November 2, 2014

The Worst Thing You Can Do To Your Career

Do you want to be successful? Where do you see yourself in a decade? How about when you’re sixty? What do you need to do to achieve that goal? Are you on the right track? There are plenty of great things you can do for your career, but what’s the worst thing you can do to your career?

There are plenty of ways to derail your dream, but there is one thing that may be the worst thing you can do to your career. It’s to stop growing.  Stew Friedman, a professor at Wharton, wrote an intriguing book that touches on this topic called Leading The Life You Want: Skills For Integrating Work and Life. It’s worth a read.

As an individual, it’s up to you to continue to grow both professionally and personally. As soon as you go stagnant, your upward progression will seize to exist. The best way to constantly grow is to have goals. Know where you want to go and develop a well defined career path. A career, as well as life, is an ongoing journey that never ends. It’s up to you to choose your adventure. Don’t let it choose you.

Be proactive at achieving your goals. The best way to do this is through constant growth. Take courses. Seek out new experiences. Pursue continuing education. Learn new skills. Seek out promotions. Don’t fear change. Switch jobs or employers as needed. Get help from friends, family, mentors, and your community. Build your brand. Stay positive.

All of these things will propel you on a path toward growth and toward your goals. Of course, over time your goals and aspirations may change. Be able to adapt to those changes and grow with it. When you’re considering your growth, be sure to:

  • Challenge Yourself – Boredom is the fastest way to slow the growing process.
  • Use and Develop Your Skills – Use the skills and talents that you have developed on a daily or even hourly basis. This keeps your skills honed and progressing.
  • Seek Opportunity – If you’re stuck in a dead end job with no room for professional growth, it’s time to find an employer that will help you be all that you can be. Consider your entire life and seek out new opportunities. See where it takes you.
  • Develop Your Strategy For Success – Know what you need to do, how you need to do it, and when you need to have it done by. Write it down and create deadlines.
  • Learn and Improve – In life, you never stop learning. Embrace it. Ask questions. Encourage learning.

All of these things will help you lead the life you want to lead. Always focus on personal and professional growth. Becoming stagnant, redundant, bored, and useless is the worst thing you can do to your career. Create a plan that pushes you. Strive to accomplish your goals and enjoy the adventure in the process. It’s your life and you have the ability to do what you want to do.

Never stop growing.

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