“If only I had learned that early in my career…”
If you constantly find your thoughts veering along these lines, then that’s probably because you realize that the plans you had for your career aren’t going exactly the way it should.
That’s probably because you were so engrossed in the process of achieving success, meeting challenges and deadlines, and getting ahead in life meant so much to you that you’d completely bypassed that there’s more to life than promotions and appraisals.
Now most people, especially when they are inexperienced, begin their career with the notion that you have to keep making sacrifices to reach somewhere in life.
And what’s worse is that these people get a tad bit serious about making sacrifices, so much that after a point it becomes stifling for them to pursue whatever they were once passionate about.
That’s why in order to prevent any regrets that may surface as you age, you need to start following this advice to make your career more fulfilling and pleasant in the long haul.
1) Money isn’t the be-all and end-all
There are so many people who have kept their passion aside so that they can have a career and make a living, irrespective of whether they enjoy the process or not. What they don’t realize is that working on something that they love doing means so much more than doing something simply for money.
Why slog it out for nine hours doing something you don’t enjoy? When you could use that time to do something that makes you happy! You need to understand that money isn’t equal to happiness.
Now some may argue that you can’t pay bills without money. Yes, we need money to survive, but then why not earn it by doing something you love? So, don’t shy away from taking that leap of faith.
2) Not wasting your time in a job you hate
When you’re just starting out, you tend to take up any job. But that’s not a good idea. When you get a job that you don’t particularly like, you’re wasting your time just for some extra money, but not getting any valuable experience in exchange.
This investment of your time and effort ultimately leads to a waste of your energy and patience as well.
If you don’t like your job, but still ended up spending years within the same office, it’s best that you quit. Progress doesn’t happen without taking risks.
And if you still believe you need the money and that it’s better to stay put, then learn everything you can while you work. Understand the requirements of the employers.
Try taking part in various projects. In fact, you can even take online courses. Spend your time well and do anything that you can use within your line of work.
3) Listening is a virtue
The ability to listen can save you from a lot of trouble. With this ability, you can fix many issues, as it fosters creativity, provides valuable perspective and also let the other people know that you’re paying attention.
Listening to people is essential for acquiring a thorough understanding of situations. Without detailed knowledge, you can never solve a problem or barely identify the signs of it.
If you’re not a good listener, you can challenge yourself to make a genuine effort to listen more than you talk and we promise the results will be rewarding.
4) Learn as you go
Gather as much information you can about your surroundings, your area of work, and even the things that aren’t directly related to your line of work.
Even when you’re moving ahead in your career, keep yourself motivated to learn new things and try to use that knowledge in your work whenever there’s an opportunity.
If you have this vague idea that just because you have achieved something in life, you don’t have anything new to learn, then you’ll only be depriving yourself of the knowledge about the ever-evolving world.
And if you don’t stay updated about new technologies and inventions, you’ll never be able to solve the issues of the modern world, as your old techniques won’t be of any use there.
5) Never let your job title become your only identity
For most of the self-proclaimed “career-driven” people, their whole life seems to revolve around success, fame, and recognition.
That’s their way of measuring their self-worth. But what they don’t realize until later is that when you run after fame or success, you let these factors control you.
Maybe it’s time for you to gain some perspective on fame or success. Learn to look at the bigger picture and put your focus on a higher purpose, and that way you’ll be the best version of yourself and help others to bring out their best. Only by utilizing your talents for the benefit of others can you attain your prosperity in life.
6) Know the significance of teamwork
The purpose of teamwork is to share ideas with your colleagues, making plans for a certain project, and more importantly to help each other grow. You need to understand that alone you may walk but with your team by your side, you can walk for long.
So it’s perfectly alright to seek help from team members, and it’s also essential for you to be present when the team seeks your involvement.
7) Failures or setbacks shouldn’t affect you
Life presents endless possibilities, so never take failure to your heart. Even though it leaves bitter memories, failures are, as wise men say, the pillars for success. So treat failure like an experience you couldn’t have gathered otherwise.
Rejections are very much a part of our lives. That’s why learning to cope with it early on, will prevent it from getting the better of you. While rejections will always hurt, but dwelling on it will only make the matter worse. If you have positivity in life, even the toughest times won’t seem so burdensome.
8) Live your life beyond your cubicle or office desk
As mentioned earlier in the post, life shouldn’t only revolve around your work. There is so much happening every day, be it within your own family, friends, your community or the world, that you shouldn’t miss out on.
If you want to spend quality time with your family, then remember to never take your work home. Of course, you shouldn’t completely ignore your professional commitments, invest your free time indulging in your hobbies or go out to meet your friends or read a nice book.
Finding a proper work-life balance will contribute to your overall health and well being, and you will not feel weighed down with work and can carry them out with precision.
9) Made a mistake? Admit it!
You’ve probably heard this gazillion times that making mistakes is the first step to learning something. So why should you be ashamed to admit your mistake?
Admitting your mistakes will not only keep your conscience clear, but it will also allow you to avert any consequences that may crop up in the future because of your actions.
Also, people appreciate it when you’re upfront and truthful. In fact, that way you’ll be admired for your honesty. As they say, to err is human.
10) Put your health over wealth
Your wealth may come and go, but you will never get back your strength and vigor by staring at your laptop screen trying to perfect that presentation. Unfortunately, most people struggle to find a balance between their work and life and eventually succumb to various health conditions.
And in the process, they don’t even get to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. Invest considerable time to keep your mind and body active, don’t let anxiety creep in, have enough sleep, eat right, and more significantly, DO NOT burn yourself out.
11) Worrying will only make things worse
So what the meeting with investors didn’t go so well? So what you lost a client today? Ask yourself, will worrying about the issues change things back to normal? It won’t, and rather it will make way for stress or fear. The only way you can get over your fear is by taking some action.
You will never be able to achieve the goals you had set out to achieve at the beginning of your career if you worry about the consequences. So even if you’re worried or anxious, push yourself until the things that you were worried about no longer matter. Have a little faith. Patience and perseverance always work in your favor.
12) Enjoy the journey of your career
When it comes to the career, most people get so busy trying to reach the destination; they forget to appreciate the journey. So focusing on the journey more instead of the destination will allow you to develop a sense of gratitude.
While there will be hurdles and challenges in work and life, focusing on good things always helps. You must look forward to your work and try to learn something new, that way the element of monotony will never find a place in your work. So cherish the journey of both life and work with an open mind and an open heart.
Now we agree that just like relationships your career also needs some compromise and sacrifices, but what’s important here is to know where to draw a line. Simply chasing after success will do more harm than good for your career as well as your life.
So learning these career lessons early on in life will prevent you from regretting the choices you make.