We’re all told to put our noses to the grindstone and keep them there. But too often, we just keep following the path in front of us and working hard and, before we know it, years have flown by and we aren’t where we wanted to end up.
Here are the 10 best career lessons everyone should take to heart earlier in their lives and careers, before it’s too late to take the good advice.
1. Life is short
Bad bosses, unsatisfying jobs, soulless companies, demeaning positions, toxic coworkers. All of these things are easy to overlook in service of “keeping your head down,” but the truth is life is just too short. Instead of spending your time putting up with all that nonsense and convincing yourself it’s worth it, why not put your energy into finding a better situation while you still have the option.
2. Networking matters
You may hate networking events, but they are going to be invaluable to you one day. The most successful people have the widest and broadest social networks. So get in amongst it around the water cooler, attend the mixer, mingle. Make connections. Your success may depend on the people you get to know.
3. Choose health over wealth
Work life balance can be incredibly difficult to achieve. And sometimes it just seems easier to tunnel deeper into work, constantly driving yourself towards success. Don’t let yourself be one of them or you’ll end up burning out—or developing serious health problems from stress. Take care of yourself. Stay healthy and you’ll end up being more successful.
4. Get offscreen
At the end of your life, the best and most memorable moments will not be ones you spent staring at a screen. Put the phone down. Walk away from the monitor. Go live your life and make some real memories and change in the world.
5. Keep learning
They day you decide you have nothing left to learn is the day you become truly ignorant. Old dogs can learn new tricks. In fact, you should seek them out. Constantly stretch yourself to learn new skills and information. Don’t get left behind.
While you’re learning new things, make a point of expanding your comfort zone and your wheelhouse of skills. The more you can do, the more successful you will be. And the more versatile with dealing with life and career challenges. Make sure you’re not just good at only one thing.
7. Stick together
You may think you can get farther faster if you just go it alone, but the truth is you’ll get farther by working as a team and building something bigger than yourself. Also, teamwork is more and more important in the current economy. Learn to share and multiply success.
8. Worry does not equal achievement
You cannot worry your way to success. If you’re anxious, the antidote is simple: action. Hustle your way out of the stress spiral. Push through the fear to find the proactive things that you can do to make a difference in the state of your career (or the world).
9. Failure is productive
Think of every failure not as an end, but as an opportunity for a new beginning. Start a new journey with each failure and you’ll be guaranteed to get more out of life.
10. It’s a journey, not a destination
Happiness is not just something you arrive at, magically, after doing what you think you’re supposed to do. Make mindful choices and decide you’re going to be happy with where you are and what you’re working towards, regardless of how far in the future those rewards may be. Approach everything with an attitude of positivity and happiness, and you will find success.