Have you ever felt that some people seem to achieve career success more easily than others? Why is it that some people achieve remarkable success despite having just a few years of experience? Some of the world’s most successful people learn from the mistakes of others and avoid committing those mistakes. Below are some nuggets of wisdom in managing a successful career.
1) Career is a Marathon
Many of us wonder through our careers thinking it’s a sprint rather than a marathon. Whether its fresh out of university or your 1st day in a new job, we think we must start off at a very high level and improve from there. While this is a good philosophy to hold onto, we must accept the fact that a career is a marathon. A working professional has to go through 30-35 years of work before retirement. Allow yourself time to breathe and enjoy the finer things in life. Just like marathon runners, pacing yourself is the key to success to ensure you enjoy the journey to the finish line.
2) Be Brave in Pivoting
To reach your destination, it’s wise to consider which roads you are embarking on. At times, we might realize that our work is not aligned to our own values and beliefs. During these kind of moments, there are 2 options; stick with that same job or switch jobs. If you believe that you are on the wrong road, its wise to turn back and embark on a new road. Be brave in pivoting through your career and as long as you have a clear idea of your destination, it doesn’t really matter which roads you embark on.
3) Treat Your Team Members as Friends
Simply put it, treat others as friends, rather than a resource to complete a task. Treat colleagues and team members with confidence and empower them to do the work that is best use of their skills. By treating people as friends, you can be assured that they will put in maximum effort and will be willing to go the distance. Your team will work not because they are forced to, but because they do not want to disappoint each other.
4) Never Tolerate Mediocrity
In achieving a successful career, we should never tolerate mediocrity in our work. Regardless if it’s a mundane task or the next big project of your company, you should treat it with a mindset of excellence. “Good enough” should not be in your dictionary. After all, when we reach the end of our careers, we would want to look back with pride on our work rather than a feeling that we could have done better.
Not just random networking, but specific-networking. Going into a networking event, we should define the outcomes we wish to achieve and the type of people we want to connect with. We should also network with people who are older than us. People “who have been there done that” and can act as mentors or career champions for us.
6) Embrace Cultural Differences
Gone are the days of working in silos or having colleagues of just one culture. We are living in a dynamic and border-less world, and are constantly connected with technology. This “global connection” allows us to interact with colleagues from all walks of life with differing beliefs, values and culture. Hence, it’s wise to embrace these cultural differences to ensure we are keeping up with the times.
7) Ethics over Rewards
Ethics means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. In university, we are exposed to scenarios that are either right or wrong. However, life often throws us in situations where our ethics will be tested. Regardless how tempting the reward may be, we must always stick to ethics. Rewards can be gained, but once we compromise on ethics, our personal reputation and trust will be lost, and that can’t be regained.
8) Failure is Never The End
In our careers, we will always face failure. However, we should not fear failure. Instead of viewing failure as the end, we should treat it as insights on what didn’t work and think of alternative ways to make it work. Failure can be a fantastic teacher for it teaches you far greater things compared to success. Embrace failure, learn from it and persevere through with determination.