Start a Career Successfully With These 10 Tips
Are you having trouble finding the right guide to a successful career? No worries, I'm here to help!
You’ve spent four years in college, completed relevant coursework, attended job fairs, updated your LinkedIn, met recruiters from your field, and now have your first, full-fledged career job. All the man-hours you’ve put into getting your dream role, it’s a given you want to keep the upward mobility going. Only one problem stands current: You do not know where to start! Starting your career with the right rhythm is the catalyst to determine how successful you can be for the next 20 to 40 years! Once your foot is in the door, everything you do now will determine the fate of your professional life.
The definition of a career varies depending on who you ask. Some will define it as the major you’ve obtained your degree in. Others describe it as the compilation of all of the jobs you’ve worked through your lifetime. Leadership expert Keith Davis said there is a career development stage process most workers will experience throughout their career: exploration, establishment, mid-career, late-career, and decline. Since this article is intended for working people in the exploration stage, let’s focus on that!
Here are my recommended tips I use that can help you as well. But first, here’s a quote from my college mentor who specializes in leadership & consultation:
When was the last time you took a big step back from the hamster wheel to take a long, hard look at yourself and ask what you are really trying to accomplish with your life and career? — Dr. Clinton Longenecker
As of right now, have you taken a hard look at yourself and aks what you’re trying to accomplish in your career?
1. Have a real plan
Having a promising professional life starts with a plan. It cannot just be any plan, though; it has to be realistic and timely. When making a long-term plan, there should be subtasks to support the long objective. So take time for yourself to plan the best course of action. And use these goals to give yourself direction and control of your future.
2. Take time for self-reflection
This goes back to the quote! How often do you self-reflect? How does your current performance measure up to your projected goals? Self-reflection is greatly beneficial because it helps you understand your inner self, potential, and purpose. Confront your fears and acknowledge your weaknesses to be a better professional!
3. Attend at least one workshop a month
Staying proactive and keeping up with the latest skills within your career will keep your job secured. Aside from broadening your education, professionals have plenty of opportunities to form new relationships, establish connections with like-minded people, and even find new job/client referrals. Invest in the best-suited workshops for you and use them as another network builder.
4. Join a professional organization
Somewhat of an extension of the previous point, but this tip takes it up a notch. This phrase is a classic one, but it remains true: Your network is your net worth! It’s key to differentiating a profession from a conventional job. Take the opportunity to learn from senior leaders in your field. As a digital marketer myself, I am aware of the groups that are tailored to my career. Professional marketing organizations like AMA, ANA, and SMA are known in the marketing community for having their way of connecting marketing experts and novices worldwide. Benefits can include discount prices on certifications, insurance perks, and VIP access to annual conferences. Take advantage!!!
5. Be disciplined
Do not take advantage of your success by forgetting the ‘why.’ To create an effective career, you need to work hard and stay locked in to get there. But keeping a job requires working even harder and remembering your ‘why’ for doing it. So owe it to yourself to become better and see it through!
6. Find an accountability partner
It’s common for a person to want to solve their problems and not ask for the help of others. But as humans, we’re not perfect. We don’t have all of the answers. And we all need somebody. A mentor, a sponsor, a coworker, no matter the kind of role they have in your life, if they can positively keep you on the climb, you have an accountability partner! And if you’re still on the fence about it, think of an accountability partner as a multivitamin. What are the pros of taking multivitamins? They boost your energy, keep you focused, and support your overall growth. They are a part of your life to help you. Have this in the back of your mind as you start your professional journey. Find the multivitamin for your career.
7. Learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable
Tip #7 is another good phrase I learned from Dr.Longenecker! As an introvert, I understand how hard it can be to do things outside of my bubble. But those who stay stagnant in their work will not be the people elevating their careers. I wish I could tell you differently, but that would give you a disservice. So step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons!
8. Tally your accomplishments
Boost your confidence. Another great reason to track career accomplishments is to display them on your resume and discuss it in interviews. That’s a promotion and more money in your pockets!
9. Be receptive to criticism
We cannot get better as career people if we do not get the necessary feedback. Being receptive to criticism helps create efficiency and fewer work errors in your production.
It’s essential when you’re aiming to become an expert or land a leadership role. So be open to corrective feedback and work to improve. Otherwise, listening to advice with a pessimistic ear impedes your ability to take your career to the next stage. Have a student mindset. Go forward, never backward.
10. Deliver results!
This is what managers look for at the end of the workday. Sure, skills such as communication, problem-solving, and prioritizing tasks are vital to organizational success, but if you cannot deliver the RIGHT results in a timely fashion, it’s time to update your resume! No matter the work industry, every company looks at its financial health.
What is working? What can be proved? What needs to be removed? These are the questions career folk like yourselves will need to answer at some point in the future.
Hopefully, my career insight tips will help you in the exploration stage of your professional life. I strongly encourage recent college graduates and early career starters to be intentional with these tips. You’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point. Now, it’s time to elevate your game!