These are the top career lessons you learn late in life. When you’re starting out, the most important things seem to be how many projects you can jump on, how much money you’re making, and how to get that next promotion. But what people don’t often realize until much later, is how many other things are so much more important. Here are five career lessons that will truly help you succeed:
1. Don’t try to be someone else
Ever heard the phrase ‘fake it until you make it?’ While that can definitely apply to faking a little extra confidence when you’re nervous, it should never apply to your personality as a whole. It’s great to have career inspirations or role models, but at some point, you need to figure out who you are and what’s your style is. Being genuine is so much more important, and will get you ahead faster rather than pretending to be someone you’re not. Yep, this is one of those career lessons you learn late in life that sometimes would’ve been better to know sooner!
2. Learn to say ‘no’
Especially when starting out, you’ll likely want to say yes to every project, meeting, or task that’s thrown your way. But once you’ve established yourself, you need to learn to say no. That way, you can focus your energy towards doing an outstanding job on your existing projects, without spreading yourself too thin with a million other small things. You want to do the best possible, but sometimes when you’re stretched too thin you don’t finish tasks to the best of your ability. It will help you to not take on too much, and understand your own time management.
3. Money is not what’s most important
What do you truly enjoy doing? Where do you devote your free time? Working somewhere on something that you love, is worth much more than making the big bucks doing something you hate. Why waste ten hours a day doing something menial, when you could be doing something you love! It really isn’t all about the money, and it won’t bring you happiness. I know it’s hard to fall into a routine of work, and you just continue to move with the motions to pay the bills. But take it from me, don’t waste your time and your energy on something that doesn’t make you happy. Sometimes that means taking risks. Don’t be scared, jump.
4. Own up to your mistakes
We all make mistakes, it’s just a part of life. Instead of covering them up and being ashamed, just say “yes, I made a mistake, and I will learn from it”. Making mistakes can be just as important as succeeding because you LEARN. People appreciate it a lot more when you’re truthful and upfront, it could save a lot of trouble and hassle. You’ll be respected as honest and trustworthy. It’s human – everyone does it, every day.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
The worst people you can surround yourself with are the slackers, complainers, and the people who are only there for a paycheck. Instead, find the people who love what they do, and are excited about going to work! Try to diversify the interests of your circle, with people who work in finance, arts, technical, communications, anything! Just so you have a well-rounded support group of positive people!