17 Oct 10 Employment Tips you don’t learn in School
1. Never stop trying
Dreamers dream big – all the time. They constantly see possibilities where others see obstacles. If you’ve always been told you couldn’t do something all your life, how would you believe anything else? Changing your mindset on your definition of success might help with that. If you believe in yourself first and work hard, you have a chance. People who believe they will succeed are the ones that dare to try to accomplish something no matter what anyone says. They are the ones that try a completely new way of doing something. Think differently, stand out from the pack, push the envelope and get recognized.
2. Do not be afraid to fail
Failing is the biggest part of success. Famous people don’t become famous overnight. They get hundreds, even thousands of rejection letters, doors slammed in their faces before someone gives them a chance. Inventors don’t stop building a product if it doesn’t work the first time. Being innovative takes time and discipline. You must first fail to appreciate success. Being ok with failing and not letting it stop you in your tracks is how will you difference yourself from a failure to a person who succeeds. Grow from your failures, learn how to do it different and keep moving forward.
3. Stick to your goals
In today’s busy world of work, we’re all guilty of setting too many priorities. The truth is that you can’t possibly become an expert in anything if you don’t give it 100%. Get rid of any distractions and focus on what you want to see being realized the most and stick to it. Work hard at it and don’t give up on it. Remind yourself of why you started it in the first place and ask others to keep you accountable to your goals. Stay focused and become an expert in something.
4. Do what makes you happy
What makes you happy might not be a conventional career or the career you currently have. Being happy at work could be because of what you do on a day to day basis or because of the people you get to work with. If your work doesn’t make you happy, change it. The solution is not always to look for another job, but to make the best out of your situation. Find the area about your job that makes you the happiest and ask your manager to do more projects with it. Work on projects that allow you to use that skill that makes you feel good about yourself and where you succeed the best. You will be working for over 40 years; you might better like what you’re doing.
5. Use the downtime to advance professionally
In the low workflow times or when you’re waiting for that person to reply to your email or phone call – use that time wisely. Read articles on professional development, career advice, and management and leadership tips. Focus on your career goals and how close you are to achieving them or try to see if you’re heading in the right direction professionally. Take career advancement courses during your lunch time, learn new skills, talk to your co-workers or go for a walk. For a creative mind, there are no down times, only opportunities to achieve something.
6. Stop taking things personally
Everyone is going through their own battles, so it’s important to always be respectful. Someone’s sharp comment to you might not be about you at all. Don’t let what’s going on in someone else’s life reflect onto you and affect your day. If that person didn’t invite you to lunch, they probably just forgot, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. If that co-worker is rude to you on the phone requesting information it might be because they are getting pressure from a higher up on the other side. Be professional, always, and let it slide off your shoulders.
7. Leave it at work
Yes, your work needs you in order to move forward in that project, but your family needs you too. At the end of the day, finish that email and shut it down. Schedule some time with your family for when you need to open up your email to check on work during the weekend, but keep it at a minimum, most of the time, it can wait. Stop taking yourself so seriously and focus on what’s really important, your family. Be there for your kids’ plays and graduations. Be present where you are, all the time.
8. Don’t be too hard on yourself
So you didn’t get that promotion you were hoping for or that raise you wanted. It doesn’t mean you didn’t deserve it or that you didn’t work hard enough. You did your best, but someone had worked hard also and you know what? They were better. Or maybe your boss was telling you the truth when they said there was simply no budget but they hoped you would stay. It doesn’t mean you are not appreciated, needed or wanted. Ask how to improve your chances for the next round and keep working ahead.
9. Know how to have fun
Get up from your cubicle from time to time to chat with some co-workers by the coffee machine, even if you don’t drink coffee. Don’t run in and out of the kitchen without making eye contact with anymore. Say “hello” and “how are you?” to your co-workers. A simple gesture can go a long way. You spend over 40 hours a week with these people – get to know them. They might not be your best friends, but they are in the same industry as you and know a little about what your day to day tasks might look like better than most of your friends and family. Being friendly to co-workers can also be great networking in the future if someone leave for another company and you keep in touch.
10. Learn to say no
When you start off in your career, you feel like you need to impress. This is a deadly trap to overwork you. If you do a good job and you do it quickly, people will start to recognize this and lean on you. This sounds good, but it’s not. It’s important to learn how to say no to your co-workers when you are not able to do the task because you have your own work that needs to get done. There is a balance to this and it’s up to you and your workload. But don’t say yes just for the simple reason of for others to like you. You will get more respect from co-workers if you say no from time to time because you understand your workload and that your time is valuable.
These are some tips to keep in your tool belt in your first year on the job and good to keep filed away as a reminder for later on in your career as well. Good luck to all of you starting out in your careers! For those who have been working for a while, we’d love to know what are some tips someone has given you in your career that have helped you move forward or become better than you ever thought you could be?