Here’s the 5 pieces of career advice I wish every client understood from their first job to their last. There may be plenty of advice that’s more specific to a particular job, organization, industry, or issue, but these are the ones that leave some of my clients with lasting regrets.
- You only get one life. It’s trite, but true. If you truly loathe your boss, hate your job, feel like it’s sucking the life, health, or joy right out of you? TIME TO GO. Don’t hesitate, start preparing for the job market and find a new position you love. There are options out there for everyone. You are the manager of your own career and your own life. If you don’t make improvements, no one will.
- You need networks. Make friends of your colleagues, fellow alumni, and keep up with old friends. Reach out, say hello, reconnect. These are the people who can help you get that next job, but they are also the friendships that enrich our lives. Get connected and stay connected.
- Learn something new. Take a class, join a group, get certified, never, ever stop learning. The world keeps spinning and time keeps marching, and new ways keep being invented. Stay on top of your skills, your industry, and your job, all by learning new things. It makes you a more interesting person, a better job candidate, and a valuable employee. And it keeps you young.
- Diversification keeps you relevant. Just like learning new skills, venturing outside your wheelhouse while you’re learning is also really good for your career. It means that you have skills that are relevant even if your positon goes away. It makes you more valuable than the candidate or employee with only a single skill set. Get comfortable outside your career box, and actively manage your own career.
- It’s the journey. Failing isn’t the end, it’s the trial and error process to get to something new. Just pick yourself up, make a list of what you learned, and have another go. The journey is a million moments…don’t wait to be happy or feel good about just the last one at the end. Because, once you “arrive”, you’ll still be wondering what’s next. Enjoy the journey, make it your own. Meet the challenges knowing there’s always one you’ll fail and there’s always another challenge…so enjoy the ride you’re on, and know that you can always step off and choose another one!