Zig Ziglar, a famous American salesman and motivational speaker, once said:
There’s no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.
Still, there are some things that you can do to give a boost to your career and make things happen faster.
One of them is adopting a set of career development strategies that will help you be more productive, make decisions more easily, and improve your job satisfaction level. In other words, a couple of minuscule changes can have a tremendous impact on your overall career trajectory.
Not only will these strategies change the way you work, but they will also change your outlook on life and how you perceive certain things. Discipline in the workforce often translates to discipline in other areas of your life (i.e. being more organized at home or grinding out that tough workout even when the motivation isn't exactly there).
Since career advice is different for someone who’s at the beginning of their professional journey, already an experienced professional, or even a successful business owner, we included career development strategies to help navigate each stage of the process.
The habits that will kick-start your career
Every new employee has to try hard and work their way to the top. This is the moment when you have to show what you’re made of and impress your boss and co-workers. There are three career growth tips in particular that can help you achieve this goal and take your career to the next level.
1. Practice Perfectionism
This is the most critical strategy that everyone who wants a successful career should adopt immediately, and it practically boils down to doing your job amazingly well.
Never allow yourself to just slack off and wait for the clock to strike 5 so that you can jump from your desk and head home. If you consistently do your best, your hard work will be noticed, and your reputation will flourish. Needless to say, this is the most effective way towards a promotion.
Being a perfectionist implies that you always keep your promises, manage your professional growth, own your mistakes, never make excuses, and let it be know that you will go to great lengths to get the job done.
2. Exude Passion
Being passionate about your job is critical unless you want to spend your entire working life doing something that you don’t care for. Many people have a misconception about this, and they believe that passion precedes hard work and dedication, but the truth is that if you put a lot of time and effort into something that you do, the passion will follow.
Once you see the results of your hard work and your achievements, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that will push you further. The trick is to find something that you like, work hard, and don’t give up even when the things go awry.
3. Possess Focus
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It stands to reason that you need to focus if you want to successfully complete any task, but it’s often much easier said than done.
Multitasking, a buzzword that you can hear in any niche, has become an indispensable job requirement. Science, however, suggests this whole idea may be wrong. According to a study by the University of Sussex, multitasking affects our brain by reducing the density of gray matter which has an extremely strong correlation to IQ – it can also lead to anxiety and depression.
In the same vein, MIT neuroscientists claim that multitasking doesn’t actually exist – instead, your brain simply toggles between tasks very quickly, thus reducing your productivity and efficiency in the long run.
Focusing on a single thing at a time is key if the quality of your work is your main concern.
The habits of experienced business professionals
Having an established, successful career doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t change anything. Part of graduating from the ranks of being a new employee is to start employing some of the strategies that set experienced business professionals apart.
One of the secrets to building long-lasting business success is readiness for change and innovation. Here are some career development strategies that will infuse your typical work routine with a fresh new step.
4. Active Listening
Many people are extremely poor listeners and aren't aware of it, or worse, they simply don't listen to what others have to say.
Since communication is one of the most commonly used skills in business, failure to hear what others tell you can lead to bad performance and poor workplace relationships. It's critically important you really hear and understand what others are saying, remember what they have said, and be able to respond and act accordingly.
When it comes to active listening, it’s important to realize that in spoken communication, 55% of the meaning is conveyed non-verbally, 38% is indicated by the tone of voice, while only 7% of the meaning is communicated through the actual words. This means that you need to use both your ears and eyes for effective listening.
5. Unwavering Positivity
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After a couple of years of hard work, it’s easy to slip into cynicism and negativity, which is why you need to re-frame your perception of things and start observing every situation from a different, more positive point of view. As such its important to note that often one of the most effective career development strategies is merely to remain positive during even the bleakest of times.
It’s good to be cautious, but in some situations it’s worth giving others the benefit of the doubt. Blaming others for your own failures is another toxic behavior that you need to eliminate ASAP.
Finally, constantly complaining about your workload, how tired you are, or how complicated everything is, won’t solve your problems and it quickly brings down the overall attitude of the workplace. Worse yet, you'll quickly become everyone’s least favorite person.
6. Consistent Self-Awareness
Over the years you’ve come to realize what your strengths and weaknesses are, and it’s important to be honest with yourself and admit that you suck at certain things.
This revelation is great because now you can delegate your tasks, and find the best person for the particular job, while you can focus on what you excel at and do it.
Business owners and career improvement
Running your own business is exciting but tough, especially when it comes to financial matters. However, it’s one of the most important aspects of being your own boss.
7. Improved Financial Literacy
An increasing number of business owners show a surprising lack of financial literacy, which can have a negative impact on their bottom line.
Working on your basic financial skills and learning how to read and interpret your financial statements is a must. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an accountant or an expert to understand the gist of what is going on. If you're unsure of something and are scared you'll make a critical mistake with your finances, you're not alone.
Luckily, there are reliable agencies that provide financial services. Don’t rack your brain and simply hire someone who will take care of that for you, that way you can dedicate your time to growing your business.
It's okay to admit you're not equipped to handle everything and that sometimes its just better to let someone else handle the work.
These 7 career development strategies are easy to implement and they can have a long-lasting effect on your career's trajectory. What strategies have you employed to get ahead in the workforce?
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