15 tips to kickstart your career

“To be prepared is half the victory.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes, novelist

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” ~ Arnold Toynbee, economic historian

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” ~ Friedrich Engels, philosopher

ONE | Attitude! Make yours positive and optimistic.

TWO | Notice what you’re doing when you are in the ‘flow zone.’ That’s when you’re enjoying what you are doing so much, that time flies by. Do more of it.

THREE | Look for opportunities to do something different and gain new experiences. Ask for more responsibility, do some project work, suggest or take forward a new initiative, prepare a draft of something your boss does on a regular basis ahead of time and surprise him/her with it.

FOUR | Set goals, make decisions – then take action (even little steps) to achieve them.

FIVE | Explore something new outside work. Do some personal development, study a new language, a different cuisine or t’ai chi, do some voluntary work. You will gain new skills, meet new people, gain some fresh perspectives.

SIX | Who are your role models? Identify someone doing a job that appeals to you. Someone inspiring, positive, enthusiastic about what they do. Contact them and ask about their career path. People love to be asked!

SEVEN | Momentum v inertia. It might be hard to get going in the first place, but once you start it gets easier.

EIGHT | Ask people you meet about their careers paths. Be really curious about successful people who are different. Ask them how they developed, what they learned, what went wrong along the way. It’s a great way to pick up tips and strategies.

NINE | Find a mentor. Identify some criteria to find the right person. It might be someone you’re drawn to or who is different in some way, someone you admire, someone a few steps ahead of you. Ask around. Once you know who/what you’re looking for, the right person will appear and then just ask.

TEN | Work with a coach or buddy (someone from outside your close circle of friends). They can help you elicit what you want, take action to achieve it and keep you on track.

ELEVEN | Invest in yourself, learn new skills and knowledge by reading blogs, articles and books, doing courses and workshops. There are so many around to choose from and the internet is such a fantastic source of information and inspiration. Sign up for newsletters so that you are getting new inspiration on a regular basis – it might spark a new idea or enthusiasm. Here are some suggestions : The School of Life, The Positivity Blog, The Muse.

TWELVE | Aim for a balanced life. Don’t expect to get everything you’re wanting in your life from your work. Draw a pie chart. What proportion of your time do you spend on each of these: friends, family, significant other, work, personal growth, contribution, hobby, leisure? Where would you like to focus more attention? Take action!

THIRTEEN | If you want to do something different from what you’re doing now, create some space to spend time creating what you want to do. Where will that time come from? That means doing less or stopping something you’re doing now. Even 15 minutes a day builds up to 1.75 hours per week, 4 hours a month, 48 hours over a year.

FOURTEEN | Take some risks. Remember – nothing ventured, nothing gained. Watch the film ‘Man on Wire’ for inspiration.

FIFTEEN | If you’re not working now, there are some great suggestions here.

What are your ideas?

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