There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am that I have a job that I absolutely love. I often wonder how many people can actually say they love their job. Maybe forty percent, twenty percent? It cant be that high right? Not only do I love my job but I equally love the amazing team of people I get to work with each day! Again, another thing I wonder about. There cant be many people who can honestly say they love every single one of their work mates. So the odds of having a job you love AND a team of people you love working with, are probably pretty small! Well thats me. Im in that little percentage of people who have both….wow.
In saying that, when I look back over the years there have been many bumps in the road, sessions in HR, new bosses, old bosses, woman drama, insecurities, fears to overcome and being thrown in the deep end, that culminated to pave the path that got me here. Each of these pavers have contributed to my career in their own way and I often look back and think about how my path may have been without them. I didn’t always make the best decisions in my previous jobs, but in this job I really think I have. So here are a few of my learning’s and things to think about.
Get a mentor. One of the most valuable people in the lasts few years of my career has been my mentor. I don’t rely on him quite as much as I did in in my first year, but the advice and tools he gave me I still use everyday. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone to mentor you. In many cases it will actually help build and develop their career just as much as it does yours. Be selective with who you choose. Try not to approach the easiest person or someone you already have a relationship with. Look for someone who can offer a breadth of advice, knowledge and insight into the wider business and someone who is not only well connected within the company, but also the industry. Build respect and a strong relationship with your mentor. Play your cards right and you can eventually piggy back off the respect they have built for themselves.
Don’t be a kiss ass: Yeah yeah …. it could get you somewhere in the short term but not in the long term, and not without the risk of pissing people off along the way. You need a close team of people around you, contributing insight, support and sharing their knowledge so don’t sabotage it. Its not worth risking that foundation to skip a few steps. My motto has always been to put your head down, work hard, and those who you want to notice, will.
I have heard of people applying for other jobs to use as negotiating power. I’m not really a big fan of this and I honestly don’t believe that companies respond to this tactic. It could come across as a threat and no one responds well to a threat! I have been with my company for 3.5 years and have never asked for a promotion or a pay rise, its come unexpectedly and probably when I deserved it. I know every job is different, so this may not apply to everyone, but this is just my story and advice I based off it.
Its ok to challenge…. your peers, management and especially clients. That’s what we are there for right? The best ideas are usually ones that are outside of the box, challenge the norm and are risky. So don’t be afraid to stand up and question, but do it in the right way. Collaborate, and acknowledge the thinking behind what you are challenging so its received in a productive way.
Stick through the hard times. This is something that my mentor always told me. Stick it out and learn from every hurdle or hard time, you will reap the rewards when you need them. It’s a bit like relationships, where every heartbreak makes you stronger, in your career ever hurdle or challenge just adds to your experience, preparing you for the next hurdle which is likely to be harder than the previous one. So stick it out. Don’t think of it as a barrier, think of it as lesson, a test, an experience, that has its own role to play in your career.
Say yes to every opportunity! Industry events, invites out with work colleagues, guest speaking opportunities and or to be part of a committee. I have always been so uncomfortable going to events where I didn’t know anyone, but since I’ve been single I’ve found myself really enjoying it. Every event I’ve attended alone I have walked away with new friends, new industry leads and Instagram accounts to follow.
There have been a few campaigns executed off the back of an idea or lead made during an event. Networking always has been, and always will be, key to a successful career so get amongst it. Who cares if you stand awkwardly at the door alone for the first few minutes, I still do.
What are your tips career tips?