Learn: When you develop the habits of a continuous learner you stay up to date with newer trends and improve yourself. Learning helps you keep up with change. When you take online courses or attend industry events you become aware of developments in your field. Learning enables you to take charge of your knowledge levels and development and helps you feel confident about your abilities. If you don’t know what to learn, find something relevant to your work that interests you. Even your viewpoint can change when you learn something new, as you understand yourself and others’ reasoning better.
Own your career: Taking charge of your career enables self-reliance, agency, and autonomy. Self-reliant workers are able to reinvent themselves in order to keep pace with change. Employers expect adult-to-adult relationships at work, where the worker adds value and doesn’t passively wait for direction. Taking charge of your development, committing to personal excellence, and thinking like an entrepreneur all enable you to own your career and chart your own path. Being clear about how you add value and what you are being paid for, enables self-reliance and contribution. Looking for new ways to add value increases your career longevity.
Know and develop your strengths: Knowing, understanding, and developing your strengths enhances your strengths and maximizes your impact. You can promote and get others to utilize your strengths if you know what you are good at. There are robust ways to discover your unique strengths, abilities, and ways of thinking by talking with your manager, mentors, team members, or a career coach. Concentrating and developing your strengths brings a sense of fulfillment and confidence.
Vision: When you focus on and visualize the future, you can incorporate your most important priorities and values into an ideal scenario for your future plans. Planning and seeing yourself where you want to be in a few years can also help you identify stepping stones to get there. As we encounter challenges along the way holding onto your vision creates positive tension which helps you move in the direction of your goals.
Purpose: Determining and living purposely gives you a sense of what is most important and meaningful in your life. When you have a longer-term purpose you are able to keep adversity and crisis in perspective and ride the waves that they bring. Your purpose can be your guide, your north star that helps you determine where you want to keep heading. Using your talents for a greater purpose also gives you meaning in life and work.
Network: Cultivating personal and professional relationships will help you stay informed about changes and opportunities in your industry. Having a robust network can even buffer you from adverse career events. Giving first nurtures your existing network and helps you establish new connections over time. Joining groups and attending events as a contributing participant can help extend your circle. Look for ways to support friends, colleagues, and even casual business acquaintances. Your network will then be there to accept, support, and inspire you when you need help. A tip for starting a networking relationship is to find commonalities between you and others. Then you can build on these similarities over time.
Positivity/optimism: Be sensitive to the learning that encountering challenging obstacles can offer, these can reveal a bigger picture that requires resolution through innovative ideas, leading to increased optimism. For example, layoffs can be opportunities for upgrading your skills, getting a better job, or working in a growing industry. When you direct your attention to moving things forward, you enhance your personal resilience. Savoring the good and focusing on what you have done well can also support your mood, even in adverse times. Spending time focusing on what is going right, and what you and others have done well, can quickly benefit you.
Take risks: The envelope that you think defines the limits of your ability is your “edge”. This is often a self-imposed boundary because your capabilities can almost always be stretched. Getting out of your comfort zone enables new energies to come from within you. Going to your edge and challenging yourself can also prevent boredom and staleness in your career. You can learn new behavior and skills when you are at or beyond your edge. For example, asking for feedback can seem risky, but it helps to know what others feel is important. The feedback can help reveal pathways to success that you might not otherwise be aware of.
Handle failure and rejection: People who are able to put themselves out, both succeed and fail more. If you are not afraid to try things and fail at times, you can’t iteratively learn from the experience. Failure happens to everyone, it is what you do after the failed activity that makes a difference. If you look for the silver lining in adverse situations, the opportunities, the learnings, and the lessons will support your momentum and future decisions. Like sales, the job search is ripe with rejection and failure. If you expect some rejection it might not be so hard to experience. Sometimes no matter what you say and do, you can’t control the outcome. You can control your thoughts and where you choose to focus them. J.K Rowling was rejected by 12 major publishers; thank goodness she didn’t let the rejection stop her. A good way to look at this is to prepare for failure to experience success.
Self-care: It is important to keep your balance by doing things to look after yourself. When you take breaks from work you support your fitness, health, and energy levels. Spending time getting in shape physically, emotionally, and spiritually recharges you. Exercising, eating healthy food, staying away from intoxicants, having a good night’s sleep, spending time with supportive others or in nature, and doing leisure activities are a few self-care activities that can bring balance and renewal to your work and life.
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