1. Find your passion
Let's be honest, no matter how great your job is, it will never be all fun and games. There are days that are boring or simply a pain in the ass. But looking at the big picture you should be passionate about what you do. For me it's easy to say because I work in fashion so that's not a difficult subject to get excited about, but I'm sure you can find joy in any business and position. Maybe you are helping people, making this world a tiny bit better or life more beautiful.
2. Dream big
Some say you should set realistic goals, I say dream big! You can never reach 100% of what you're dreaming of so set your goal at 150%, this way you can achieve 95% if you're lucky.
3. Rework your CV
If you're still looking for your dream job, you should start by reworking your CV. Probably you wrote and designed it a few years ago so there will be major things to change/add. If you are still listing your career steps and schooling in chronological order, get rid of that. Start with your current position and end with high-school (no primary school and irrelevant side jobs!!). Then write a few bullet points about every job you had, especially big projects you accomplished. I'm also a fan of adding your hobbies because it can be something to connect about with your future boss/HR manager.
4. Believe in yourself
Before others can believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. Don't pretend like you know everything already but be confident about the skills you can contribute. There will be times when you'll feel left alone so that's when you'll need to push yourself. This might sound negative but you are the only person you can fully rely on. Remember that.
Networking is my least favorite part but it is so so important! Stay connected with people you met at your internships, uni or first positions. Right now they might be starting out just like you but who knows where they'll end up. The industry I work in is small so it is inevitable that we'll run into each other again and again. Also stay in touch with your bosses as they might be able to mentor you passing on their experience and contacts. Always try to find likeminded people at relevant events or even online via platforms like LinkedIn.
6. Be a cheerleader
The business world is rough and we know it's all about knowing the right people. Don't only expect others to help you out but be a cheerleader yourself. If you meet someone with a lot of potential, help him where you can to push his career. It will come back to you one day!
7. Be an entrepreneur
Even if you are a small fish in your organization, try to think like it is your own business. Don't close your eyes to mistakes you see even when they're outside your job description. Of course don't undermine your bosses or colleagues but if everyone had that kind of mind set, things would move forward a lot faster.
8. Handle your emotions
When you're doing business you are not with your friends and family and you can't fully be yourself which means that you have to keep your emotions under control. Don't take criticism personally, don't be a whiny little girl or talk too much about how stressed/tired/sad/frustrated you are. Be friendly with your colleagues but don't discuss every detail of your personal life with them. Also be careful about controversial topics like politics or religion.
9. Get rid of perfectionism
Giving 110% everyday will only burn you out and maybe not even get your projects further. With every new task ask yourself: How important is it? You can't make everything perfect therefore prioritize and put your energy towards the really important things. And don't become one of the people who think it's cool to work overtime every night and on the weekend. It's NOT COOL! Take your down times, breaks and vacations in order to refill your batteries and find new inspirations.
10. Fill the blanks
If you're coming straight from university you'll feel like you've studied enough for the next few years and that's okay! Don't stress too much about hard knowledge (believe me, most people are just pretending / working with their experience) but if you're feeling like you are lacking some facts/skills don't be afraid to pick up a book. Also if you've been working in your job for a long time, you should update your knowledge. The business world changes fast these days.
11. Take risks
With a good basis of knowledge you are ready to get yourself out there and take risks. In a meeting, speak up and share unusual ideas, think outside the box and start a controversial discussion. Be prepared that not everyone will like what you have to say, but in the long run people will know that you actively move things forward.
Maybe you're brilliant idea got destroyed or you completely failed one of you're projects. In the business world some things are not easily forgiven, especially when it's about a lot of money, but try to not take it too personally. Remember that everyone makes mistakes every once in a while (including your bosses). The characteristic of a champ is that he gets up every time he falls. So dust yourself off and keep working in the right direction. Let your mistake be a lesson but don't let it paralyze you!
13. Be pleasant
Let me tell you, many decisions in human resources are about how well you get along with somebody. I mean, would you want to go on business trips or work dinners with someone you can't laugh with and don't get along with on a personal level? No! So make sure to be pleasant to be around. Start by asking how everyone's doing, remember birthdays and who's cat is ill.
14. Don't expect others to take care of your career
I'm sorry, working hard and being nice alone won't help you get ahead in your career. There's still another thing you need to do: Tell other people about your career goals. Probably right now you don't have the experience and skills to be senior manager but let your bosses know that that's what you want. And don't say it once but repeatedly! The day will come when there's an open position and they'll remember to give you a chance. I promise!
15. Look up
As soon as you've settled in in your new job, you should look up and see what the next higher position looks like. Try to find out what it takes to do their job and learn these skills. Maybe you'll have to look outside your company to find it - for example take a class or join a volunteer organization.
16. Time to quit
In case you have outgrown your job it might be time to quit. If you have been feeling under-challenged, overlooked and overall unhappy, you should talk to your boss about further steps first, but consequently quit if he or she has nothing to offer for you. Don't hang around too long and let your career stagnate!
photo via Pinterest