Two years ago I landed my dream job working as a reporter for my towns local newspaper. For some, that may not seem significant, but for me it was everything because I always wanted to be a reporter and never thought I could actually be one. I was a complete novice but quickly learned the ropes and integrated nicely with the team. Although I went through tough times and had a boss that was really hard on me, I learned so much and am grateful for the opportunity.
It was that one job that taught me the most about how to effectively communicate, how to get people to quickly open up and trust me, how to have a killer work ethic, how to be better at time management, and most of all, how to think like a career-savvy businesswoman.
The best career advice for ambitious millennials
I promise, there is no career out there that is impossible for you. If I can land my dream job, so can you. Here are a few pieces of career advice I’ve learned over the years which have completely changed my personal and professional life.
When making conversation, only speak with purpose and intention. Don’t speak just to fill awkward silence.
I used to have a bad habit of doing this so I know first-hand the consequences. It’s okay to let the conversation fall silent. If you keep trying to use small talk to bridge the gap, people will get annoyed. It’s like when you write an essay and keep using filler words to try and make it longer. It’s noticeable. Only speak when you need to or when you can add something important to the conversation. People will respect you for it.
Show up every single morning like you’re meant to be there.
You got the job for a reason, so you need to show up, do the job right and exceed expectations.
Never tell your boss you can’t do something
Telling your boss no is a big mistake. Whatever they’re telling you to do, you can do it, I promise. Say you’ll figure it out and then do so. Attempting to figure it out and risking failure is better than doing nothing at all.
Stop apologizing for everything.
There is no need to apologize over every little mistake you make (like a delayed response to an email) If you apologize for everything you do then your coworkers will begin to see you as the girl who fails at everything and people will start to distrust you. Only apologize when you truly mess up – you’ll be respected more for it.
Embrace where you are in your life
Embrace where you are in your life right now. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, think about how you can better make use of what you have right now.
You are who you think you are.
If you see yourself as someone who fails at everything, then that’s who you become. However, if you see yourself as a confident, career-driven business-woman who conquers life with fearlessness and strength, then you’ll become that. You are what you think so mind your thoughts.
Always think of ways you can make your job better (even if you hate it).
This involves changing your mindset. If you start to look at your situation and ask, “how can I make this better? What can I do to improve it?” you start to look at it in a whole new way and see opportunities you didn’t notice before. Think with an improvement mindset rather than a negative one.
Turn everything you touch into gold.
Basically, go well above and beyond your job description. This is how you truly get ahead of the game and stand out among the crowd. I promise if you do this one tip, you will get farther in your career much faster.
Making mistakes means you’re human.
It’s okay to make mistakes, they’re healthy and help you grow into a better you. Don’t punish yourself for making a mistake, think of it as another stepping stone towards success. Just try not to make the same mistakes more than once.
Turn your “wants” into “wills”
Instead of saying “I want” or “I wish” something to happen, change it to “I will” make it happen. By setting your intention, your subconscious mind will naturally work towards making it come true.
Keep a record of all your accomplishments from the first day at a new job.
I wish I started doing this a lot sooner in my life. It would’ve made things so much easier for me, especially when applying for new jobs. Keep a spreadsheet of all your accomplishments and if you can include any figures, like the date or number of sales you made, etc., then it will stand out more to hiring managers.
There’s something to learn from everyone.
Learning how to cope with all types of people will help you grow as a businesswoman. From the competent to the incompetent, from the nice to the harsh, they all make you stronger as a person.
Keep up with the times.
Consistently update your LinkedIn profile and your resume. You always want to be prepared for when new opportunities arise. I’ve had companies call to ask questions when I wasn’t prepared. It’s not a fun position to be in. Don’t be like past me, update your resume and always keep it with you just in case.
Embrace constructive criticism, but also stand up for yourself when you need to. Your coworkers and boss will respect you more for it. No job is worth being the company doormat. You deserve better.
I had to learn this the hard way because the person who was picking on me was my own boss. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and bullying. Unfortunately my boss was being a bully to every female in the office, making them cry and crushing their spirit with his harsh words. I was the only one who stood up to him and everyone in the office respected me more for it, including my boss. Stand up for yourself, no job is worth compromising your mental health.
Wear clothes that you feel confident in. It’ll make a big difference in how you perform at work.
Buying yourself new clothes that you feel confident in and shine in is important. If you feel good, it will show through your wok. I promise you’ll easily make the money back further down the line.
Invest in yourself. Buy resources that will educate you and get you ahead in your career.
This is a big one. You should always be educating yourself and improving yourself daily. I read books related to career, self help, finance, fiction – you name it. It’s amazing how books open your mind up to new things you didn’t think about before.
Keep your personal life out of the work place
There is no place in the workplace for your personal drama. Keep it at home.
Work smarter, not harder
This involves making better use of what you have and being better at time management. Try to streamline your workflow as much as possible. Using online tools like different time management apps will make your life so much easier.
No matter how successful you become, remember what it was like to be the new girl
Don’t get so caught up in your success that you forget where you started. Remain humble and treat everyone with respect, no matter what level of the corporate ladder they’re on. Just because you’re in a higher position than someone else doesn’t make them less of a human being than you.
Instead of focusing on hating your current job, be thankful you had it
I know it’s a hard to accept, but it’s true that the job you have does serve a purpose. It pays the bills, puts a roof over your head, allows you to earn while learning so you can find your ideal career (or start your own business).
Instead of focusing on all the negativity, think about ways you can improve your current situation. You will enjoy your job more, and you will notice more opportunities than ever before.
What’s the best career advice you’ve learned? Leave your best career advice in the comments below!