Career Management

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration when it comes to our careers.

Well look no further, I have put together a list of my top 20 bitesize nuggets of wisdom, to help you with everything from job search, to office life.

1) First impressions are critical.

People build a perception of you within 30 seconds of meeting you and these often stick, so make sure you get off on the right foot.

2) What you study at University does not have to dictate your career.

Don’t feel like your career path is set in stone. University can provide you with lots of transferrable skills that will benefit you in a number of industries, so do what you enjoy and feel passionate about, not what you feel obliged to.

3) In fact, you don’t necessarily need a degree.

Plenty of professionals go on to have a fulfilling and successful career without going to University. Sometimes natural talent trumps qualifications, so if you hard work alone can get you where you want to be.

4) Success is a marathon not a sprint.

Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Career success is the result of hard work and commitment over time.

5) Do not become defined by your job.

There is more to you than your job title, so don’t let it become your entire identity. It’s ok to have a life outside of work.

6) Likeability is the most valuable trait.

People want to work alongside those who are easy to get along with and give off positive vibes, so be nice.

 7) Always be nice to the receptionist.

On that note, you should always put the effort in to be nice to the receptionist, especially at a job interview. They have more influence than you may think and people talk.

8) A little bit of flattery will get you a long way.

When applying for jobs employers don’t want to hear about just you, but they also want to hear what makes them such a desirable employer, so throwing in a few compliments will never hurt.

9) Body language speaks volumes.

Whether you’re in a job interview, a client meeting or a brainstorming session with some colleagues, the way you hold yourself can tell a lot about what you are thinking and feeling. By sitting up straight and maintaining eye contact you will appear confident and self-assured.

10) The best opportunities aren’t always a step up in your career.

You may find yourself passing over great opportunities for the reason that they aren’t necessarily a progression from your current role. Don’t write these opportunities off, as a change of environment and new experiences could actually benefit your career.

11) Learn how to address stressful situations.

Stress won’t do you any good. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work give yourself a breather or ask for help.

12) Don’t make enemies.

You never know who knows who and you don’t want to get yourself a bad rep. Plus conflict doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment either.

13) Don’t underestimate the value of a ‘To Do’ list.

You might think you’ve made a mental note of everything you need to get done, but the human brain isn’t always all that reliable. Plus there’s something really satisfying about ticking off tasks once they are complete!

14) Social media isn’t just for stalking old school friends.

Social media can actually get you a job. If you want to up your chances of getting headhunted, dedicate time to building a professional online presence. LinkedIn is a great start, however other networks such as Twitter and Facebook can also be effective. They’re also really useful sources to look for current vacancies.

15) Being different is sometimes worth more than being better.

Demonstrating a unique quality that sets you out from the crowd can often get you further than proving that you are technically more qualified, so don’t be afraid to show personality.

16) Don’t be afraid to question authority.

Just because they’re your boss does not mean that you can’t express your thoughts and opinions if you disagree with the way something is being done or what is expected of you. Just make sure you approach it professionally and rationally.

17) Networking doesn’t have to be nerve wracking.

Attending a networking event can be a bit of a nightmare for introverts, but it doesn’t need to be as scary as you might think. Pinpoint the other introverts in the room for a one-on-one conversation that’s less intimidating. Alternatively you could even approach the social butterfly, as they will be happy to introduce you to others, avoiding awkward ice breakers.

18) Choose job satisfaction over money.

We spend a large amount of time at work, so you don’t want to stay in a job that makes you miserable in for the sake of the money. If there’s something you’d rather be doing but it pays a bit less, go for it! In the long run you are more likely to excel in a career you enjoy.

19) Avoid smelly food in the office.

Don’t be that person. Fish…eggs…no.

20) Don’t steal your colleagues mug.

It’ll never end well.

 

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]


About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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