10 Habits That Will Advance Your Career
Striving to get a promotion? Searching for opportunities to improve your career status? Long-term goals are definitely the way to go. There are certain things you can do to help elevate your career, but it won’t happen overnight if you don’t pay attention to your daily routine. It is the little things in life that eventually build our path of success.
Advancing your career starts with responsible daily habits. Unfortunately, not everyone just stumbles into a pile of gold. Hard work comes with routine and calculated planning. If you want to get ahead in your industry and elevate your employment role, you have to grind out your game the old fashion way. Whether you are a football fan or an Al Pacino fan, there is a quote from Any Given Sunday that really puts into perspective what pushing yourself is all about:
“Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second.”
The point of this quote is that, besides seeing the big picture, your career is built upon the everyday details of how you live your life. Successful people work hard and take care of themselves. Here are 10 habits that will help advance your career and keep you healthy along the way:
Success starts with staying healthy. Some people may think that alcohol or marijuana may seem like it’s a good way to inspire your thoughts, but the truth is that you will function way better if you just take care of yourself. Go to the gym, eat a balanced diet, and implement other healthy choices and you’ll stay fresh.
1. Drink Water
80% of your brain tissue is made of water. Staying hydrated has a major effect on the function of your brain. Drinking a lot of water every day will put you in the position to function with peak performance.
2. Get Sleep
Obtaining enough sleep will improve your immune system, keep the fat off your tire region, and will positively enhance your emotions and social interaction tendencies. 7-9 hours is what you should shoot for. You know your body better than anyone else, but if you pay attention, you will notice a difference. Count sheep and get sleep.
Use your senses and absorb knowledge. Be attentive and stay alert. If you let lectures, seminars or information just bounce off you like a raincoat, you are doing yourself a disservice. Be a sponge and let it soak in. You will notice that the more information you obtain impartially will actually allow you to formulate your own opinions. Don’t subject to having an opinion about something you don’t know. Relish the learning and use your observational skills.
A clouded mind can unravel you like a sweater coming apart at the seams. Compartmentalizing your thoughts and processing daily thoughts is healthy. The best way to do this is to bring them out on paper. Mind exercises will keep you sharp, and organization will improve your memory.
Record your accomplishments. Make to-do lists. If someone said something interesting, make a note. Thinking about a certain idea? Write it down. Handwriting will boost your memory and exercise your thought process. It may be cliché to say, but use a sharp pencil and the duller it gets from your scribbles, the sharper you’ll get in your noggin.
Mental stimulation comes from reading. In actuality, you could probably Google all of these habits, but to be honest, reading does so much for you. It’s okay if you are watching Instagram videos or checking out demos on Youtube, but reading will increase your vocabulary, sharpen your operating skills, and overall make your mind function more efficiently. Seriously.
6. Use a Calendar
Use a calendar, but have two of them. Here’s why: One calendar serves as your professional datebook. Keep your boss’s plans, work deadlines and projects altogether. This is your job, or at least should be part of your job. Keep another calendar for yourself. Your personal calendar should have things like: grocery store, gym, drinks with friends, basketball rec league, bike ride, book club, writing session, visit parents, call sister, etc. If you keep two calendars and hit all the dates, you will not only be organized, but you will be simultaneously ‘multi-Life-ing’ and you will be unstoppable.
You don’t have to literally whistle while you work, but it’s good to have a kick in your step. Feel good about the place you are in and remember that there is more ahead. You are not buried in one role. You are ever-expanding and learning. Be happy and embrace who you are.
7. Ask for a Bigger Plate
Want to boost your confidence in your everyday professional life? Take on more responsibilities. Ask for more work from your boss or help co-workers out with projects. You don’t have to overwhelm your engine by burning too much coal, but push yourself a little. With all that water and sleep you’re getting, you should have the energy for it. Upper management will notice you and opportunities will start to come your way.
8. Make Confident Decisions
The door to opportunity lies within how you make an entrance. When you make a decision, make it with confidence. If it’s the wrong decision, learn from it. Don’t let it derail you. Be confident. This is life and we are all imperfect. Great leaders make decisive moves and help advance projects. They keep the locomotive pushing forward. In any employment role you have, running in place can be off-putting. If you keep moving the project along, management will embrace you with open arms. Time is money.
9. Try to Relate to Your Boss
Remember who you work for and why you are here. Your boss is the backbone and leader of your organization. Even if you don’t like your role or want a different job, have an open mind. LISTEN. Try to see the point of view of where your boss is coming from and use that as motivation to understand what purpose you are fulfilling within the organization. If you do this on a daily basis, everything in your current role will make more sense and you will be a better employee because of it. You will only advance if you get in this mindset. You will not falter.
Your Own Resilience
How you handle success and failure is a major deal-breaker. There will always be someone ahead of you or making moves above you. Embrace your own climb and try not to compare yourself with anyone else. There’s no point. You are your own brand, you are your own person, and only you have a one-of-a-kind spirit.
10. Don’t Be Bitter
If someone else receives recognition and you stand in his or her shadow, don’t be bitter. Be respectful. Being jealous of successful colleagues can get you a bad reputation or even outcast you. Be supportive and be a good person. Your moment in the sun will come if you keep grinding day to day. Opportunities are all around you, but you have to be patient and take the smalls steps available.
Jon Hauer is a freelance writer and digital designer originally from Minnesota now based in Del Rey, CA. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from the University of St. Thomas and graduated from Pepperdine University in 2015 with a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Writing. He has worked in the tourism/hospitality industry for years and writes professionally on a number of topics including travel, business, marketing, tourism, home services, art, sports, entertainment, news, etc.