How to be successful in your career
The new year is the perfect time to *mentally* wipe the slate clean and refocus on what you really want to achieve in your career over the next 12 months. Be productive and create a to-do list of the key things that you want to focus on and prioritise them so you can put your energy in to what’s most important to you.
Make small changes, even if it’s just putting an hour aside a week to focus on the list and slowly work your way through. After 3 months, revaluate how much you have achieved and if you need extra time to be able to complete the list before the end of the year.
2. Motivate yourself:
Now it's time to think about why you want to achieve the things you’ve listed. Are you eager to learn something new? Land that promotion you've had your eye on? Make a career change to spend more time with the kids? Whatever it is, use the reasons to motivate you.
Write your reasons down somewhere you'll see them regularly so you can maintain a postive mindset and smash your goals!
3. Keep track:
This is probably one of the most important points that you need to follow. Day to day it is hard to notice your progress, it can take weeks, even months, before you see any major differences. Keeping track of your progress step-by-step is the only way you’re going to see how far you’ve truly come.
Seeing it in black and white will highlight your strengths but also your weaknesses. Are you struggling with your workload? This could be an indicator that time management isn't your strong point, so you might need to re-work your schedule so you can get everything done more efficiently.
4. Know your worth:
Do you know how much value you add to the company you work for? If you do, great! If you don’t, then it’s time to find out. What do you do that provides real value to the company? Do you have evidence of a strong ROI?
It's important that you know this information so you can not only see the results from your hard work but also aim to improve on this, year on year. Proof that you deserve that promotion, pay rise or new job somewhere else.
5. Say no:
There is a certain level of respect gained from saying no. If you know you can’t give 100% to something, then you should always say no. Not because you wish to be awkward, but because you want to maintain a high standard when it comes to your work.
I’d advise always trying to make time before declining something, identifying if it’s doable or not. If it’s not, make it clear why it isn’t so others can understand ahead of next time. Did you need more time? Do you need help from someone else? Letting them know will allow for better planning in future and improve working relationships.
6. Be realistic:
Often the more things you have on your to do list the less you end up doing. Or at the very least, end up doing well. You need to think about how much you can realistically do within a year, how much spare time do you have?
Setting unrealistic goals will leave you feeling demotivated, so relieve the pressue and set targets that you can reach.
7. Take a break:
Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to prove your self worth. Taking a break, even just a couple of days off work to rejuvenate, is key but make sure you plan ahead.
Book time off work every 3 months to give you enough time at work to focus and complete a project, but also give you something to look forward to.
8. Work hard:
You will never reach your full potential unless you invest your time and put in the effort. If you need to come into work early a few days a week or stay later some nights, do it. It is worth it in the long run.
As long as it is helping you achieve your long term goals (which could mean achieving short-term goals first) then it is worth working hard to complete them. You will reap the rewards in the end.
9. Learn something new:
As the world around us changes daily and technology transforms the way we do virtually everything, I challenge you to not find something relevant to your field that you don’t know.
Spend time throughout the year, dedicating yourself to learning something new – even just one thing that you didn’t know before. Getting into the habit of learning new things will make it part of your daily routine without realising.
10. Reward yourself:
This is really important. You might not always receive the recognition that you deserve. That’s why you need to reward yourself with something that you really want to do.
Maybe it’s taking a spa break, a mini holiday or just a meal out to a fancy restaurant with your loved one, anything that you wouldn't normally do that you can look forward to!
Happy New Year!
What advice would you include to ensure you have the best year of your career?