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The 12 pieces of career advice no one ever told you…

Whether you’re trying to advance your current career or pick a new one, these tips can certainly help. Most of these pearls of wisdom are never really told, but are rather observed throughout one’s career span. Here are a few of my observations that resonate with some of the tips given by my mentors:
1. Learn from failure
2. Contribute to being a team-player
3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
4. Speak up.
5. Consider every contact as a precursor to a new opportunity.
6. Know that learning is life-long.
7. Take a yearly appraisal of your career.
8. Be mentored
9. Be well dressed always.
10. Do a job you are passionate about.
11. Rely on your intuition.
12. Be humble

1. Learn from failure
Failure is a forward process. It helps build strength of character, develop work ethics and give commitment. Failure also builds resilience, and through failure we can overcome fears and know what success really is. It does not matter that you have failed, what matters more is that you learned from that failure.

2. Contribute to being a great team player
It is not sufficient just to exist as part of a team, it is important to be part of a collective whole. Collaboration is a central part of most jobs. A willingness to pay attention to the group process, and a sense of accountability as a member of the team is a commitment that gets you noticed.

3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Get outside your comfort zone – when you try new things, you prepare yourself for your next role. You may consider taking on new and difficult tasks that you aren’t comfortable with to expand your skill set. Until you try a new way or take on a different project you will never know your capacity for doing things.

4. Speak up
Speak Up – in meetings and for yourself! Participate and contribute ideas in meetings – employers will notice that you care about your job and take it seriously. Find the courage to speak up so you can honor your own boundaries, clarify what is not acceptable to you, and start living a happier, healthier, more empowered life. If you do not speak up for your-self you will end up being disrespected and devalued – something I found out the hard way.

5. Consider every contact as a precursor to a new opportunity
No one can predict who will become who in the future. It is best to view each contact as valuable and worthy of your time and consideration – and it is good karma!

6. Know that learning is life-long
It is estimated that the average shelf life of a skill is 5 years. Possessing a willingness to learn is an attribute that is highly valued in today’s workforce. Taking the initiative towards self-development beyond formal education with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competencies is critical for career advancement.

7. Take a yearly appraisal of your career
Once a year, it is important to take a pit stop and evaluate your career yourself – what your long term and short term goals are? And where are you on those goals at the time of the evaluation. Evaluate your contacts, network, salary and opportunities. You may also consider sharpening your knowledge of new industry trends each year to remain competitive in the job. A personal SWOT is important to assess skill gaps and competencies required for you to advance further.

8. Be mentored
Having a mentor and being a mentor can give you valuable insights, overcome challenges and provide a path to your goals. Mentorship is a mutually beneficial relationship which is why the chemistry is critical. Find mentors through networking or at your workplace as targeting strangers is hardly effective. Most importantly have multiple mentors for different areas or phases of your life.

9. Be well dressed always
Dressing well not only gives you self-confidence, it also attracts other people to you. A well-groomed person will always invite respect at the workplace. Do not treat the workplace as a fashion ramp but by all means put up a stylish, well-coordinated professional look. The way you look and carry yourself counts and leaves an impression, specially with the senior management.

10. Do a job you are passionate about
It is hardly a secret that you will enjoy doing what you are passionate about. So seek to pursue a field that you feel strongly about and not try to find passion in what you are already pursuing. The phrase, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” may seem like a washed-out cliche, but it does hold some truth in it.

11. Rely on your intuition
Your gut or intuition often has the answer. If something feels right, like changing jobs, making a career transition or not being able to trust someone at face value, go with it. Intuition is an incredibly powerful tool for decision making. It ensures we respond in the moment and in the process frees valuable mental resources to handle the new experience.
Career Advice
12. Be humble
Being humble is accepting that you will not always be the one who knows the most. Humility is developed by giving a listening ear to others and asking for help when you need it. Staying grounded, being grateful and seeking feedback from others are some activities you can do constantly to stay humble

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