When talking about our careers, the first thing we hear is that there is no such thing as a recipe for success. You either know what you’re doing and you do it, or just stay put. I don’t want to sound like Yoda giving advice to a corporate version of Luke Skywalker, but there are a couple of things you can try in order to reach your intended destination.
Every day, various people ask me the same question: “How did you do it?”. It’s very simple actually, and I’m going to show you a couple of things that were instrumental in helping me advance professionally.
3 Things I Do Every Day to Guarantee My Professional Success
Offering to Help Others
Let’s get one thing straight: we are not robots, and we’re definitely not the bearers of truth. This means that sooner or later, everybody needs a helping hand, but some are willing to ask for it, while others adore to suffer in silence.
When I first arrived at the office, everything looked so neat, and every operation went so smoothly. Nobody complained and it seemed that everyone was self-sufficient enough in order to consider that only weak people needed help.
Needless to say that I felt a little uncomfortable about the fact that I was the only person around who needed constant supervision and a helping hand all the time. So, this state of affairs went on for some time, until someone came to the desk I was working and actually asked me to help him in a delicate matter.
Pretty soon, I started asking people around if they need any help with anything. It mattered not that the problem was mundane like photocopying some documents, because I was always eager to help my colleagues.
Soon I realized that all my efforts accrued to something good: my employer called me into his office and offered me a promotion. Of course, I was more than amazed to hear such good news, although the reason why I got the promotion eluded me in that moment.
My employer said that one of the many reasons I got that promotion is because my colleagues really appreciated what I’ve done for them since I got the job.
Since that moment, I’ve turned this into a habit and no matter how busy I am, I always find the time to lend a helping hand to someone who really needs it.
Some would say that this willingness to help others might be construed as a weakness, a vulnerable spot that others could use in order to exploit you. I, on the other hand, think that this innate attitude to helping others is the very foundation of interpersonal communication.
You’ll have a chance to learn more about your colleagues this way, than eavesdropping on them during lunch hours.
One other thing I’ve learned during my career is that asking questions is never a bad thing. Perhaps some would say that asking too many questions can make you annoying and obnoxious, but, in my experience, I’ve learned that being inquisitive about your position or about the company’s policies is more constructive than keeping your mouth shut and working.
Of course, in my first month, I kept my questions to a minimum, because I didn’t want to bother my busy colleagues with tons of stupid questions. But, as it happens, I’ve managed to reach a standstill: there were too many questions inside my head and little answers.
To get out of this awkward situation, I chose to keep all the superstitions to myself and to ask around. Not only did my job get easier, but I soon discovered other opportunities for self-improvement.
There’s something to learn from this experience: never be afraid to ask questions, especially if you encounter something new. Naturally, most of my colleagues were only too eager to answer my questions and they even said that one day, an attitude such as this one might bring me a promotion.
From that very moment, up till know, I’ve kept an open mind and asked a lot of questions. This is one of the things that really helped me in my career.
Remember that meme on 9Gag with the stickman with a serious grin on his face, crossing his arms and saying: “Challenge Accepted!”? At length, I thought that this is it. I’ve got the job, I’ve impressed the big brass, all I have to do now is keep my head down, work and pray that someone doesn’t give me a harder task.
But, guess what? Things began to get boring really fast. Imagine doing the exact thing every day for the rest of your life, without any variation. Sounds like a doomsday scenario, doesn’t it? Well, to make a long story short, I began to find myself some real work.
I kept asking around for additional tasks, and I also got involved in other projects, which, at first, seemed out of my league. But the feeling you get after you’ve completed a hard, almost impossible task, is purely indescribable.
Why should you seek challenges? Because only in the face of adversity, you’ll find opportunities for self-improvement. Don’t rely only on survival, because survival isn’t enough at some point. To make the most out of your career, you should always focus on improving yourself.
Ask tons of questions, do a lot of research and make every moment count. Challenging tasks are rare indeed and we should always take advantage of them. And no matter how hard the task ahead is, always keep in mind that where there’s a will there’s a way.
This is yet another trick I’ve been using for some time now. Also, you should keep in mind another thing: once you’ve accepted a task, be it simple or challenging, never back out on your word. It doesn’t matter whether you succeed or fail in carrying out that specific task. Backing out on your word roughly means that you are unable to assume responsibility for the outcome of your work.
Keep these tricks in mind and you’ll be on your way to a brilliant and successful career.
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