It is man’s nature to strive for success, especially in our careers. We all want to scale the ladder of progress in our professional life and wear the crown of success with pride. No one wants to be labeled a failure. Even though our career choices may be extremely important, we don’t want to be stuck in the same spot, doing the same thing and handling the same responsibilities for eons, especially since it tends to get boring and monotonous over time.
We yearn for adventure, a bit of challenges here and there, a fresh start every now and then, and it is this desire that we find the motivation necessary to better ourselves and advance our careers. Let’s face it, we all want to improve and upgrade to the next level in our professional lives, and this driving force to improve is innate, stemming from our nature to desire the best of things.
We want a promotion, a better salary, and respectable titles, and even that office at the corner – you name it, these are some of the things that many career guys wish for. BUT, nothing comes easy.
We may have the dream and ambition to reach the pinnacle of success in our professional lives, but without the required effort, it will remain just that- a dream. So in case you are wondering what it takes to advance your professional life, this article highlights 12 golden habits to help advance your career.
12 Golden Habits to Help Advance Your Career
#1 Have a concrete understanding of one’s career objectives
There is an old adage that says, ‘love your job and you’ll never get to work a day in your life.’ Anyone who indulges passionately in their professional life enjoys spending their time and energy working, thus derive a lot of satisfaction and fun from merely doing their respective jobs.
Those who love their jobs have an in-depth knowledge of their career objectives, because it enables them to understand the unique role that best fits their talents, values, and interests, and this tends to influence a positive attitude that is both conducive and fundamental for success.
A person’s professional objectives are represented to the letter by their job description, which is a formal listing of the responsibilities and duties assigned to a particular job position. It details among other things, specifications of required skills and competencies, the person to whom the job position reports, and even the remunerations.
Therefore, those who know their scope of work and responsibilities have a clear understanding of what it takes to deliver a good job, and this lot is the happiest of all career people. The happiness stems from the fact that they are competent in their job and understand fully their customers and management need, and go out of their way to deliver accordingly and satisfy all the parties involved.
#2 It takes more than competence alone to succeed in your career
How many times have you watched with envy as your colleagues get promoted in your stead, and yet you have been working diligently, meeting all the set targets, and generally being a good employee? Sometimes, working hard doesn’t make you stand out from your colleagues, and your efforts may not be appreciated as much as you would wish.
In the modern business environment, sitting quietly waiting for your efforts to be rewarded does not suffice anymore, and in fact, it is a recipe for being stagnant in your professional journey, considering that the management may not even be aware of your efforts and pass over your chance for a promotion. It is important to acknowledge that, in the modern employment environment, it takes more than just competence to succeed.
Considering the stiff competition for the available opportunities, one must put in an extra effort to ensure that their input is noticed by the appropriate parties. It is advisable to ensure that the management is well aware of your hard work and that your hard work needs to be appreciated. If you seriously want to advance your career and get a promotion, you have to sum up the courage to pressure the management into giving you what you want.
#3 Keep a track record of your achievements
A habit by most successful people is that they always keep a record of their achievements, and use this record to motivate them to achieve even more. Having a track record of your career achievements is important in your professional life because it informs of your potential and what one is capable of doing.
Understanding what one has achieved can help you determine how far you want to take it in the next run. Moreover, you can approach your management with the track record of your productivity and prove to them your competence in handling a particular position, and who knows, it could be a ticket to your next promotion.
#4 Practicing self-discipline
To many, self-discipline is the foundation of success. It is practically impossible to achieve anything- be it a success, objectives or personal goals, without having self-discipline. Self-discipline is one’s ability to regulate and control desires, emotions, and impulses. If one is able to deny himself instant gratification and instead chose a long-term benefit from achieving more important and meaningful ambitions, then one is said to practice self-discipline. Having self-discipline enables one to focus their energies solely on achieving career set goals and be able to persevere until those objectives are accomplished.
#5 Embracing Personal Responsibility
For one to achieve success and make progress to the next level, they have to first embrace responsibility by acknowledging that no one will come in to do their job for them. Being lazy is not a part of successful people. Those who make progress in their professional lives take responsibility in their hands and proceed to handle all their obligations accordingly.
Without being responsible, a person’s obligations are not fulfilled, which often leads to stagnation. One cannot move to the next project without first taking care of the current one, and to make progress, one has to be responsible enough to see to it that all obligations under their role are catered for accordingly.
#6 Setting realistic, but small goals
Setting realistic goals is a key ingredient to a stress-free life, considering that one will be able to achieve the set goals and in a timely manner. A journey begins with one step at a time, and having small goals means that you will be better placed to achieve them rather than setting big goals and struggle to complete them.
Successful people fragment their long-term goals into shorter ones so that they can complete the long-term goals one step at a time by completing those short goals. Additionally, small goals are easy to achieve compared to big goals, and this makes it easy to make progress in all your plans.
#7 Be open-minded and accept criticism positively
It is important to develop critical listening skills. To be able to succeed in any career, it is advisable to be open-minded and one should be ready to be criticized. If you absorb criticism positively, you’ll use it to your advantage such that you’ll be able to separate constructive criticism from mere noise, and use the information to better yourself, hence be able to advance your career to the next level.
#8 Learn from your mistakes
Every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Those who learn from their mistakes are better placed to advancing their careers considering that they understand what they did wrong and avoid repeating the same mistake.
#9 Trust your instincts
It is always advisable to trust one’s instincts. It is always not a good idea to ignore your instincts. Sometimes, changes to one’s plans or goals can occur, and in such instances, one must make the decision to change the set goals or plans.
Failing to do so at the right time can cause problems later on, and therefore, it is always advisable that if your instincts inform that you are doing it wrongly, it is better to trust them and seek better ways of achieving the set plans or goals. Anytime you face challenges in your career, trust your instincts to guide you to overcome those challenges.
#10 Hard work then play
Those who fail to succeed in their careers fail to work hard in the same. There is a saying that goes, “sleep is sweetest when it’s earned.” Basically, you need to work hard in your career goals during the day, so that you can rest peacefully at night knowing that you made tremendous steps towards achieving the set goals during the day. Those who make progress in their professional careers sweat for it and later enjoy the fruits of their labor when they reach the pinnacle of success.
#11 Be careful with whom you choose to associate
The kind of people you associate with can either make or break you. It is recommended that you maintain a high standard for those you associate with. Avoid the lazy and negative minded people. Such kind will only derail you from achieving what you’ve planned out for your career.
Having weak friends will weaken your ambition and morale to succeed. If you mingle with the hardworking type, you’ll end up working hard, if not harder than most of them. To progress in your professional pursuits, it is important that you mingle with like-minded persons.
#12 Be confident in yourself
Successful people are extremely confident in all their endeavors. They have confidence that they will succeed, which motivates them to succeed. Therefore, if you maintain a confident mentality in your career, you are more likely to advance than fail.
Many people have failed to reach the pinnacle of success in their careers because they did not have the above-mentioned attributes. However, if you consider the given points and put them into practice, your career will advance and you’ll be able to reach the top of your career totem pole.
Learn from the greatest people. Strive for success and achieve your goals!