Have you ever wondered about the difference between a job and a career? The word career implies an upward journey over time, between jobs and positions.
Oftentimes it’s a journey into ourselves—the more we bring ourselves to bear, the more we learn to grow, serve and progress in our lives. Your career should reflect your purpose. When considering career advice, tread lightly. There are lots of opinions out there but the most useful tips involve understanding yourself first and lots of hard work.
Getting a job is one of the most difficult jobs out there. Although searching online for positions or enlisting an agency can be helpful, your most valuable asset to your career is your network. So tap it. Every day, if possible. Opportunities come from all over and can pop up at any time, so your best bet is to stay connected.
Pick up your phone or send an email and get together with people you know. You don’t have to say right away that you’re looking for work. Instead, listen to your companion and learn all about where they are in their life and career. Assess your skills. Think about how you can add value in their life or at their company, or perhaps even for someone else they may know.
As the conversation progresses, let them know you’re looking and exactly how you can help. Aim to call at least five friends or colleagues every day and set up at least one meeting each week to best network among the people you already know.
Too many entrepreneurs seem to think they haven’t maintained a “career” if they haven’t achieved their version of success within a certain amount of time. This often causes people to step back into themselves, becoming lost amidst their own insecurities.
If you’re feeling “stuck” as an entrepreneur, it’s vital to look within yourself to see what you can do to improve your business and return to your career of running it. If you don’t maintain discipline, it’s too easy to fall back into old habits. Reactivate your inspiration and your purpose to say yes to life again…and to your career.
This is one of the oldest tips in the book. You may have heard “fake it ‘til you make it.” A better version of that would be to actually focus and be the person you want to be. Don’t worry about what you do for a job now; instead focus on doing whatever you’re doing as fully as you can do it.
Learn, grow, follow your yearning, eat up the job and let your boss know when you want more. Be more confident at work and align with the company’s mission and goals. Offer up feedback or comments you have regarding the company directly to management. They’ll certainly consider your ideas and either implement your plans or “free” you for a new opportunity.
We say it all the time: if you want to change your career, change yourself first.
In the working world, there will always be wins and losses. Minimize downs and maximize ups. It may be easy to plateau and wait around for something to kick-start your journey—but you can’t wait forever. While it’s all right to rest once in a while, you have to reengage. A person who follows their stars, engages, and applies him or herself fully and presently in all things will be most likely to achieve true career satisfaction.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.