People are always looking for a way to get ahead in their careers – and quickly. No one wants to sit around and pay their dues for ten years before they get to their dream – that’s why we all went to college, right?
In academic meetings and senior seminars, you learn all about how to stand out from the crowd in the hiring process – but how do you get ahead when you are already working?
Take a look at what some people who have done it have to say:
Determine Your Worth: If you are going to do something, do it well. Don’t settle for being middle of the pack or just getting by. Instead, you have to find out the best possible direction you can go and go there will all of your heart. If you have natural skills, make sure you still refine them. If you aren’t certain what you are “worth,” keep working until you do.
Work at all levels: From startups to big corporations, working at different levels can give you the leg up you need to really succeed. Not only that, but you will be able to accelerate much more quickly in some jobs than you could in others – if you go further there, you can enter bigger and better jobs somewhere else. You will also be able to meet people are smarter and hungrier than you. See an insider’s perspective:
Be Buffet: One of the best ways to get ahead in a sports career is to read. Warren Buffet suggests spending at least half of your time working and thinking – in fact, he says that is how he spends 80% of his day!
Be Smart with Your Time: Don’t waste your time in the office or outside of it doing small, menial tasks that don’t mean anything. The more time you can devote to the important tasks, the better. When you do this, you’ll be more effective. When you are more effective, you start to stand out more.
Set personal goals: Most workplaces will tell you to establish a “goal” each quarter. While it is great to have that one, you should have several others as well. Keep these goals private and work toward them. Do whatever it takes to get there – attend conferences, read books, or take a class to learn as much as you can.
Fail: It might seem counterintuitive to fail at your career, but it helps you to grow. If you aren’t failing every so often, you aren’t pushing yourself as hard as you should.
Reflect: Every day, every week, every month, every quarter, and every year, you should reflect. What is something important you did during that time period? What is the most important thing you could do? By asking yourself these questions regularly, you will be able to be more successful and happier.
Get Creative: Some of us aren’t naturally creative in all aspects. If you push yourself to get creative, you might just surprise yourself. Take a painting class, go for a nature walk, read a book, create a podcast, or just color in a coloring book. Any of these activities will wake up the creative juices in your body.
Just Keep Swimming: Many people will hit a point in their early careers because they don’t know where to go or what to do. The best way to stop stagnation and continue your growth is to keep moving. Set bigger goals, become more creative, and just keep going. See more advice on how to do that here:
Ask Questions: Your high school teachers said it. Your parents said it. Your college professors said it. You have to continue it: ask questions. Talk to everyone you can and find out all of the information that you can. Ask if you can get involved with a new system or a new project. Identify the things that make you weak or that could prevent you from moving forward in your career and then thrust yourself forward. To find out how to go about the best questions, check here:
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to grow. Too many people become complacent and don’t try to strive forward and become better.