A career or job is not just about earning a livelihood and spending eight hours a day. A good career involves honing your skills and excelling in your career constantly and consistently. At a time, when we are all running behind higher positions, better packages, and greater perks, the definition of career, and professional success is dynamic and ever changing. Your career graph and the professional milestones you want to achieve will solely depend on the decisions you make, and the habits you inculcate. But there are certain tips, or rather rules of thumb, each one of us can follow to have a better career and a stronger personal brand. Here they are:
1. Seek Advice from Experts
Communication is the cornerstone of all successful endeavors. If you are serious about your career, you will need to go out the and speak to experts in your field. In the presence of successful individuals, not only will you be inspired to achieve great successes, but also gain insight into personality traits, skill sets, emotional balance, and strategies adopted by them that led them to be where they are today.
Talking of experts, also make it a habit to seek evaluation and assessment from your seniors on a periodic basis. While most of us hesitate from doing this, it’s a practice that can further your career in leaps and bounds. Your senior will become aware you are interested in increasing your qualitative and quantitative contribution to the company and seek personal growth and excellence. Ask for an honest appraisal. Be open to constructive criticism and make sure to work on your weak areas and show a measurable improvement in your performance.
2. Dress the Part
If it’s called power dressing, it’s called so for a reason. Don’t underestimate the importance of dressing well. Make sure you are in crisp, clean, ironed formal wear when you are in professional situations. Keep your hair and nails neat always. Look sharp, look professional. People are judging and making impressions all the time. Make sure your impression is one of a successful, organized individual who means business. Dress well and appropriately, so that people take you and your intentions seriously.
3. Balance Between Taking Responsibility and Delegating
Be a Jack of many trades and pitch in whenever possible. Learn to take up responsibilities above and beyond your job. Don’t get stuck in the monotony of just finishing your tasks, but keep challenging yourself to learn new things on the job. When you have downtime, ask your boss if he needs help with anything. At the same time, know when to delegate.
Being efficient is also about knowing when to delegate your tasks. Don’t try to micromanage everything. Assign tasks to those working under you so that everything functions smoothly and the work is done on time. Don’t consistently be overworked. That will only decrease your productivity. Build a collaborative work environment where help is available easily and you can delegate tasks knowing that it will be completed timely and properly. Success itself is a collaborative effort, so it only makes sense that, you rise and grow in your career with the help of others.
4. Be a Powerful Storyteller
Whether you are applying for a job, or are a senior delegate motivating your juniors to go achieve a target, everyone likes a good story. Develop the art of being a good storyteller. Talk to your audience about your skills, and how you used them to handle different situations. Also, go on to elaborate how those experiences have enriched you and improved your skills further. Real life stories tell a lot more about you than the qualifications in your resume. Reliability, authenticity and credibility are all important elements in your career trajectory. A good storyteller can convey that he or she possess each of these without being arrogant or boring. However, you must ensure that you supplement your storytelling skills with actionable choices and a strong work ethic.
5. Stay Abreast of Your Industry Trends
This may seem obvious to a lot of you. But think over it. How many of us actually make the effort to know the latest trends in the industry or even the company that we are working in? A sense of complacency is what kills the drive to scale greater heights. Make it a point to keep learning new things and find out what are the recent developments in your field. This will surely will give you an edge over the rest whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. You can also leverage your knowledge and skills to help a lot of people. While people are hesitant to ask for help, they actually like it when someone offers to help. Become that one point contact for people to seek solutions. Co-workers, juniors, and seniors usually will remember the times you have helped them and this works in your favor during promotions and appraisals.
6. Expand Your Network
In recent years, the right place, the right time, and the right people can make all the difference. Work on expanding your professional network. Sometimes, being in contact with one right person can elevate your career prospects immensely. Whether it is introducing you to the right people in your professional network can impart myriad benefits.
If you are wondering how can you work to expand your network, here are a few simple things you can do. Make sure to message on festivals and other important functions like wedding anniversary, birthdays, etc. Besides occasions too, make it a point to catch up over coffee with your professional contacts as well. The wider your network, the higher the number of opportunities to get an interview call, finance your business, or know about of openings in close knit professional circles.
With a positive attitude, determination, and a strong desire and drive to succeed, you can make 2017 the year where you meet with tremendous professional success and achieve many of your career goals. The above mentioned points are integral and indispensable to achieve success. Do follow these earnestly and most importantly strike that much needed work-life balance to not just experience success fleetingly, but always be on top of your professional game.