career

Career advice is easy to find. Anyone who has worked for a bit, will offer you learnings from his personal experiences which are relevant within his own context. Some advice is common and thus redundant. Most advice is not universal and thus you can’t apply it to your situation. And rarely do you have access to advice culled from people at the top who have overcome multiple challenges to reach there. Let’s look at uncommon yet universal advice from successful people relating to the 5Cs in your career.

1. Choices
Decisions are stressful. Choosing between multiple options become tougher when they appear critical for your project or career success and you are desperate to make the right choice. However, Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo! received her best career advice from a friend who said,“I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great.” Thus, it’s not the effort you put in making a choice that’s important but the effort you put thereafter in making that choice work out well for you.

If you pick a reasonably good job or career, you are the only one who has the power of making it great by working at it. So, don’t stress so much. Pick an option, define what spells success within that option, establish goals and deadlines and execute it to closure.

2. Chaos
Are you in the middle of complete disorder and confusion at work? Has your job become unpredictable because of events beyond your control? Or is your entire workplace a big chaotic mess? The leadership coach, Kristi Hedges has some advice—“In chaos there is opportunity.” According to her, every mess has the potential to be resolved by someone who is willing to confront it and take ownership. Your career graph shoots up through such successful initiatives.

An example is working at a startup where you pretty much define your space and ownership in the chaos. You can also find and seize big unsolved or ignored problems in a larger workplace and make a significant dent.

3. Competition
If anything is worth having, it is probably in short supply or costs too much. The higher its value, the greater is the competition you will face in getting it. Kobe Bryant, one of the most successful basketball players in history, says, “Outwork and outlast your competition”. As a weak athlete in school, he spent two years doing 2-3 hours of daily shooting practice to become the best in the state. He outworked older, athletic and gifted players who would practice only a couple of times a week.

By simply refusing to bow down to superior competition or giving up after you have faced a hundred rejections, you stand out from the rest. After that, your willingness to work harder and longer helps you catch up and then beat the competition hollow to reach the top. Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer known to work harder than the others said it well— “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

4. Confidence
Are you beset by challenges where you lose faith in your ability to overcome them? Do you desire an outcome but do not believe that you will achieve it? You know that you can’t succeed until you are confident since the world will never bestow a higher value on you than you bestow upon yourself.

How can you build confidence especially after you have failed? In the short term, simply act as if you are already confident. Stand up and walk straight, speak up and take risks ignoring your fear of looking bad or failing. Before you act, visualise what you will say or do. Think about what you desire and thus block your mind from what you fear. Finally, invest in building long term confidence through planning and practice. Arthur Ashe, the only black man to have won three Grand Slams in tennis, said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self confidence is preparation.”

5. Commitment
Do you make commitments to yourself that you break often—like meeting a deadline or going to the gym daily? Do you also make commitments to people at work which often don’t get done as promised? Know that, “doing what you said you will do” is a common trait of high performers. This characteristic leads to success because it gets things done. Inculcate this habit by starting with tiny commitments you make to yourself or your co-workers.

When you execute your word in the smallest of things, you build resilience and a no-excuse mindset. This leads to other people trusting you and investing you with greater responsibilities and opportunities. Combine opportunity with the commitment to execution and you are on the highway to success. Carl Jung, the leading psychiatrist said, “You are what you do, and not what you say you will do!”

ADVICE FROM THE FAMOUS
1. Keep it simple

From the richest. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, for many years, swapped the title of “richest man” between them. Gates admires Buffet for keeping things simple—from his calendar to reasons for buying companies—and for “… his ability to boil things down, to just work on the things that really count, to think through the basics, it’s so amazing.”

2. Time
From the icon. Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple, said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” He believed that life was too short to be wasted on the frivolous, like conforming to other people’s opinions or thoughts. What is important is to be guided by one’s dreams and intuition.

3. Say yes
From the CEO. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google for a decade, advises, “Find a way to say yes to things.” Saying yes to travel, meeting people, learning stuff pushes you out of your comfort zone, creates new experiences and makes a difference to many lives. It gets you new jobs and also builds families.

4. Failure
From the writer. J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter books, says, “You will fail. That’s inevitable. It’s what you do with it.” She should know. From being jobless as a single parent, she began writing and went on to become one of the richest women in the world and the first author to become a billionaire from writing.

5. Regret
From the exuberant. Sir Richard Branson, the cheerful energetic founder of the Virgin Group, learnt from his mother that setbacks are a learning curve and thus not bad. He is shocked by the time people waste in repenting their failures instead of redirecting that energy. “Never look back in regret. Move on to the next thing.”

[“source=economictimes”]