It seems to come out of nowhere. Boom. Blindsided. That’s complacency. It’s career suicide. Sounds harsh, I know, but the job market is highly competitive and companies are under pressure to grow in a time of uncertainty. They are looking for employees to add value each and every day. In a perfect world, leaders would be phenomenal mentors guiding your career development. We don’t live in a perfect world. Although there are some truly outstanding bosses out there, that doesn’t always equal a great career mentor.
The reality is you own your career. You know yourself better than anyone else so why leave something so important in the hands of others?
Being complacent can derail your career rather quickly. You have enough to worry in life so don’t use complacency as a means to self-sabotage.
Here’s 8 quick tips to keep you on track:
1. Be the problem solver
Revolutionary ideas are seldom born from the status quo. Problem solving is the essence of a visionary employee. Bosses love problem solvers. It makes their life easier. And, being viewed as a problem solver can accelerate your career; they are in high demand.
2. Don’t be satisfied
Having healthy discontent is good. Being comfortable is being stagnant and being stagnant doesn’t add daily value. Accomplishments and success are driven by discontent. Use the power of dissatisfaction wisely.
3. Build your network
Build your network now. Build it before you need to use it. You will use your network for mentors, for expertise you are lacking, and if you ever need to find a job. Building a strategic network takes time so it’s best to devote proper time to do this.
4. Be engaged
Your best work will be performed when you are engaged. Highly engaged employees have focus, energy, and are driven for results. You’ll also experience a deeper connection to the company and to your co-workers when you have a sense of engagement. Engagement and innovation create high-performance results.
5. Keep exploring your passion
A passion felt at age 22 may not be the passion felt at age 32. Life changes and life transforms. It is important to conduct regular reevaluations of your goals and visions. Once you have your goals clarified, ask yourself how passionate you are about your goals. If you are going to be successful in meeting your goals, you will not be able to do it without passion.
6. Know your personal brand and personal identity
Jobs come and go but you need to live with yourself 24 hours a day. Be sure you like the person you have become or you won’t be very happy with the results.
7. Professional development
Don’t be left behind. It is crucial to keep up with industry knowledge and technology trends. Become the subject matter expert in your field. This means people will need you instead of you needing them. That’s the best way to own your career.
8. Take your vacation
Sounds like a no-brainer but it’s not. You will never be at your best if you are tired, run down, or just mentally drained. You will always be dragging your butt instead of leading the way.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson