Our most challenging opponent in life is often simply ourselves. There are likely insidious attitudes holding you back in your career and preventing you from reaching your full potential.
Of course, this isn’t to discredit the reality that not all people are born equal in status, wealth, or talent. Some are indeed genuinely just born into the world with more resources at their disposal, and some, unfortunately, aren’t.
But ultimately, the challenge stays the same for everyone—overcoming our flaws and making the most of our unique situations.
We list down some career advice we wish we had heard when we were younger and moving through our own career paths.
Let Go of Outdated Beliefs
Many firmly held career advice from a generation ago are now obsolete or downright damaging to your career today. Views such as career shifting being irrevocably crippling for your resume or that you need a specific degree to land a particular job are no longer valid.
With the ubiquity of globally connecting technologies and novel ways of approaching work, productivity, and learning, beliefs that may have positively served older generations should now be shelved.
Before, putting in longer hours at work may have meant you were a dedicated and committed worker. But to most people today, consistently doing overtime means you’re not getting the job done efficiently on your schedule. Or workload is not being distributed appropriately. In either case, staying longer at work doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive or loyal.
Take some time to reflect on what beliefs you might still be holding on to that aren’t serving you anymore.
Don’t Stay Too Long in Your Comfort Zone
It’s a human desire to take the path of least resistance. We get it. Staying inside your comfort zone means you can draw on experience, it takes less energy, and there’s less risk involved. But it is certainly an attitude that’s holding you back in your career.
Staying in your comfort zone also means no changes, including positive ones. You don’t learn new skills or gain new experiences if you don’t put yourself out there. Consequently, you also postpone reaching your goals.
The more novel approach to overcoming this issue is not necessarily to leave your comfort zone. But instead to expand it.
The best career advice for this aspect is to find a balance between the uncertainty and thrill of exploring stuff you don’t know how to do and the stable comfort of practicing skills you already know. Finding this equilibrium will help you become the best version of yourself in and out of your career.
Spend some time outside of your comfort zone and then return as needed.
Be More Confident in Yourself
We’re probably all familiar with the near-supernatural effects that confidence bordering on arrogance can have on one’s life and others. We see it in leaders whose charisma could get people to move mountains for them. We see it in our colleagues who seem to know the answer to whatever problem they face in their careers.
Building confidence isn’t going to happen overnight. But there are ways to cultivate it in yourself.
The one thing genuinely confident people share is a purpose. Faking it till you make it will work for some time, but without a vision or goal to orient your actions and thoughts, it will eventually wear out—and people will see through it. A purpose will push you to weather any storm and overcome any obstacle life throws to shake your resolve.
It’s a good idea to remember that the confident people you see are still humans with flaws and problems. The only difference between them and you is how they focus and build on their strengths instead.
Believing you can be better is the first natural step to becoming better. Creating a headspace that recognizes your mistakes and failures as learning opportunities is crucial in helping you stay on the path to becoming genuinely confident in yourself.
Be a Team Player
It’s tempting to believe that we can accomplish many incredible feats ourselves. However, that is simply hubris. From the day we are born, through our family, friends, school, and many other areas of our life, we are reminded of the value of cooperation and collaboration with other people.
Think back on those school projects and presentations or perhaps when you’ve had to organize a birthday party for a friend. You had other people around you contribute to the fulfillment of that goal. You can even look at our history books. The critical change in how society approached work that eventually led to the industrial revolution was the division of labor—a fancy way of saying teamwork.
In business, teamwork is an essential factor to success. Even the most skilled and talented individuals will fail and falter without a group of people supporting and sharing their expertise with them. Steve Jobs couldn’t have propelled Apple to where it is today without a dedicated group of people surrounding him.
The better you can work with others, the more you can maximize your strength and capabilities.
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At iSupport Worldwide, we believe in investing in our employees and making them excellent contributors to whatever project and company they’re assigned. We have a robust training program that covers technical specializations, soft skill development, and career advice for the people in our care.
If you’re looking for a company that supports client and employee growth, you’ll find a good place in our teams.