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12 Things You Need To Know To Grow Your Career

I wrote this a year ago and figured I would share it here. One of the things that most of us yearn for is career growth. Here are twelve things you must think about if you want to do different and better as you seek to pursue your career goals. Let me know what you think.

  1. Your first job is an introduction to the corporate world. It does not have to be aligned with what you studied or what you want to do. Take it and use it to learn and discover what you are good at, what interests you and what you can do going forward because where you start is not where you will end up.
  2. Before you accept a new job, do not just look at the job description and pay. Ask yourself how the job will impact your career growth, and physical and mental well-being, what kind of exposure it will give you and what impact it has on your life holistically.
  3. Do not take a job if you are not clear what sacrifices you will have to make to keep it and how it contributes to your overall big picture. You need to own your success and stop expecting the company to give it to you.
  4. You can be great at your job, highly skilled and always delivering on your targets, but if you do not get along with people well, you will get passed by for opportunities and leadership. Certain levels require people skills more than technical skills.

5. If you want to grow your career, find a mentor and a coach to walk with you. You need the eyes and ears of others to mould and shape you.

6. Some assignments may look like a detour, but take them up especially if they present an opportunity to gain experience a new skill or work with a different department/team/stakeholder.

7. Some jobs will give you the money, some will give you experience, some will give you exposure and others will buy and grow you. Do not expect to get all these things from one job, but if you do, leap in joy!

8. Know when you have outgrown your job/role and what is required of you for the next phase; then find it.

9. Specialization leads to mastery which builds competency and credibility. Pursue it in our career. However, remember to also build complementary skills as these will give you an edge over others and open more opportunities. E.g., if you are in Customer experience, complementary skill sets could be AI, Employee experience, Communication for effective customer messaging, and Data analysis.

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” – Chris Grosser

10. The world is rapidly changing and depending on yesterday’s success will not always cut it. Every day, you must show up, do it again, learn and unlearn if you want to stay at the top.

11. Building and having a distinguished career should not be at the expense of living a full balanced life. Yes, there will be long days and nights, and sacrifices but you must find balance. Find other things to fill your life, invest in your family and friends, be available for fun and rest and be someone else beyond your career.

12. Stop feeling inadequate because you are pursuing a career and not entrepreneurship. None is better than the other. You can make money out of your career, you can make a life of legacy out of your career, and you can find happiness and fulfilment in your career; it all depends on how you view your career and what you invest in it.

And here is a bonus point for you. Your career is not a title, and it should never define you. A career is simply a channel or avenue for you to serve others and make a positive difference in the world; whilst finding fulfilment.