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  • Lori A. Jazvac

What career lessons have you learned?

There are some popular sayings that go like this:

“Forget the mistake and remember the lesson.”

The saying attributed to Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni and the Theosophists goes like this: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

The trouble is that many of us keep dwelling on the mistake rather than the lesson and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. It can fuel a vicious cycle until the universe enforces us to redirect our efforts to change.

Truthfully, we often fail to pay attention to the essential value derived from the experience. As a result, we may possibly experience a period of stagnation in our careers –– sometimes lasting for days, weeks, or even years.

When it comes to your career, mastering this wise advice will undoubtedly serve as the pillar of your career success.

  • What career lessons have you learned?

  • Have any changed your perspective about your life’s purpose or your value?

  • Are you ready to accept the lessons learned and apply them moving forward?

Here are 9 helpful career lessons I’ve learned over the past years:

1. Every job is temporary.

You may think that the career you are in now will last for years to come and that you likely won’t have to change jobs or careers anytime soon. But the truth is –– change can happen at any time –– almost unexpectedly erupting like a volcanic explosion that marshals you to reinvent your own brand and carve out a different path.

Plan for the unexpected and navigate your career path accordingly. Rethink your strategy. Embrace the challenges and reap the rewards.

2. Understand your unique value.

Do you know what sets you apart? Maybe you have a talent for building new processes, solving complex problems, or leading a team using a unique strategy to increase revenue. Knowing and understanding your unique value and channelling this into your career is essential for solidifying your career focus.

3. Engage in higher learning.

You may have completed that degree in the late 90s and then decided that was enough. So you delayed your academic development thinking that you will only rekindle extra schooling when it is really necessary. Right? Myth.

The key to career success is continuous lifelong learning. Employers expect and appreciate a commitment to keep learning and growing. High-performance talent who leverage innovative ideas help companies maintain their competitive edge.

Keep up to date on the latest market trends and brush up on new skill sets, including technical skills, by taking courses or webinars, or attending seminars. You can learn a lot from tutorials on social media as well. All learning adds to your repertoire of development –– both informal and formal –– and helps you stay forward-thinking.

4. Celebrate your achievements.

How can you expect to know your value if you fail to keep track of your achievements? Use a journal or log to document your milestones on a weekly basis.

Be proud of your achievements! You’ve worked hard to earn them.

Tracking your accomplishments will help not only with résumé building, but in demonstrating your value to the employer along with tracking your progress and needed improvements.

5. Grow and maintain your networks.

Stay in touch with the people who have helped you along the way. Don’t hesitate to keep them updated on your career developments or progress. Ask for support or constructive feedback. This will help you increase your success.

Focus on relationship building through networking via events, face-to-face, as well as online via social media.

6. Always have a solid résumé portfolio ready to present.

Whether you are applying for a new role or vying for a promotion, your résumé along with other supporting documents will be the brand marketing collateral that will show your value.

Work with a professional or Master Resume Writer to have your résumé package customized so that you are ready to tackle your next career milestone with confidence.

7. Strive to go the extra mile.

Have you been feeling bored lately? Burned out? Unsatisfied with your career?

Take the risk. Embrace change and new challenges! Take control of the situation and translate obstacles into golden opportunities.

Ask yourself what problem do you want to solve? This will help you re-channel your thinking in an empowering direction and establish new goals.

Re-channel your energies with a new project, an innovative idea, or committee leadership role. Going the extra mile will stimulate your creativity and leadership expertise to make a tangible difference while enhancing your marketable skills.

8. Remember that everyone has something valuable to teach you.

There will be definitely times in your career where you will enjoy working with a dynamic team. In fact, you may feel totally in sync with your team members and achieve all your set goals. Then there are other times when clashing with your co-workers is to be expected, which may leave you feeling frustrated and unproductive.

So what do you do?

See the situation from their eyes and respect their opinions. Learn from others. Find some common ground.

Situations can be resolved amicably –– it all depends on your attitude and strategy.

9. Let go of the past, but choose to see it in a whole new light.

Your career will likely be filled with both triumphs and challenges. However, try not to focus on the setbacks, but rather the positives. Remember these tips:

  • Careers are anything but linear these days. You may encounter a few career changes in your lifetime.

  • Success is expected, but not always guaranteed. Redefine your vision.

  • Continuously strive for improvement; refine your goals, strategies, and value.

  • You are not the same person you were one year ago or a few years ago, even a decade ago. Appreciate how far you’ve come. Honour your goals, needs, and wants, as well as your talents!

  • Let go of outdated mindsets and embrace a refreshing perspective.

Whatever lessons you have learned or even mastered this year, be sure to acknowledge them as they will be the foundation for your career growth. Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself, your strengths, and your value. If you are fiercely determined to excel, then keep taking the steps towards achieving your goals. Be patient and reward every small effort.

Interestingly enough, obstacles are not always real, but often imagined. When we keep our eyes focused on the goal, then the obstacles start to diminish. Bold, fearless action and an empowering mindset will drive you forward, while fear will hinder your efforts. Take action!

“Feel the fear and do it anyway!” (Susan Jeffers, Author)

...Creative Horizons Communications is an award-winning Halton-based resume writing and career consulting firm, now celebrating its 5th year, providing strategic solutions to enhance your career success!

To inquire about innovative and holistic career services, contact Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374.

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