What is career success? Well, it depends on who you ask. Each of us defines it differently. The one thing all of us have in common is that, given the amount of time we spend at work, we want to at least like what we’re doing every day. Life is either too long or too short to spend time in jobs we hate. We also want to be appreciated by our bosses and co-workers and not cave into job stress. Here are 11 tips that can help you get started on your way to having a successful and satisfying career.
Choose Your Occupation Wisely
Before you decide to pursue any career, ask yourself this question: “Can I see myself doing this all day, every day, for many years?” When you choose an occupation, make sure it’s a good match for your personality, interests, aptitudes, and work-related values. Learn as much as you can about yourself by conducting a complete self-assessment. Do extensive career research about the occupation you are considering to learn about job duties, qualifications, earnings, and employment outlook.
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You What Choice Is Best for You
Ignore those who say, “Pick this field because it has lots of opportunities right now,” or “You will make loads of money so it doesn’t matter if you hate your job,” or “I like this career and therefore you will too.” Although they may be well-meaning, these statements are among the many myths about career choice. All ignore one important thing: your career choice is a personal decision that will have a significant effect on your life for many years. Oh, and by the way, the relationship between earnings and job satisfaction is minimal.
Measure Your Own Success
How do you define success? Is it the size of your paycheck or having the corner office? Is it the feeling you get when you know you did a great job on a project (praise from the boss doesn’t hurt) or the one you get when you know you helped someone? Perhaps you feel successful after putting in a day at work and coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family. Since each of us measures success differently, you are the only one who can decide what it means to you. Your satisfaction with your career is strongly linked to whether you feel you have met your own goals, not someone else’s.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
As much as you think you know, you don’t know it all. There are people with more experience than you, and with that experience comes knowledge. To get access to it, you need experienced colleagues, in addition to your peers, in your network. Establish a relationship with a mentor who can guide you through your career. In addition to advising you on how to advance, a mentor can help you learn about an occupation you are considering, get the lowdown on an employer before a job interview, and solve problems at work.
Always Acknowledge People Who Help You