Oct 10, 2019

9 Ways to Managing Your Career Successfully

9 Ways to Managing Your Career Successfully

There is no such thing as a job for life any more and it is no longer safe to think that any one job is secure. At the same time, in today’s working world there are so many more opportunities and options available to us than ever before.
It’s important to embrace this as it gives us choice as to what to do next and at each stage in our careers. It can also be overwhelming and uncertainly can also be quite unsettling for the best of us.

Here are a few suggestions on ways to help you manage your career:
-       Embracing and being open to change as much as possible. It’s important to accept that things will not stay the same and that staying the same yourself is also not good enough any more. We must each endeavour to learn, grow and continuously develop. So when you can – seek opportunities and ways to develop and build on your skillset. Go on courses, get involved in new projects and with different people and teams, read / listen / attend conferences and learn in any way that you can.  Go beyond what might be expected of you at work and explore things that excite and interest you and that will continue to stretch and stimulate you.

-       Not taking things personally. If you’ve been made redundant – it most likely has nothing to do with you but instead is to with the company’s circumstances, changes in direction and needs. It is often an opportunity to re-evaluate your career and to take the time to really think about what you want to do. Many people used to simply float into their jobs. People worked in order to earn a living. Now it can be more than that. We each have the opportunity to think harder about what we really want to be doing with ourselves and in our careers and to shape it how we want.

-       Think outside the box. Consider setting up your own business or going freelance. If you are finding that you aren’t feeling fulfilled or being appreciated at work (in an organisation) then explore ways to work outside of the corporate system.  There is no one ‘right’ way of being any more. The world is your oyster and we really each do have so many options open to us now – so explore them as creatively as you can!

-       Establish a strong support system that you can turn to whenever you are feeling confused or down. You don’t need many people – you just need a strong connection to a couple so that you feel supported when you need to be. I think it’s important not to feel alone when handling tough situations to do with your career. Each of us has so much to offer and to share.

-       Stick to your core knitting i.e. your strengths.  Think about what you really enjoy doing and what you’re good at. The more you can combine these, the better. Build on these – so develop your strengths further, discover new strengths and new areas that interest you and explore where you can go with these.  Too many of us focus on the negative and try to improve on the things that we aren’t good at. Often this can be a time-consuming and draining experience. Instead – focus on the things that come more naturally to you and build up that skillset and confidence around them. Be clear about what you aren’t so good at and explore ways to plug the gap.  Is there a software or system that can help? Can you delegate? Can you avoid it completely?

-       Think of everything as a learning experience. Whatever you go through adds to your story and no time is wasted unless you think it is. Even if a project or company flops – you will most likely have built up some invaluable skills or connections or both during that process.  You will at least have experienced and learnt how not to do something – and that will help you the next time. Every experience we go through is a stepping stone to the next thing.

-       Make a plan. It can be easy to meander through one’s career and to go with whatever comes your way. However, if you do that – you may not end up where you want to be or have as much control over what happens to you. Instead – think about what you want to do. What’s your goal? What’s your ideal job / lifestyle etc? Build up a picture of what that looks like for you and think about how your career fits into that. Then think about how you will achieve this.  Make sure that the choices you make and jobs that you take support your overall goal(s) and plan.

-       Also have a plan B. If things don’t work out how you want them to – what will you do?  Since nothing is secure nowadays it’s incredibly important to have a contingency plan.  If you lost your job tomorrow, or your project fails, or your new company venture falls apart – if you have thought about what your plan B is – you will have something to fall back on and will be in a stronger position to pick yourself up and move forwards.

-       Living in a world full of uncertainly can be stressful. So – make sure that you give yourself time to de-stress and that you find a way to manage your stress.  Try to find a balance if you can – across all areas of your life and to stay healthy. Don’t forget to look after yourself – to get enough sleep, to eat healthily and to take breaks as and when you need them. It can be easy to neglect these things when the pressure is on.   So book massages, or go on retreats or do yoga or whatever it is that works for you – make it part of your weekly / monthly / annual routine

So, what do you do when an emergency pops up or you feel stressed out? You stay calm, but how is the question that most people ask themselves. We interviewed a professional in a high stress area, hospital management, to see what he had to say about managing stress during a crisis.

1)     Think About a Calm Situation: This one takes practice. The situation he gave was, when you feel yourself getting stressed out, think about a memory of sitting on the beach with no cares. Well…that’s easier said than done. I know personally, when I get myself into a situation with high stress, I find myself dwelling on what’s in front of me instead of daydreaming about a beach. He swears by this method though, saying that it clears up the mind for that 10 seconds which will help you to think more clearly and quickly.

2)     Laugh at Something: This is something that I would never think of. I mean, the last thing I do when I start freaking out is think of a joke, but this is what he does. Studies have shown that laughter can help to reduce stress (and even make you healthier), so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that this would help you manage and lead in an emergency situation.

3)     Find an Answer: This is the most important point to note - so pay attention. When you’re presented with an event that makes your head scramble, stop looking at the reason why you’re getting flustered, and start looking for a solution to the problem. I can finally relate to something he said! This seems to come a little easier to me than the other tips, and I find it extremely effective in calming me down.

4)     Don’t try to be the Hero: This is one I didn’t think of, but I believe it’s applicable to us in non-emergency situations as well. When you need to figure out something in a hurry, don’t try to do it alone. Seek out some help from your peers around you and take their suggestions seriously. In the end, including people will not only reduce stress levels, but also make the situation easier to handle and not mess up.

5)     Total Recall: Not the movie…or the remake of it. Try and recall past events that have similarities with the current one you’re going through. This will give you insight on how to handle the situation and also help you realize that you’ve gone through something like this before. The latter of which is more helpful in calming you down. It’s like you’re giving yourself the impression of experience even though it may only be the second time you have gone through it. Either way, it helps you think with a clear mind and make the right decisions.
Let’s face it, we all get stressed out in our jobs. There are always situations that come up that require our full attention immediately. The key is to remain calm so you can still be an effective manager and leader. It can be hard. It can difficult. Trust me though, if an executive sees how you react to an emergency situation, and you handle it with confidence, it will work wonders for your career path.


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