I cannot think of a better visual for what our careers will be like other than a roller coaster ride. There will be moments of extreme highs and extreme lows. You will feel like you’re slowly making progress to the top, and moments when you feel like you are spiraling downward fast. It will feel great and at times you will simply want to get off. If you want help navigating through it all, there are some career lessons that are important to learn and begin practicing now.
Education is an ongoing process
The world is in an everchanging state and as a result, continuous education is necessary to remain competitive and relevant. The way we communicate, work and live changes and therefore the technology, products and services that facilitate this evolution also needs to change. Luckily, education has evolved and we now have access to it in many forms via formal training, books, podcasts and conversations. Educating yourself should become an important component of your life and be something you seek every moment that you can.
Your personal brand is your most valuable asset
Jeff Bezos has been famously quoted as saying “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” You may work for brands throughout your career but your personal brand is what you will carry with you for the rest of it. Make sure that the one you believe you are building matches the one you actually have. Personal growth happens when we take a critical and objective look at ourselves and make the necessary changes to become better. The world is more connected than ever before and if you ever find yourself looking to make a change or pivot in your career, your personal brand could make or break it.
A diverse set of skills is essential for success
A successful career is now dependent on a diverse set of skills. It is necessary that you not only possess the skills necessary to perform your job but that you also have the skills necessary to lead and work well with others. I’ve seen amazing talent not get an opportunity simply because they were not easy to work with or for. I suggest aiming to not only be great at the skills necessary for your current position but to learn other skills that may be beneficial for your career growth. Soft skills like communication and emotional intelligence are critical for success internally with your colleagues or employees and externally with clients or customers.
Connections are essential to career growth
I’m sure most of us have heard the saying “it’s not what you know but who you know.” This is a true statement. Imagine you are a hiring manager or the owner of your own company and you need to hire someone to do a job. It can be very scary and risky to place your bet on someone you don’t know due to the amount of time and resources it takes to hire and onboard someone new. Now imagine that someone you know and trust makes a recommendation or better yet you know someone personally who can do the job. The risk has been lowered therefore increasing the likelihood of that candidate getting the position. That is why building and maintaining connections is so critical to your growth and success.
If you have a question or are interested in learning more, connect with me.