In need of career advice? Read on to see what worked for some people—their answers may just surprise you.
Job Hunting Hacks
1. “When you find a job online that you’re really interested in, applying is the last thing you should do.” – J.Smith
No matter how enticing a job ad may seem, even if it’s an ad for your dream job, don’t send your resume right away. Instead, learn everything there is to know about the job, the company you are applying for and the industry you are trying to get into. Think of job hunting like it’s a war—you wouldn’t go into battle without any armor or weapon, so just take the time to research and study so you will have a good “plan of attack” once you’re called in for an exam or interview. Look for allies who can help you win the war—you may start by seeking out people in your social circle who work for the company you are applying to. If you’re up for it, try to look for mentors who can guide you through the ins and outs of the industry. Once you have gathered enough information that will help you nab that job, that’s the only time when you can apply for the post, with guns blazing and enough ammo to easily annihilate your enemies (not literally, of course!).
2. “Don’t focus on finding a job you love now” – J.Smith
This advice goes out to all fresh graduates who are quite picky about which job to apply for. Since you’re just starting out, you won’t be given the big important tasks just yet. In fact, it may take you a while to get there. As a rookie in the working world, you must first concentrate on trying to learn as much as you can about the industry you’re in. Study what the higher ups are doing and try to emulate them—you’d know from talking to them that they also started from the bottom to get to where they are right now. Yes, you’ll get a lot of grunt work in the beginning and you’ll end up disliking your job many times over but these are the experiences that will count for something in the future. Deal with them for now, work hard and it will all eventually pay off in the end. That’s a promise.
On Career Goals and Planning
3. Try not to have a “master plan”.
Don’t worry if you still haven’t figured what you want in life yet, the most successful people often just stumbled into their careers by accident. Life’s twists and turns mean that sometimes things just won’t work out even if we tried our hardest to make them come true. That doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be aimless, instead focus on the here and now. Work hard and take in every inch of knowledge that your current job gives you. Let it take you to the path you may not even consider taking before and be flexible enough that you’ll be willing to face the surprises that come your way—you’ll soon find the path that’s meant for you.
Moving on Up
4. “Fail often, and fail fast.” – M.Zaslove
Lots of people fear failure. It’s something that even the toughest folks have trouble facing, so people often choose to go on the safe route. The sad thing is that to fear failure is to fear success as well. Safe is good, but you also never get anywhere if you stay with the familiar. Push yourself to try out things that may be hard for you, win or lose you’ll come out of it better than before. Remember: don’t fear failure for it teaches you things, fear mediocrity and stagnancy instead.
5. “In a new job, accept those first few invitations to lunch or happy hour. If you decline them, for whatever reason, they will stop and you may find yourself an inadvertent outsider.” – L.Cooke
Believe it or not, but it takes more than doing your job well to survive in the professional world. You also need to learn how to navigate relationships in the workplace. After all, you’ll be spending 8-10 hours, 5-6 days a week with your colleagues—you need to find a way to make your work days with them cordial and pleasant. So, go ahead, accept those invites for after-work drinks, use it as a chance to get to know your new officemates and you may just end up finding new friends in the process.
6. “The network of people you know who leave your current company are often times more valuable to you than those with your company.” – J.Schek
This is helpful advice for those who are thinking of moving companies or switching careers. Remember to keep in touch with the people who are leaving the company—they may get you to a better career opportunity somewhere else. Hiring managers would often rely on referrals to seek out applicants so it’s best to keep your former colleagues in your network—they’re always a great resource for job opportunities.
7. “It’s Not What You Know—Or Who—It’s Who Knows What You Know.” – N.Denzel
You may be the most talented employee ever but if nobody knows that you are the best at what you do then it’s all just a waste of a great opportunity. Working hard and doing well just isn’t enough anymore—you have to let people know what you are capable of doing—so network and reach out to the right people. Start out small, like never forgetting to label your works with your name. It will help get the word out in your office that you are performing well at your tasks, plus it just makes it easier for your boss to sing your praises come evaluation time! Branch out of the office and go on networking events for the industry you are currently in and finally start a blog or site where you can showcase your work. Basically, take every opportunity to let the world know about your skills and accomplishments. There’s no need to be shy here, be proud of what you are capable doing!
8. “Don’t be too loyal.” – J.Fawkes
Again, this goes back to the advice about never letting complacency take hold of you by keeping you from better opportunities elsewhere. Believe it when we say that change is a good thing. It’s so easy to be comfortable in a job that you’ve been working at for the last five or ten years but time will come where you would’ve exhausted every learning opportunity in that role. Make a commitment to always challenge yourself by keeping yourself on the lookout for job prospects elsewhere. It keeps your skills fresh, broadens your perspective and opens you up to a larger network. Plus, studies have shown that people who switch jobs constantly (every two years) earn more than their counterparts who choose to stay.
9. “You can’t do what you love for work. When you are done working for the day, the time you have left should be spent doing what you love. Your career should be in something you find interesting, something where you are talented. Do I love what I do? Sure, it’s interesting, it keeps me busy. Do I love it more than eating out with my family? Playing basketball with my friends? Playing a good RPG? Heck no. Otherwise when opportunities to do those things came up, I would turn them down and say “nah, I’ve got some lovely work I can do.” – D.Deceuster
Always make time to have a life outside of work, after all you’re supposed to work to live and not live to work. Develop hobbies to keep yourself occupied during downtimes. Travel and celebrate your accomplishments by pampering yourself. Most importantly, cherish the times you spend with your loved ones. Don’t ever let your career get in the way of your relationships with your family and friends. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who will stick by you when all is said and done and no job in the world can ever replace that.
Source: Quote Catalog (image)