At critical points in our careers, we all face important questions and decisions:
These can be daunting questions! However, I have always believed the best is yet to come – meaning, whatever we have achieved, there is more to be done, but it’s up to us. We must want to improve, to get better at whatever it is we’re doing, to add value to our employers every day, and to follow a path of continuous learning.
Recently, I was reflecting upon the perspectives I applied to my five different careers and how they resulted in growth, opportunity, and continued advancement. I advise you to adopt these attitudes and see the positive outcomes in your own life.
You can never know too much about your job or position. Learn the critical things you must know to perform your role with excellence. Strive to excel every day. Keep up with advances in your industry. Knowledge around other aspects of your business can provide insight into how to improve and what changes are coming down the road.
Set a goal every day to learn something more and make a difference with someone. Make a meaningful contribution to your company, solve a problem, go the extra mile, and do what it takes to help someone else. All these things will help you grow and advance. And, do it cheerfully. Sooner or later, your contributions will be recognized.
There will always be an obstacle in the way of accomplishment, whether it’s people, events, or industry changes. All of these unanticipated events can block our progress – they are inevitable, but don’t let them discourage you. Keep moving forward no matter what. If your progression is less than you believe it should be, don’t be afraid to discuss it with your superiors. See what the possibilities are for you, but if the opportunities aren’t there, don’t be afraid to look for other or new opportunities.
Making progress and achieving new goals doesn’t happen without a plan. It may be just a “mental” plan, and that’s okay, but we need to have our direction firmly envisioned so we know where we are headed and what we want to achieve. It is often better to write down your goals because it is valuable to look at them often. Just the act of writing them helps strengthen your conviction to attain them, and if a step is missing, it will you help you recognize it. Make sure you identify what you need to do to make a difference and what more you need to learn to excel. It won’t happen if it is not planned, well thought-out, and intentional.
When you have a plan, firmly in your mind or in writing, you are ahead of the game. Be intentional, execute your plan daily, accomplish each goal one step at a time, and success will happen. It will be sooner than later, especially when you commit your plan to paper. Expect good things and they will happen.
Whether they know it or not, people can have a profound impact on you. Look for qualities in people that separates them from others. Find people with habits, skills, temperament, and qualities you would like to emulate. Even those that don’t measure up to what you want to be can make a contribution to your career.
As you adopt these six perspectives, you will naturally become a leader. Your coworkers will increasingly look to you, seeking your guidance and advice. Your superiors will recognize your contributions by increasing your responsibilities. Welcome new challenges, and don’t be afraid of the opportunities ahead.