“If I had the experience I now have, I would’ve acted differently back then.”
How many times have you thought that? We usually have those regrets when thinking about relationships. However, we can also translate them to professional success. When we are young and inexperienced, we tend to make mistakes we later regret. That’s because we haven’t learned the most valuable lessons.
Shannon McDaniel, a career expert working for Careers Booster, has an important piece of advice to give: “First, learn and gain some experience. Then, you can take important actions. I recently read a book by an author who is a completely anonymous, but was trying to convince everyone he was a PR expert. Why? If he was successful enough, we would recognize his value and he wouldn’t have the need to brag about his exceptional virtues. My only thought was: ‘too soon!’ He wrote the book too soon. He’ll learn the lesson sooner or later: you first get the experience, then you share it.”
What are some lessons we usually learn too late? If we know them, maybe we’ll prevent the regrets we’d have about them later. Here are 7 career pearls of wisdom that usually require more time for processing:
1. You Have No Time to Waste On a Job You Don’t Like
When we’re young and we need a job, we’re willing to take any job. That’s a mistake. We are wasting our time working just for the money and we’re not getting any valuable experience in return. This investment, or lack thereof, results not only with a waste of time, but with a waste of nerves and patience as well.
- Don’t like your job? You thought it would be temporary, but you ended up spending years in the same office? Here’s a drastic solution: quit! There’s no progress without risks.
- If you really have to work just for the money and you’re not ready to quit just yet, then try to learn as much as possible while you’re there. Analyze the industry. Try to make progress within that company. Take part in different projects. Take online courses! Do anything to spend your time in a way that gives something back.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
2. Mind Your Health
This is the hardest lesson to learn. When you’re after great career success, you don’t mind working until you’re completely exhausted. You want more money, more success, more everything. You’re not concerned about your health. It takes a large hit from life for you to start thinking: “I should’ve been more mindful about being healthy.”
- Don’t wait for that moment of realization. Without your health, you can’t reach ultimate success.
- Stay fit. When your body is healthy, your mind is more focused.
- Eat well. Instead of ordering a pizza when working late, make yourself a healthy meal. It doesn’t take a huge investment of money and time to change your eating habits. You’ll get tons of benefits in return.
3. The World is Worth Experiencing
The progress in any profession comes with a lot of work. Life is what happens outside that frame. Your job is an important part of your life, but it’s not your life.
- Never skip the holidays and vacations, no matter how much work you have. If you have so much work that there’s no time for a vacation, then you’re doing something wrong.
- Get more space for yourself and your family. Otherwise, you’ll regret being too committed to a single aspect of life while missing everything else that’s worth living for.
4. Social Networking Matters
You might think that Facebook is wasting your time. It is, if all you’re doing is scrolling down the feed looking for time-wasting updates. If you’re using social networks for making valuable connections and building your online reputation, they are not a waste of time.
- Become an authority! Comment on important updates and share your opinions on crucial events and trends related to your industry.
- Connect with people from your job market. Nurture those connections; they will help you become more successful.
5. Learning Matters
All industries are changing with the speed of light. Technology influences the way we work and it’s constantly making progress. We have to keep learning so we’ll never lag behind. However, our learning potential shouldn’t be limited to mastering new technologies. There’s a whole world of knowledge waiting for us to explore.
- Find the time for an online course. Pick something you’re really interested in. Even better: pick something that’s not related to your profession. That’s how you’ll expand your viewpoints.
6. Blogging Matters, Too
Don’t be one of those people who will grow old with the thought, “I should’ve blogged.” You have tons of stories to share. Speak up! The blog can help you cement your status as an expert in your niche.
- Build a blog with a precise posting schedule. Find out what your target audience wants to know and answer their questions. Help them solve problems. Be useful for the community! That’s how you’ll leave a trace in the online world.
7. You’ll Make More Progress With The Right Team
You can make progress alone. No one can deny that. You can hire people when you need support, but you’re not obligated to keep them in the long-term. If you’re too attached to an employee even though they are not doing the best job, you don’t have to fire them. However, both of these extremes make you weaker than you could really be.
- Teamwork makes you stronger. Always try to make your team better and more effective.
- If there’s a weak link, you either replace it or you do something to make that worker better.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
Why wait to grow old to learn the most valuable career lessons? If you get these things on time, you’ll have nothing to regret when you’re experienced enough to reflect. Stay smart, strong, and persistent! That’s the most important lesson to learn.
Featured photo credit: NIIT via niit.com