Do you ever wonder about the things you could be doing that are sabotaging your career? We compiled a list of 5 things we have seen drag people behind in realizing their full potential. If any of these represent you, get out of your own way, now! Or at least, try to.
1. Procrastination – We’ve all been guilty about procrastinating on different things pertaining to our lives. However, when you’re constantly procrastinating on matters to do with your career, you may be digging yourself into a hole, given how it influences a big chunk of our lives. If you’re finding yourself; postponing updating your CV, updating your LinkedIn, reaching out to person A that might connect you to person B or not going to X networking events like you wrote down in your career resolutions, you need to re-evaluate why this is the case and make necessary changes. This article offers insight on why we procrastinate and how we can stop
2. Not investing in your personal growth – The world is constantly changing; technology is evolving every day, organization needs are changing, and adaptability remains a KEY prerequisite in thriving in today’s workplace. Further, investing in personal growth increases your self-awareness and advances your ability to know what you need at different stages in your career. Investment is not always synonymous with money, it could mean investing your time to take up a free online course, listening to a podcast, reading an article, and so forth. With the speed at which we’re now able to consume content, make sure you’re also setting aside time to consume content that will further your career development.
3. Refusing to get out of your comfort zone – Resisting change, because you’re comfortable with what feels familiar to you can greatly stagnate your skills and knowledge. Meaningful career development calls for uncomfortability; getting that promotion requires you to put fear aside and talk to your boss, changing jobs requires you to approach strangers on LinkedIn and ask for help, feeling stuck may require you to work with a Career Coach and so forth. Often times, our career development is hinged on us taking the first step.
4. You’re always blaming external factors – Do you find yourself often pointing fingers at others or external factors when things are not going great in your career? Have you received a couple of warning letters and still feel like it was unfair? Do ALL your job applications get rejected at a certain stage and you blame XYZ? Sometimes, it’s critical to look at ourselves inwardly and ask how we are failing ourselves from succeeding. Maybe you’re not very good at receiving feedback and acting on it to self improve, or maybe your interview skills are not great and you don’t answer interviewers questions adequately thus the consistent rejections at that stage. Read our article on how 5 ways you can become accountable at work. Hopefully, you gain some insights that apply generally as well.
5. You’re afraid to ask for help – If we’re being completely honest, pride is up there as a reason as to why people don’t ask for help when it comes to their careers, and other things. That, in addition to comparing ourselves to the achievements of our peers, thus being afraid to seem weak in front of them. Career progression is full of complexities, and often at times, we can’t do it alone. We need a support system, an accountability partner, and networks that can connect us with other networks that can help us push our dreams a step closer. If you’re job hunting and are afraid to ask for help, here is an article we wrote about how to ask for help when job hunting and what not to do.
If you saw yourself in any of the above points, or all of them, know that it’s never too late, and you can still take charge of your career. If you’re confused and don’t know what to do first, reach out to us today!
Sign up to our Career Coaching Program http://bit.ly/careertransformation_signup and transform your career, with the right tools and support.
First and foremost, Happy New Year! 2020 has been dubbed as 20plenty, and we don’t know about you, but here at edge, this is the year we’re manifesting our visions, so please, get on board!
Now, we all know that a new year is seen as an opportunity to start on a clean slate and making new year resolutions is a part of that. Some people prefer to make goals, instead of resolutions. Whatever term you decide on, having career resolutions or goals should be included in your list.
If you haven’t already, please read our article containing 8 questions you need to ask yourself before the year ends as you do last year’s career reflections before proceeding to read the rest of the article.
To guide you, we will outline below 5 introspective questions you should ask yourself when making these goals/resolutions:
1. What distractions hindered me from achieving my career goals last year, and how can I change that this year? Think about what you wanted to achieve in your career last year. What are the small, and even big things that prevented you from taking the required action to get there? Was it spending too much time on your phone? Going out too much, thus not finding time to update your resume? Were you clouded with self-doubt? Whatever the reason may be, note them all down and think about how you’ll get rid of some of these distractions that are not serving you.
2. What new skills and knowledge do I want to acquire this year? If you’ve been employed for a while, think about the next level you want to achieve in your job, or career. Even if you’re thinking of switching careers; what are the required skills and knowledge that will propel you to get there? Research online and by asking industry experts what you need to do. There are plenty of virtual courses online that you can utilize as a start, volunteering on weekends and so much more. If you just entered the job market or are job hunting, now is a good time to identify your strengths and figure out what contribution you want to add to an organization, or even start your own venture. Tools such as the 16 personalities test or the Sparketype to help you develop self-awareness that is useful in identifying what areas you’re good at.
3. What changes do I need to implement to improve my current situation? Admittedly, this could cover a wide range of things. Are you employed but looking for a new job? Are you in a hostile work environment and want out? Looking to transition into a different career? Wanting to get promoted this year? Whatever the case, none of these things can happen if you don’t intentionally put in the work to make these changes happen. Don’t just sit around and hope that something “comes up”. Hope is not a strategy. Solutions may range from; customizing your CV to fit different jobs you apply for, working with a career coach to help you identify what career path you want, reading up on what makes a good job application, updating your LinkedIn profile, and reaching out to recruiters for help; read our article on the right way to ask for help when job hunting and what not to do as a guide. As always, Google is your friend, you may be one search away from transforming your life!
4. What am I most afraid of? Aaah, fear; the biggest enemy of progress. In 2020, we’d like to call upon you to befriend your fear. Have you been in a comfort zone for far too long? Do you feel like you’re in survival mode? I think we can all agree that that is not an ideal way to live. Are you afraid of asking for a promotion? Leaving a job that you don’t like because it feels familiar and change is daunting? There’s a saying that goes; “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone”. If you’re not sure what it is that you’re afraid of, please consider working with a career coach who will help you articulate your fears and help you make the right steps to transform your career.
5. When I look back at 2020 in January of 2021, what are the things I should be proud of? If you’ve been able to address the above questions, it should be easier to come up with milestones you want to achieve in 2020. List them all down, and come up with a way you want to track your progress. And if you hit a milestone, reward yourself.
We hope you found the above questions useful. We have plenty of resources on our Career Happiness Center that you can refer to when making your 2020career goals and resolutions. Please dive in. If you need additional assistance to get you out of a career rut, reach out to us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture this; John works in the Marketing department of a medium-sized Tech company. He is constantly behind on deadlines, is always making excuses as a result and incessantly points out that his supervisor is unfair to him, because of the several performance improvement plans (PIPs) he has had to undertake in the past few months.
Does this sound like a familiar case that you have encountered in your organization, as a peer or manager? Or even more self-introspectively; have you been this person anywhere you have worked? If you answered yes to this question, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s unpack this, shall we?
When in a situation where it feels like you’re being attacked, our natural instinct is to become defensive. Which is why, when your supervisor asks about a deadline you missed, you are inclined to look for an excuse instead of taking accountability and renegotiating a new deadline, or just being truthful about why the deadline was not met. It’s difficult to point a finger at yourself instead of always shifting blame to an external factor. However, in order for you to advance; in your career, personal life and relationships, you need to learn to point the finger to yourself more often.
Personal accountability is a key driver for increasing individual and organization success. It is the choices or resolves to act diligently on all your roles and to accept the responsibility for the outcomes of your actions. How can you practice personal accountability at work, you ask?
- Setting SMART goals – Once you have a clear understanding of the expectations the organization has for you, ensure you set micro-goals for yourself, that you can use to work towards achieving your targets, or expected outcomes. Doing this ensures you don’t let things fall the crack, therefore not putting yourself in a precarious position of having to explain to your supervisor why certain things were not accomplished.
- Taking ownership of your work – This is strongly tied to taking initiative. Essentially, taking ownership is telling your teammates, and supervisors that they can trust you to do the right thing; to deliver on time, to be reliable and to keep your word. Ultimately, this creates a strong sense of trust in the team. Make sure you communicate your needs and ask for support as early as possible, to avoid a project from delaying, or from causing conflict as a result of your peers, or supervisor being affected. Also, ownership negates micromanagement, which we all know nobody likes.
- Asking for feedback – One of the most effective ways to self-improve and become better at your work is through receiving feedback. This should not only be exclusive to your supervisor, but also to your peers. Don’t always wait for the bi-annual performance review. Take the initiative to non-formally ask for feedback, on a periodic basis; based on the personal career or learning goals you have for yourself. Here is an article to guide you on how you can ask for feedback that will help you
- Learning from mistakes – Instead of obsessing over a mistake you made and seeing it as just that; use the opportunity to be a teachable moment. Most of the people you look up to, that are now experts in their field, got there by making mistakes and learning from them. In addition, use these opportunities to acknowledge any areas of improvement you need to work on; this may be in the form of on the job training or taking up an online course. Check out our post on 5 tips to accelerate your learning with online courses
- Self-introspection – This is where self-awareness comes into play. The more present you are, and the more you hold a mirror to yourself; about your work, ability to be reliable, how you relate to others, communicate your needs, and/or frustrations and so forth, the more likely you are to hold yourself accountable for your actions and foster a sense of trust with your peers, and managers.
In conclusion; form a habit of self-evaluation at work, where you refrain from unjustifiably blaming external factors for things you are able to change yourself. Ultimately, these habits are also able to inform you of what next steps you should take in your career, and may just reveal that you need to shift in a different direction!
We leave you with this quote, for emphasis purposes;
“Take accountability… Blame is the water in which many dreams and relationships drown.” -Steve Maraboli
Are you worried about paying hefty fees to increase your skills and knowledge in an area that will improve your abilities at work? Worry no more.
We are now entering the predicted most phenomenal era in workplaces. Predicted almost 20 years ago, the Future of Work is quickly revolutionizing everything we knew about the type of skills we need to thrive at work AND HOW to acquire them. Check out this list of skills you will need to stay relevant and adaptable in your profession.
As the year comes to an end, it’s always a good moment, to take a step back, evaluate the progress you have made in the year, and how you will continue learning and growing personally and professionally in the coming year.
One of the rapidly growing spaces in self-learning driven by technology, busy schedules and the need to learn more things faster, is online courses; which is slowly taking over universities, and with plenty of them being free, learning has become even more accessible.
Often, some of our career coachees have shared that they struggle to make effective use of these online courses. And today, we are happy to share with you a few tips to help you hack these new virtual universities.
The first step is to identify a gap you have; at work, in your personal life or even any interest, you have that you want to get good at, research what online courses you need to take, and then – intentionally set aside time to take up these courses.
Some of the sites we recommend and have tried are EDX, Udemy, Coursera, and Alison. Not all courses are free, but the cost is still cheaper in comparison to paying for a fully-fledged degree, or diploma.
Below are a few tips about how to succeed in taking online courses;
1. Set goals of what you want to learn– Write them down and adhere to them. Think about the value you want to gain after acquiring this new skill set or knowledge and how your work or life will turn around as a result. Visualizing what success will look like, keeps you on the disciplined track!
2. Allocate time for your online studying and STICK to it – By intentionally creating a time slot for taking your course(s), you’re able to plan your work and other commitments around it. Resolving to commit to your own goals is one of the hardest yet most powerful mind-sets you can develop. In addition, allocate time when your brain is most active and fresh, this ensures you are assimilating as much information as possible within short timeframes.
3. Create a space that will boost your concentration levels – Be it at the comfort of your living room, a café, at the park and so on. A learning space should be one that makes you focused, at ease and not fidgety and full of distractions.
4. Take note of what you’re learning – Have a notebook, or take notes on your laptop. This increases your retention levels and tracks the progress of what you’re learning.
5. Hold yourself accountable – Lastly, but not least; take charge of your own learning. Do periodic check-ins, get rid of ALL distractions, and look for an accountability partner who will hold you responsible. Do whatever it takes to take yourself forward!
Here is a list of more online course platforms that have been ranked the best on the World Wide Web. We hope you found these tips useful.
Let us know some of the other sites you have found useful and how you’ve organized yourself to succeed!
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