Today Outshine turns 10 years old, which is a pretty epic achievement for any business given that only 3% of businesses make it to 5 years… I don’t even know what the stats are for 10!
It’s been a rollercoaster ride professionally, but by far the longest stint on my CV, so today I want to share with you the key steps I’ve taken to create a career I love – a mantra that I’m incredibly passionate about and has been the fuel behind building this business over the last decade.
So here are the top 10 steps I believe are critical to creating a career you love (which have served me very favourably!): –
#1: Get to know yourself – really, really well
Finding a job with a good salary, title and location isn’t generally enough to keep your motivation levels high over a long period of time. There’s way more to job satisfaction than that, which is why getting to know yourself really, really well is critical.
When you intimately know what your key drivers are, and you’re able to design a career around those, getting up for work in the morning becomes enjoyable – instead of a drag – and even on the more difficult days (we all have them) staying upbeat and positive about your career is easy.
When I look back, the jobs I did before I set up Outshine simply didn’t come close to delivering on my career drivers, and that’s why I constantly felt a distinct lack of career satisfaction and fulfilment.
#2: Have a game plan
Hoping, wishing and waiting for your ideal career to appear is a flawed strategy. You must have a plan of action in place to develop your career and take 100% ownership of that. Expecting your Manager or HR team to carefully devise and execute your professional wish list is lazy. Don’t fall into the trap of expecting other people to help you – be proactive, and get crystal clear on where you’re heading and how you’re going to get there.
No-one else cares about your career as much as you do, so make it a priority and build a game plan that you’re committed to.
#3: Be a lifelong learner
I’ve spend a LOT of time and money learning, and I don’t bat an eyelid at doing that because it’s critical to my professional success. The world moves at a face pace, and it’s important to keep your skills and knowledge up to speed if you want to put yourself in the best position possible. Sure, you can get good ‘free stuff’ but nothing beats the quality and commitment that comes with investing in a course or a coaching relationship for example that has proven results and dedicated experts to lead you.
Don’t be a cheapskate and expect the best for nothing. If you want true career success step up and invest in your own professional development, you’ll reap the returns if you’re willing to work hard to put what you’ve learned into practice.
#4: Network, network, network
I know networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and for some it fills them with dread, but you can’t ignore the fact that it’s critical to long-term career success. The more people you know and have strong relationships with, the more opportunities you’ll come across and the richer your professional – and personal – life will be.
So if you get the sweats just thinking about networking, make sure that learning to develop those skills is on your development plan. And if you’ve got the gift of the gab and are in your element meeting new people, make sure you’re doing it regularly – and not just when you want something!
#5: Ask for help
This is one that I’ve struggled with in the past as I’m super-independent and love working things out of my own. But you can’t get past the fact that asking for helps moves us forward, faster. So sure, if you’ve got time to waste, go it alone. But if you’re about making progress, make sure you ask the right people for help – and don’t wait too long to do that either.
#6: Back yourself
Forget imposter syndrome – you are capable of a lot more than you probably give yourself credit for, so learn to back yourself. Sometimes that might feel a little uncomfortable, and you may be unsure about ‘what next’, but if you put all of the steps above into practice you’ll have the resources you need to draw on, and quality people around you to give you the support you need to move forward.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s with a project, job, or career change – you must be your biggest fan, otherwise how can you expect anyone else to stand up for you?
#7: Embrace risk
Nothing is risk-free. Joining a gym, starting a new diet, going on a first date – they all have risk involved. So when it comes to your career, stop waiting for everything to be perfect before you make a change.
Instead, take a look at your appetite for risk and recognise where it might be holding you back – and then build a game plan to address your concerns instead of ignoring them. Every time you ‘dip your toe in’ the pool of risk, you’ll take a tiny step forward and change your relationship with it, building you appetite and changing your perspective. This in turn will allow you to take the blinkers off and open up more doors than you previously had allowed yourself permission to see.
#8: Aim for progress
I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist. Jeez, that held me back.
Perfection doesn’t exist, so don’t fall into the trap of looking for it. Aim for progress in every avenue of your career, and watch how it allows you to move onwards and upwards. It’s the biggest – and best – shift I ever made!
#9: Build your team
This ties in nicely with networking and asking for help. One of the ways I’ve been able to build my career and business so successfully is by building a team of people around me who I can call on, get advice from, and whom I trust explicitly.
They’re not my employee’s, and not necessarily my friends (although many have ended up being great mates) – they’re connections who act as a sounding board when I need help or advice, and with whom I also support and collaborate with to build our respective careers. It’s a win/win relationship where we add equal value, and appreciate the significance of having a team of people around us who are there to cheer us on, but also challenge our thinking and act as devils advocate when needed.
#10: Be in it for the long-haul
There’s no magic pill or quick fix to build a career you love. You need to be in it for the long-haul, and committed. There have been massive up’s and down’s in my career, and particularly during the last 10 years, but my commitment to my game plan and my purpose has been unwavering. When you get the fundamentals right and are crystal clear on where you’re heading and why, then the long-haul becomes a lot easier – despite the twists and turns that may come your way.
I could go on – I’ve learned SO much in the last decade, but trust me when I say that if you put these 10 steps in place consistently, your career will be in a great place. And if you’d like some help doing that I’d be only too happy to get you started and cheer you on – click here book your free 15-minute Career Clarity Call™ – you won’t regret it.
Get the best career, productivity and small business coaching tips straight to your inbox every week, plus our eBook 'How To Create A Career You Love' (worth $37.00) free when you subscribe.
We respect your privacy. You can remove yourself from the mailing list at any time.
or skip signup