7 Habits to Advance Your Career
Setting goals is an important part of personal and professional development. After a performance review or change in role, it's easy to strategize about how you'll step up your game in the upcoming weeks and months. Following through on those goals, however, isn't always as straightforward. If you're hoping to make some changes and are eager to learn how to advance your career, make these following seven habits a part of your daily routine:
Many people are tempted to keep socializing to a minimum at the office. While you should avoid an office romance, forgoing friendships at work altogether could jeopardize your opportunities to advance. Business should come first, but there's no reason why you can't be personable and friendly with your colleagues. After all, you spend a majority of your working hours with your co-workers. By fostering meaningful connections with them, you build trust and increase communications. These relationships can come in handy when you're being considered for a promotion, but they also illustrate your ability to be a team player.
Chances are, you already have a few rituals you follow each day. From hitting snooze to making your coffee, routines and rituals are deeply ingrained in our daily lives. Scientists have found that rituals help improve attention, increase confidence and promote emotional stability. With this in mind, establish a few workplace rituals and reap the rewards. It can be as simple as a morning walk around the office, greeting folks before you tackle your inbox, or something fun like Taco Tuesdays, where you and your work buddies hit up your favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. These rituals can drive culture and make the entire atmosphere at work a little more friendly.
Multitasking is something we're all guilty of - at least on occasion. Emailing while we're in a meeting or chatting on the phone as we finish up a report seems harmless enough. The reality? The human brain can only process so much information at one time. Studies actually show that productivity is reduced by as much as 40 percent when we multitask. Take the research to heart and try to practice "single tasking," a new workplace strategy that tasks you to focus on one thing at a time. You'll be shocked at how much more you'll accomplish in a day.
Fake It `Til You Make It
Everyone experiences moments of insecurity and anxiety at work. It's so common, in fact, that there's a term for it: imposter syndrome. Anyone who has ever felt as though they're faking their way through their work, that they're not qualified to perform their duties or that they're incapable of completing tasks as assigned has fallen victim to imposter syndrome.
The good news? Faking it `til you make it is actually a viable strategy to advance your career. While you should probably avoid actual lies about your abilities, acting confidently can actually make you feel more confident. Behaving like the person you'd like to become is a great way to also become more productive and friendlier. Before you know it, you'll stop acting and realize you just are that person now.
Seek Out Learning Opportunities
After graduation, it can be tough to find the motivation to sign up for trainings, webinars and professional development offerings. When there are no tests or a GPA to consider, it's easy to slack off on education. Ambitious people know that learning shouldn't stop after school ends. By keeping abreast of changing trends and evolving best practices, you can ensure that you're always on the cutting edge of your industry. The things you learn at conferences and in seminars can be taken back to your office and applied to your projects, which is sure to impress your colleagues and supervisors alike.
Listen, Then Speak
In a world where our every thought is broadcast over ever reactive Twitter and Facebook, it can be difficult to remember to listen before speaking. This is especially true in contentious meetings when people are eager to have their opinions heard. While it's important to speak up when you feel strongly about something, it's equally vital to hear all the facts first. By listening, processing and carefully turning over the topic in your mind, you'll be better prepared to speak with confidence about your opinion.
Never Stop Networking
They say there's no better time to look for a job than when you already have one. But what if you're happy in your position? Even if this is the case, it's important to never stop networking. In an unpredictable world, no position is guaranteed. Having a few irons in the fire never hurt anyone. Shake hands, exchange business cards and forge connections with people across your industry. Should changes come down the pipeline, you'll be prepared for the worst.
No matter which habits you decide to tackle as you work to advance your career, the initiative alone says a lot about your ambition and work ethic. By constantly working to improve your skills, knowledge and relationships with colleagues, you set yourself up for success.