Getting comfortable in one position can kill your growth.
January is almost over, you have probably gotten into the swing of things at work. Whether you have a job or not, the next four pieces of career advice will help you this year and beyond:
– Don’t get too comfortable.
What is your ultimate career goal? To own a million-dollar business? To be promoted to CEO? No matter what your goal is, you will have to strive for it. Getting comfortable in one position can kill your growth. In life, time equals experience, and ultimately when you have a lot of experience in something, you tend to get comfortable. Comfort leads to laziness, which leads to poor production, and what’s the point of working if you are not working at your best? Take risks, because when you do, you use your previous experience to advance in unfamiliar territory. In turn, you reach a new level of professional growth. When you broaden your mind through new experiences, it doesn’t go back to what it used to be and a broadened mind will drive you toward new horizons.
– Have a plan.
Whether it is a five-year or ten-year plan, it is good to map out your future. Yes, life happens and this could change the plan, but you should have an idea of where you are going and what you want your future to look like. Set goals that give you vision in the long-term and motivation in the short-term. When you have a plan, your time and your resources are organized so that when different opportunities come up, you can easily decide whether they will take you closer to or farther from your goal.
– Work with people you want to learn from.
Whether these people are your bosses, your colleagues, or your subordinates, there is something you can learn from them. Seek a mentor who works in your organization and has more experience than you. Your mentor can help you improve your networking skills, come up with a career plan, and be productive. You can also find a group of people who share your passion, or have the same drive as you. The people you work with are key to your professional growth and development.
– Don’t leave before you leave.
This phrase came from a TED Talk by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. She used it in terms of having a family (not taking up new projects or turning down promotions in hopes of having a child in the future), but it can be applied generally, too. When you no longer want to work at that organization, you start acting like you don’t care. It starts to show in your work and your boss will notice. Be careful. Take advantage of each day, learn what you can, even if it means learning what to avoid in future roles. Sandberg says, “Stay in. Keep your foot on the [accelerator] until the very day you need to leave…and then make your decisions. Don’t make decisions too far in advance, particularly ones you are not even conscious you’re making.”
What career advice do you have? Let us know in the comments.