Everyone I meet wants a successful career. They could be searching for a promotion and extra responsibility, trying to join a more prestigious company, or hoping to get a better job title with more money. Whatever the ambition, they are motivated to make their lives better.
Having a goal or dream is often what keeps them going in their professional development, particularly in the earlier years, but if the truth be told, having a successful career is only half of the battle.
As you get older it becomes harder to find the balance between work and home. Family commitments and project deadlines clash, throwing up unexpected conflict and making it difficult to keep both plates spinning at the same speed.
Unfortunately, I can’t prepare you for the curve balls life is going to throw at you, but I can help you to plan for a rewarding career; one that will make you happier in your personal life too:
1. Stay in control
Steve Jobs famously said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life ... Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
No matter what happens in your career, make sure you are the one who is in control of it. This is your journey and it’s as much your choice where you work as it is your employers, so don’t let other people guide you in something that is so important to your personal happiness.
Have a plan. Go into a new role knowing what you can give and what you want to get out of working in that business.
Life’s too short to be stuck in a job that’s going nowhere or you don’t enjoy, so set personal goals alongside your work ones and decide on actionable steps, with timescales, that will help you to understand how you are doing and when it is the right time to consider your position.
2. Find a job you enjoy
The average person in the UK works over 90,000 hours in their lifetime, spread over 47 years. That’s a long time to be unhappy.
If you’ve never taken the time to genuinely understand what you enjoy about work and what you’re passionate about, then do it now.
Think carefully and, when you know, dedicate energy to finding businesses that match your personal beliefs and can give you a sense of purpose.
I know it’s obvious, but not everyone does this and it can very quickly lead to you not only doing what you enjoy but also enjoying how you do it.
3. Don’t fear change
In today’s job market it’s a myth that you’ll leave education, get your first job and climb the career ladder until you retire.
Your road will be long and winding, working in a number of different sectors with different businesses and in a multitude of different jobs; but that’s ok.
Just make sure that, whatever you choose to do, you don’t settle for second best because you’re scared of changing direction.
If you’re too frightened to make a change, just ask yourself these two questions: ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’, and when you work that out, ‘Can you deal with it?’ If the second answer is yes, then give it a try.
Your overall well-being hinges on having a happy working life, so make sure it’s you who’s in control of it. Be bold and have the courage to create your own unique career path.
Becoming a success in any business requires commitment and hard work, so when you find the right job, make sure you focus on making yourself critical to that business’ success.
Try to also find a sustainable and healthy work-life balance, because building a great career and being happy in life is a long-term pursuit.
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