership purposes. Get more involved in your own career path and where you want it to go. Ask yourself – is your current work aligned with who you are and where you want to go? Even if you are in a job that you had to settle and take for financial reasons and such, it’s always good to be interested, aware and proactive, so you can eventually steer your career in the desired direction.
4. Misery is not worth it
Over the years I have realized that your work has a lot of impact and influence on your over all well-being; it impacts your health, moods, personal relationships, energy levels and so on. Of course it’s always a personal choice, but for me being stuck in a position that doesn’t serve me in anyway instead makes me miserable, is just not worth it. Remember your job is not just a job, you spend eight to ten hours every single day five days a week engaged in this activity. It is bound to affect who you are and your life.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask
Okay no one gave me this advice, but it’s one that has worked well: ASK for what you feel you deserve in life and in your career. Unless you get clear on what you want and take the initiative, chances that things will just automatically happen are usually on the lower side. So don’t be afraid, don’t sell yourself short, know your value and worth and go for it!
How about you? What advice have you received that has worked well?