In order for us to build a satisfying, successful career and move ahead in life, we must create promising opportunities for ourselves.
This however would requires developing impressive expertise and cultivating meaningful relationships and a huge continuous effort from us. And we must be bold and ready to take risks.
So, lets set out to accomplish these steps:
- Develop a career plan – Adapt it as needed. Have an A plan, a B plan and a Z plan. I have a plan, do you? And if my plan A doesn’t work, I still have plan B to plan Z.
- Never become too comfortable in your job – If you feel that you’re in an easy rut, strive to find and take on new challenges. Remember this basic truth: “The status quo is our enemy and complacency is never bliss.”
- When it comes to your work, think big – Don’t see your job as just a job. Elevate your thinking. Make your job your mission.
- Work with full intention – Make a conscious degree of focus one of your defining personal characteristics. Operate so that your opportunities bump up against your interests and skills.
- You’re not perfect – Don’t try to be flawless. Messing up occasionally is human and acceptable. But learning from your mistakes is one of the most effective paths to growing professionally.
- Build new skills in “sprints” – To master new skills, engage in intense, distraction-free work-study sessions or sprints. Schedule regular breaks for temporary decompression.
- Seek challenges – It’s the “hard stuff,” not the “easy stuff” that challenges you and enables you to build new capabilities and skills.
- Seek constructive feedback – Honest, perceptive insights fuel our growth.
- Build the right habits – You are more likely to excel when you make your positive behaviors automatic or habitual. Solidify one good, new habit every month. Classic conditioning is a great tool for changing your habits. It calls for being consistent in practicing new behaviors.
- Maintain a journal – Maintaining a journal gives you an opportunity to reflect daily on your life and to learn from your actions and behaviors. I used my blog as my journal, easy to update, and easy to access. And I also have a hard cover journal which I loved. Your preference is yours, but the essence is, you need one, you need a journal.
- Seek help from people you trust – You don’t have to do everything alone. There’s a saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”
- Promote diversity – Diversity promotes cross-pollination of new ideas. It encourages original thinking and breeds creativity.
- Give your team members a chance to shine – As a leader, you don’t always have to shine, but you should make sure that the other members of your team shine. Build on their skills and ideas. Give team members credit for their accomplishments.
- Don’t let fear of failure paralyze you – Always default to action.
- Make small bets, but make them – Be cautious when you begin new initiatives. Small bets make more sense than big one. The more bets you make, the better chance you have that one will hit.
- You can’t avoid uncertainty – Uncertainty is a basic condition of life. Regard uncertainty as a possibility, not a problem.
- Persist – To come out on top, persist regardless of obstacles.
- Be your own entrepreneur – Think of your career as a start-up and of yourself as the entrepreneur planning and managing this start-up.
- Become the “best-connected person” – When it comes to networking, strive to be the best-connected person, not the “most-connected person.” Possessing a fat address book with many names means nothing if the people listed aren’t real allies who will collaborate and help you when necessary.
- Learn to build new skills – The best possible skill is the ability to develop new skills.
- Believe that you can improve – If you don’t believe that you can move beyond your current abilities, you won’t. Avoid self-defeating, self-fulfilling doubts.
- Practice – You can’t master any skill without extensive practice. Leverage the “power of ritual” to manage your practice sessions. Practice at the same time each day so practicing becomes habitual.
- Rest – You can’t practice, learn or work if you don’t get enough rest. Sleep at least eight hours a night and nap for 20 to 30 minutes during the day.
- Do the jobs you delegate – Monsieur Pitard, the top chef of the Hotel Majestic in Paris, cooked one dish a week himself instead of delegating it his staff. Do some of the work you assign to others to keep your skills fresh.
- Always ask – You can learn a lot from other people and advance your career in the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to build your knowledge.
- Build social contracts – Management expert Peter Block developed the concept of social contracting. That’s when you agree up front with your partners or collaborators on how you and they will work together. Get them to answer these questions: “What do you want?” “Where might you need help?” “When you had a really good working relationship in the past, what happened?” “When things go wrong – as they inevitably will – how shall we manage that?”
“Start any new project or endeavor by saying to yourself, ‘I may not get the hang of this right away. I’m going to make mistakes, and that’s okay’.”
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