Career advice is one of the most critical areas for you to consider, because the wrong advice can launch you into years, or even a lifetime, of misery. Here are our top 10 pieces of advice gleaned from years of experience watching and listening to those who made their career work for them:
- Do not follow your childhood dream
There is a universal belief that if you do what your heart told you to when you were a child, you’re in for a lifetime of work happiness. The root of this thought process is ‘go back to your true self’. Although there is validity in the practice of accessing your core self, your childhood dreams and world were just that – a child’s perceptions of the world. What made you happy as a child will not necessarily make you happy as an adult.
- Politics matter
Nepotism, relationships, common backgrounds, or schools are all factors which grow people’s careers. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it is reality. You can take the moral high ground and exclude yourself from company and industry politics, but you may then need to accept that you are making a career limiting move. It is not that you have to be political – rather that you have to be aware of the politics around you, and know the rules of the game that you play.
So many of us have been brought up not to brag and to believe that modesty is a precious value. The truth is however that no one will know what you have done, unless you actually tell them. There is a line between self-promotion and bragging, so tread that line carefully to your advantage.
Schools often encourage scholars to spend time with people in the professions that they would like to pursue. This is a fantastic way to really see the real work a career entails. Not the glamour, or the fun bits, or the big wins; but the daily slog, screaming clients, and heaps of paperwork that comes with most professions. Shadowing is a great way to gain insight into how you will truly be spending your time.
- Maturation is inevitable
Situations change, but so do people. It’s okay to change your career. The career that you choose when you are 18, might not be what you want for the rest of you working life. It’s okay to change direction and use the experience you’ve gained to do something more satisfying. It’s okay not to be the same person with the same interests, values and ambitions as a few years ago.
- You can be happy
Many people say that work is a means to an end. You go to work to earn money so that you can do the things you really enjoy. But many people turn their passions into their work, so why can’t you? Why can’t you be happy in your career? You can choose, and that choice is yours.
- You’re not stuck
Unless you sign a 50 year contract with your employer, if you are unhappy, you can make a change and make yourself happy. 50 years ago there was value seen in being loyal to your employer. Today, the protean career says get value and experience where you can. Do not allow yourself to stagnate. When you need to move, move.
- Take wise counsel
The beauty of having a coaching experience is that your business coach has usually walked the path you are planning to, and can pre-warn you of all the potholes, downfalls, and traps which may degrade your experience. Take counsel from those with wisdom that is worth listening to. Shorten your learning curve and use their experience to enhance yours. Book a coaching session today.
- Go with the flow
Everything in nature has a natural flow and cycle. So do our lives and the events therein. There is a lot to be said for succeeding against all odds, but there is also a time to realise that you might be working against your natural flow. Take the time to consider what works well and easily for you, and then follow that. Forcing a career to fit is a struggle that is unlikely to yield joy. Go with your natural flow.
- Make your mark
Most people go through their careers working for a company and doing their responsibilities well enough. Your career is not something that someone else lives. It’s yours. Your working life is where you spend most of your time, so make it worthwhile! Be proud of the work that you do. Be satisfied with your results. Make the time that you spend at work fulfilling. Otherwise, what’s the point?