25 is a delicate age. By now you’ve probably been in the work force for a couple of years so you should have a basic understanding of how your business works. However, if you are not careful, a few years will pass and there will be no change in salary, skill level or recognition for your efforts. You will be almost 30 and suddenly feel like you are reaching your expiry date.
So how can you navigate the next few years so that this doesn’t happen? The trick here is to know what you want. Unfortunately the things you need to know are not the things you know how to ask for.
I’m going to propose a few things you can do to stay ahead of the competition. However, before I begin, you must remember that the working environment is just like any game. There will be winners, losers, over rated players and under appreciated work horses. Never forget that. Now let’s begin.
1. Find your role model
Chances are there has to be someone in your business that you look up to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be their whole make up but if there’s at least one aspect you admire about them, you should seek to emulate them. Once you’ve done that try to keep a rapport with them. This may be difficult at first but the more you try to emulate them, the easier it will get. The reason that this works is because people like to see similarities in themselves. If you can show that you are just a bit like them, they may be friendlier towards you and there is your first step towards becoming more successful. Click here for more information about the importance of role models.
2. Use your initiative
If you take a step back for a moment, you will spot many repetitive patterns in your job. Now the skill to learn here is to identify a pattern that is not working or one where a miscommunication always occurs. If you can propose a solution or be part of the chain of events without being asked, chances are you will be looked upon favourably. Just don’t become a yes man. People remember favours but when it becomes expected and not appreciated, you will be taken for granted; the exact opposite of what you were trying to achieve. So make sure you keep your wits about you and don’t give something away for nothing. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll become better at the initiative game. Remember burnt once, shame on them. Burnt twice, shame on you.
3. Expand your network
Make sure you try to keep a very diverse group of contacts. Having diversification gives you a greater perspective on what’s going around you and will teach you greater empathy. You will become better at adapting to situations and have more in common with a much wider audience. This could be the small bit of information that stops you getting enraged at a coworker and making a fool of yourself or the edge you need to get a business deal over the line.
4. Never stop learning
You should never stop learning because what is deemed as the ‘go to method’ or ‘accepted practice’, can change as soon as tomorrow. Keeping up to date with what skills are in the market place will ensure you stay on top of your game and hopefully will keep you out of embarrassing situations. It will also keep you engaged and focused on the job at hand and working towards favourable outcomes. And of course, it may help you figure out what you actually want to do with your life.
5. Dress like your boss
It doesn’t matter if you see your boss as a role model or not. Your boss sees themselves as a successful person. Thus, they will essentially project an image of what they deem as successful by the clothes they wear and the possession they own. Chances are that you can’t also buy a new Ferrari like them but what you can do is emulate their dress style. Doing so creates the illusion that you can and want to be as ‘successful’ as them. As they have a say into whether you progress or not, it can’t hurt to have them think that you have ‘boss’ material in you.
Have a go at some of these ideas and I’m sure you will start to see some progress in no time. Remember you are in control of your own destiny so I suggest you start taking control today. Most important is number 1. Second organise a meeting with your boss and tell them how you are feeling and what some of your goals are. The rest you can do over time.
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