We are back for Part II of ‘How To Accelerate Your Career In 2018’. If you missed last week’s post, check it out here. Now, on to the second half of the list.
We are constantly communicating with each other—whether directly at work, over social media, or at events. There is not enough of an emphasis on improving communication. Start with the basics—make your emails more professional, revamp your resume, and clean up your social media messaging. Then, go deeper—practice articulating your story, or ‘why you do what you do.’ Create a list of FAQ’s that you receive at work and videotape your responses. While it is uncomfortable and awkward to practice and re-watch our conversations at work, communication is one of the most important factors in career success, so practice is crucial.
Learn To Say No
While some professionals are in positions where they have little autonomy, most have more than they think they do. Saying no to a project does not mean looking at your manager and saying no. Instead, it means carefully thinking about your workload and priorities, and asking questions to understand what is most important. Instead of constantly saying yes if you know something cannot get done, open an honest line of communication—you and your manager will be better for it, and they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
We are constantly connected, through social media, smartphones, and the perception of needing to be available 24/7. Taking time to unplug is not only necessary, it can make the difference between burnout and success. Whether you take two weeks and go on a bucket-list adventure, or turn off your phone for an entire weekend, make sure to prioritize time off.
Reflect And Plan
Taking time to reflect on previous successes and challenges can provide incredible insight to how we work best, and what we most want in our careers. Take time each week to reflect on the previous week, and write down what stood out the most. You will begin to realize that the minor daily stressors are not that important, so your energy should be focused on what truly matters. Then, take time to plan ahead. It is great to plan out as far in advance as possible, but at minimum, each afternoon take 5 minutes to plan for the next day.
Be True To Yourself
Most importantly, as you think about accelerating your career and personal growth, be true to yourself. While reading the secrets of success from movers and shakers is important, know that you are you, and have your own unique needs, leadership style, and way of working. Consider and try out new methods, but at the end of the day, figure out what works best for you, and do more of that. Further, remember that what worked for you the first two years out of college, might not work for you now—so constantly question yourself and what you do, and you will undoubtedly accelerate your career and find your own success.