This is a contributor’s blogpost …
These days, it seems like everybody is doling out career advice left, right and center. But sorting the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. Just going around reading tips online about how to progress in your career will probably leave you confused, if not a little disappointed. There are many oft-repeated truisms out there, like when people say that you should follow your “passion.” But what exactly is there to get passionate about in a career working as a mid-level clerk in a box manufacturing company?
It turns out that if you want to move up in the world, you’ve got to do more than just do your job well. Employers hire you to perform your role to a high standard: they’re not so interested in your progression up the ranks into the upper echelons of the company, and they certainly don’t want to groom you for management positions at other firms.
Being Great isn’t Enough
Many workers hold the opinion that they’ll be able to move up in the world as long as they work really hard and get the job done. But according to Jeremy Boudinot, the director of a startup company, that isn’t really what you want. Most graduates think that they have to work for the most “prestigious” company or the highest salary, but there’s really no need he says. People learn a lot more by working under somebody who is willing to teach them everything they know. Find the right person, he says, and go and work for them.
Photo Courtesy of Geralt via Pixabay
Where You Work Matters A Lot
You might think that you live in a great city because you know it well and you’ve built up lots of ties. But staying in the same place can be a bad idea, especially if you want your career to develop. Take New York Times diet writer Jane Brody, for instance. She started off life in New York but moved to Cincinnati because of her career. Although she nearly had a nervous breakdown after moving to a new place, she was able to see the benefits in the end as it secured her position at the paper.
Spend a couple of hours looking at furnished apartments and homes in a foreign city and investigate whether it’s the sort of place where careers are made. Cincinnati was a great place for Brody because of all the connections she made in a new place.
Don’t Hide Your Failures
Most employees think that their failures are demonstrative of their incompetence. In fact, they’re a sign that an employee is willing to take a risk and take on tough jobs. Life is all about risks. If you don’t take risks, you never push your boundaries, and you deny yourself the opportunity to have enormous successes. To be able to talk the talk, you’ve got to be able to walk the walk, which means allowing yourself to publicly falter.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that execution usually matters a lot more than plans. Getting advice is great, but it’s putting it into action that really matters.