We often think of our careers as somehow separate from ourselves. As if we leave our true selves at the door when we walk into work.
But that’s not the way it works. You can’t separate personal development from career development. Becoming a better person helps drive career success. Meanwhile, your professional advancement should come paired with inner growth as well. That’s true work-life balance: the two feeding into each other.
Successful people realize this fact instinctually. They don’t see the work-life relationship like a teeter-totter, constantly swinging in and out of balance. Instead, they see it as an intertwined thing, like a rope, made stronger by the way the two twist together.
So, improving your career involves improving yourself. With that in mind, here are four life lessons successful people have learned to achieve both personal and professional growth.
Every business book advises its readers to concentrate on networking. Getting a job and moving up through the corporate ranks are tasks that rely heavily on personal connections. Ultimately, careers are made by people, not by impressive diplomas or by world-changing ideas.
Early in your career, find mentors who can help you navigate your chosen industry (and maybe show you some life lessons along the way). As your career matures, build relationships with colleagues and bosses. Create a wide peer network that can help you find opportunities and fuel your further development.
Finally, later in your career, give advice freely and help others when you can. Pay forward the help you received when you were starting out.
Don’t Fear Failure
If you try, you’ll eventually fail. Everyone knows that fact on a basic level, but the key lesson comes when you flip the sentiment around: If you don’t fail, you haven’t been trying.
Don’t get daunted by a slow pace of achievement. Reaching your goals might take time, as well as a few wrong turns. Treat failure as an opportunity to learn. Those mistakes and missteps just make success more likely next time.
It’s the old Thomas Edison quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Careers are long and the world keeps changing. Your working life could span four or five decades. In order to advance, you’ll have to continue to develop throughout that time, adapting and updating skills to keep up with changing times and evolving standards.
Think of someone who started their career in the 1970s, and is getting ready for retirement soon. Now, imagine if that person never developed their skills or learned how to operate new technology. Think of them – dressed in a wide-collared, brightly colored suit – clicking away on their electric typewriter and asking you where the telefax machine is.
Don’t become the future version of that corporate dinosaur. Make learning an ongoing priority.
Work Towards a Goal
Driving from New York City to San Francisco is just under 3,000 miles. A long trip. But look at the odometer on your car. How many miles does it have? 100,000? 150,000? And where did you go with those miles? Back and forth to work. To the store.
The point is, you rack up miles whatever you do. Put those miles together, all going in one direction, and you can travel a great distance … go somewhere special. Or you can just drive around the block 6,000 times
Having clear goals helps you put those miles together. You aren’t just going to work and earning a paycheck. You’re building a career.
Your goals may change. In fact, they almost certainly will. But the accomplishments you achieve (even if you later wonder why you bothered to achieve them) will inform future decisions and help open the door to new opportunities.
Ready To Improve?
If you’re ready to start putting those miles together and move your career further down the road, teaming with a strong recruiting partner, like TriStarr, can provide the direction you need. Their expert and friendly staff can steer you to the best opportunities to reach your goals.
Contact TriStarr today to learn more.