If you read as many blogs and articles on career advice as us, you’ve probably read a lot of the same things over and over. Research your potential employer. Prepare anecdotes that show off your skills. Have a trusted friend proofread your resume. Send a thank-you note after an interview.
While these tips are extremely valuable advice, there are also a lot of career tips that can be difficult to hear. And yet, some of the best career knowledge is blunt and unvarnished, usually acquired through mistakes. These hard lessons are rarely mentioned because they don’t make for the most uplifting reading content.
Below is a short list of career tips that most professionals learn after making a major missteps.
Get Comfortable with Failure
From time to time, things aren’t going to go your way, and it can be upsetting, particularly if it leads to criticism or hard consequences. You must be capable of taking on these setbacks, learning what lessons you can and moving on with a more informed outlook. It helps to realize you’re not alone when it comes to professional setbacks, and some of the most valuable lessons can come from failure.
Establish Clear Boundaries Early On
At the outset of any new job or career path, it’s natural to want to make a great first impression by starting your day early, staying late and responding quickly to after-hours emails. The problem with being so eager is it can quickly become the status quo. People will begin to expect this ‘above and beyond’ level of performance and that can quickly lead to burnout.
While you shouldn’t slack off or resist hard work, it’s also important to set personal boundaries and expectations at healthy levels. In addition to not biting off more than you can chew, establish a workout routine or hobby that allows you to destress outside of work.
Don’t Die on Every Hill
Yes, your professional reputation is important, and you need to be a strong advocate for yourself. However, you’ve got to pick your battles. Don’t take offense to every perceived slight or every time an idea of yours doesn’t get traction. If you are relentless in fighting every battle, you run the risk of making enemies and alienating anyone who grows weary of your constant crusades.
You must be flexible and willing to let things go to maintain an equilibrium and successfully navigate workplace politics.
When beginning a new job, people often say they feel like an imposter and everybody is on the verge of discovering they don’t belong there. While you should shake off any crippling insecurity, a little bit of self-doubt can help your career. Everyone could use more training or efficiency, and insecurity is useful if it inspires some career development or new ways of being more productive.
At Focus of Georgia, we’re committed to helping people take the next step on their career paths. If you’re currently looking for career guidance, please contact us today.