Every working professional starts his/her career with a few goals, objectives, and dreams of achieving greatness. Some choose careers to earn for their lifetime of happiness and some aspire to be the greatest in their domain of interest. Just like the saying goes, “There are no free lunches”, you can believe it when someone says there is no easy way to make money (at least not that I know of in legal terms!). To earn enough for you to achieve your dream and goals in life, you need to be not just good at your “job”, but be ready to compete for your keeps.
So now, we need to know how to remain on top of our game! Here are 5 things that I have compiled from conversations with my seniors, managers, and more importantly, my mentors in my short career span. And obviously, I did my research before writing this piece.
Choose a career that interests you
Most people get into the rat race of finding “a job” and not “the job”. “A job” will surely help you pay for food, shelter, and necessities for your family. “The job” which you want to pursue will always give you the job satisfaction you seek. If you are interested in accounting work, find a role that would excite you and encourages you to learn more. If you are interested in the analytics domain, find a career path where you can learn and earn at the same time. Analytics doesn’t limit to a few reports and dashboards, there is always something new to learn.
Learn and be updated with the latest
You are only as good as the latest knowledge in your domain. Every company has its own way of doing things. If company A creates its reports and dashboards on MS Excel, company B might not be doing the same. They might employ a tool that is latest in the market and is used to provide insights to their audience comprising of investors, stakeholders, consumers, etc. Always be updated about the tools and technology which are industry standards. If you can find time to pursue a course related to your domain, go ahead with it. Chuck excuses of money, financial commitments, etc. they will always be there. Give yourself a push and it will work wonders!
Stay focused on the domain that you have chosen
If you know the career you want and if you are already are in a role, which is your domain interest, don’t deviate from the path. Stay focused on the path. If you come across obstacles, stay calm and try to resolve them instead of panicking. Obstacles could involve, company-wide changes, hierarchical changes, project/process changes, etc. If you can’t resolve them and unfortunately or fortunately you have to move out of the project or the company, evaluate your skills before you evaluate your options. Here is where your domain expertise and latest tech learning will come into play.
Considering advice or feedback received from colleagues, friends, mentors, or managers
Opinions are like wristwatches. Everyone’s watch shows a different time from others, but everyone believes that their time is correct. When you really need career-related advice make sure to approach a person who knows what you are talking about and does not see you like an alien. To put it in simple words, seek advice from domain experts. (Remember, knowing a tomato is a fruit is knowledge, not putting it in a fruit salad is wisdom). Evaluate the advice you receive and take the necessary steps to mitigate risks in your career.
Stay focused, stay optimistic
As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in one day”, all your hard work won’t bear fruits overnight, to say the least. You may fail a few times before you succeed, in this failure, you will learn strengths and weaknesses. This state of self-awareness will help you more than you know. Every time you fail, make sure you learn from it by assessing what you did wrong and what you could have done better to achieve success. Be an optimist, stay positive about reaching your goals.
Let me know your thoughts on the above if there was something else that helped you and which might help someone reading this piece.