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5 Career Building Tips They Never Taught us in School

1. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket When it Comes to Your Career

Up until a few years ago I bought into the 5 myths that help corporate America to fuel its own existence. I thought I would climb the ladder, make it to a corner office and that my job was something I could count on for a steady stream of income.  But once you’ve been laid off a few times and lost a job or two, it makes you realize that no matter how great your job is, you simply can’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette with your career. Sometimes making too many life plans limits your true potential.

2. Career Counselors Gamble With Your Future

University and graduate school career offices are full of people giving students advice on careers they’ve never worked in themselves. This is a bit like taking advice on how to get rich form a person who doesn’t have any money.  While they may have the best of intentions, the success of a career office at most schools is really determined by one thing: placement statistics. You simply can’t measure the happiness, fulfillment, and long term success of this kind of advice.  So be careful, and don’t let these people gamble with your future.

3. Do more than just show up at work everyday

“ What you do off the job determines how far you’ll go on the job” – Zig Ziglar

If all you do is show up for work everyday, do what’s expected of you and go home, I’ve got news for you. You’re not going to make much progress in your career anytime soon. This is the kind of mentality that keeps people trapped where they are  scratching their heads as to what it takes to get ahead in their careers.  Too many people never do much more to educate themselves after they finish their formal education, despite the fact that we live in a world today where you can give yourself an education that kicks the crap out of the one you got in school.  There are a number of things you could do to continually develop yourself

All of the above will contribute to your personal and professional development in a positive way.

4. Parents  Aren’t Necessarily Qualified to Give You Advice on Your Career

Unless your parents have the career you want or are living the life you want, then they aren’t necessarily qualified to give you a career advice. My parents are supportive, but most of their advice about my career is highly generalized because they don’t live in the world that I do.  I think the very nature of parents is that they’re primarily concerned with your safety, stability, and survival. This is all well and good, but it’s not what sets you up for thriving.  Your tolerance for risk has a tremendous impact on your potential for success.

Find somebody who has the job you want to have and take their advice. With the technology at your disposal it’s easier than ever.

5. Don’t Just do Your Job, Do Something Worth Talking About

A few weeks ago my friend Joel released  The impossible Manifesto. Take some time to read it. I know there are many people who simply don’t have the freedom to sell everything they own and leave the country in a month. Some people need the income from their jobs. And if you’re really fortunate you love your job. The good news is that’s not the only way to push the limits of what’s possible in your life.  The bad news is that you’re going to have to do something radically different. Even in the context of a day job you have the opportunity to challenge the status quo.  But most people take the risk of playing it safe (sounds like an oxymoron).  Playing it safe is a guaranteed way to remain ordinary and average. Real progress only happens when you start to veer outside the confines of your job description and your comfort zone.

Stop waiting for permission to be extraordinary. Class dismissed.

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