When I was much younger, my mother had a recurring advise about life and career. She would say: Emotional Intelligence and good character are far more important than IQ.
It took me a while to understand what she meant by that statement. And even till today, I am still learning to unpack all the wisdom in that phrase.
As a grown woman pursuing a career of my own, I am better able to understand and appreciate the importance of attributes like diligence, resilience and consistency. I see how these attributes will trump intelligence, everytime.
So I am daily applying these soft skills as a way to grow, not just as an individual, but in my career as well.
If like me, you are looking for ways to move ahead in your career, here are a few tips to help you along.
Have A Career Destination In Mind
Where do you see yourself in the next year, or in five or ten years? Are you just working to foot the bills or do you have a clear trajectory of where you want to get to as a professional?
Having a clear career destination helps you set measurable goals. It helps you recognise whether you are moving ahead or not growing. You may or may not immediately achieve every goal, but you’ll be closer to progress than you would have been without an idea of what you desire as a professional.
In the fast paced work environment, performance and the ability to constantly deliver take the front seat. This is why diligence is a necessity as a career person. You have to do the work. You have to put in the effort. Excellence and diligence will stand you out. So to move ahead, make a fresh commitment to deliver consistently and to be known for the hard work you do.
Ultimately, your employers and clients will need to know that they can count on you to deliver and to do so excellently.
Never Stop Learning
Technology keeps evolving at an alarming speed, so also the world’s way of accessing and applying information. If you don’t stay up to date, you will get left behind. So devise a plan to stay updated in the industry. Read and scour the internet for news and information. Take refresher courses. Be willing to go on self sponsored training. Follow industry leaders in your field. Basically, keep learning.
Have A Good Attitude
The work environment is full of different people with different temperaments. There are bound to be areas of friction and stress. Learn how to handle such pressure with grace and patience. At the end of the day, an organisation wants someone who will not only deliver on the job, but will handle people well. This is what leadership is about. So as much as you can, avoid office politics and drama. Treat people fairly. Respond to conflict with patience and maturity. And try not to succumb to the work pressure yourself.
Network Your Way Up!
Relationships are important to career advancement. So ask yourself: who do you need to meet or talk to in order to get to your next level? Which top management staff needs to see your work and vouch for you in board meetings? Who are the people likely to refer you when opportunities come along? Those are the people you should deliberately connect with. This does not mean you should only use people. Simply find value to offer and potential value to receive.
Trust The Process
If you are doing your best at every point, you should be confident about your work and worth. Carry yourself with self respect and dignity. Trust the process.
Sometimes the growth may come sporadically and in piece meal, but remember that a typical career goal should be focused on the long term. So, pay your dues. Do the work. Trust time to bring the rewards.
Also, remember that resilience is key for both your career and your whole life. You will have setbacks as life is not one straight line. It’s important to recognise this important fact, and find the strength to rise again and keep pressing on.
Giving up because of failure or obstacles and setbacks is not an option if you want to excel. Learning how to always bounce back from your challenges will make you stronger and your perseverance will lead you to your goals.
We hope you find these tips useful as you go on your unique career journey. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us.