Your career is likely one of the most important aspects of your life. It’s more than what you do day to day, your career is what you work toward, what you’re passionate about, what you feel accomplished in, and what is fulfilling to you. Sometimes making good career choices can be challenging though. We never know what the future may hold, but here are 3 things you need to keep in mind to help navigate your own career path to the best of your ability, and achieve that lifelong success that you are searching for.
Whether you consider yourself to be an expert networking professional or someone who is still working on that skill, networking is a critical part of your career success. Practice makes perfect, and taking every opportunity to practice will make you a pro before you even know it. While the skills you will need to be good at networking do come naturally to some, but they are also skills that are easy to learn. The basics include communicating well about your professional experience and your goals, being friendly and memorable to the people you speak with, and most of all listening to what your networking partner has to say as well. You never know where your next big break will come from so make sure you are always looking for opportunities to make meaningful professional connections, wherever you are.
Professional development is something that can be very important to your long-term career growth. Industries are always changing, technology in particular seems to be making big differences across generations of workers. For those not able or willing to keep up with the latest trends or information are sure to fall behind. Seek out learning opportunities. Read books, listen to podcasts, take an online course, enroll in a certificate program. Whatever level of ongoing education you have time and space for in your life, do that. Because every year a new class graduates with the latest skills and a deep knowledge base that may disrupt your entire industry. Stay on your toes, keep your mind engaged, and keep learning new skills to remain relevant and competitive in your industry.
Sometimes we get too comfortable in our jobs. We come to know the work well, are confident in our ability to do the job, know the people well, and feel we are important to the success of the company we work for. But if you stay in the same job without room to grow in responsibility or impact, then you are inevitably selling yourself short. Sometimes people are afraid to take the leap, leave their job and try something new, and are inevitably disappointed by the very career they have built for themselves. Don’t avoid a challenge just because it’s going to be different. Rise to the occasion. Test your own limits. Look for the work that energizes you every day, and if you can’t find that job, create it.
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