So you’ve made it! You got the job you’ve been hoping for and are working your way up the ladder or pursuing your own venture. The road can be difficult–even I’ve had failures along the way. The important thing is that you keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up. How do you excel and grow within your company or line of work though? It’s best to start at the basics. Here are five beginner tips for career success I’ve picked up along the way.
Figure out what you want
Figuring out exactly what you want to do or from your job is one of the most important things you can do. Are you there to learn a new skill? Do you want to eventually manage people? Are you hoping to launch your own business? The more specific your goals, the better off you will be. Make a list of career aspirations and specific milestones you want to meet along your journey or by a specific time frame. This will help you focus and work towards getting exactly what you really want out of your job.
Ask for what you want
After figuring out your goals, you have to start going after them. You’d be surprised how much opportunity there is and the only thing stopping you might be fear of asking to do it. If you’ve been working your butt off and hoping for a promotion, don’t just sit there! Ask for it! Let your boss know why you deserve a position with more responsibility or reach out to others who can help you achieve your goal. Worst case? Your boss says no. But now he or she knows that you have higher aspirations for future consideration.
Professionally, being caught unprepared is one of the worst feelings EVER. It can happen to anyone–impromptu meetings are nothing new in the business world. Luckily, the best way to avoid that awful sinking feeling is to be sure to always do your research. Whether it’s meeting with clients or internally with co-workers, think about what you will need to know or might be asked about beforehand. Make lists and stay organized. If you’re prepared you have a much better shot of knocking it out of the park.
It doesn’t always hurt to ask questions but many times you can figure out what you need to know or do on your own. For example, rather than asking for the spelling of someone’s name, double-check your email or social media to make sure you don’t have it somewhere. Being self-reliant is a great skill that will show those around you that you can get things done and need little supervision. Try to think through problems before asking, you might figure out the answer on your own or come up with a helpful perspective your colleague didn’t consider. The key is to ask smart questions.
It’s such a cliché but communication is so important in the work place. Knowing how to articulate your needs and listen in to decipher others will make your work life so much better. Taking the time to really pay attention to your co-workers above, below and in the same position as you will be invaluable. And like these other tips for successful women, these will help you go far.
Have any of these made a difference in your career experiences? Share below!
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