A career is not just about the job you do. Let’s get that clear in this article!
We have often heard the word career being used so frequently that it is no longer a new word. However, it is of no surprise that quite a several people do not understand what a career means exactly and the entirety of what it entails.
For example, a career is not just about the job you do.
What is a career?
The Oxford Dictionary describes the word ‘career’ as
A course or progress through life
or a distinct portion of life.
A career is a profession that one undertakes to earn a living and gain relevant experiences both within and outside the organization which forms a unique pattern over an individual’s life span.
Is a career the same as a job?
A career is a long-term professional journey that could be determined based on one’s passions. I hope you already have clarity about your passion?
As similar as they might seem, a job and a career are two very different things. We often see them used interchangeably but there is quite a difference between them.
The meaning above looks so small but it carries a lot of weight. So, let‘s break it down a little for us to expose the difference between a job and a career.
“PROGRESS THROUGH LIFE”
This definition relates a career to a range of aspects of an individual’s life, learning, and work. In other words, the moment you land on the planet earth, you have started your career journey. So, it is not until you start working before you start thinking about the word ‘career’
Let’s go to the second part of the definition
“A COURSE OF LIFE OR A DISTINCT PORTION OF LIFE”
A career is never just about your job. That job is just another distinct portion of your life just like your relationship. Every important part of your existence is in your career circle.
I won’t be wrong if I say that the combination of every aspect of your life forms a whole career journey -NOT just your job.
While you catch glimpse of the interpretation above, I have a confession to make
Not until recently, did I also have a limited understanding of what a career means? One reason for me was that society limited the meaning of a career to a job. This is because your profession eventually takes a large part of your life.
While a job is work performed to support one’s basic needs, a career is much different and deeper than that as we have seen from the definition(s) of a career above. A job may be full-time or part-time and you may need to learn certain skills related to that role but not all jobs require a specialized degree or advanced training.
Simply put, a job can be said to be a short-term contract between an employer and a worker. Jobs are short-term duties that help to achieve your long-term goals. If you hate your job, make sure you do not hate your career. Your journey through several jobs and other aspects of your life make up your career.
Having gotten a clear understanding of what a job and career means, we can now discuss tips necessary to build a successful career.
In today’s world, there are many career paths one can take and each of these paths have tips specific to those areas. However, there are still common rules and tips that apply to all careers.
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Common tips to build a successful career
1. Have a positive mindset
A positive mindset is one of the most fundamental things for a successful career. There would always be difficulties and challenges along the way, however, having the right attitude towards them makes all the difference. All battles begin and end with the mind, hence it is necessary to always look towards the bright side and maintain a positive mindset. A positive mindset equips you mentally for the journey ahead.
2. Be willing to work hard and smart
This may sound trivial and unimportant, but just being willing to do the work necessary to succeed puts you in a great place to start. Willingness to work hard makes one proactively do the necessary work to be set aside from the pack.
- Set goals:
This includes short-term, Long-term, Smart goals. Write plans to execute them.
Goals help you define and measure what success means to you and having well defined goals helps you clearly picture what you set out to achieve and how to go about them. This in itself serves as a powerful source of motivation as it helps you create your own path.
When setting goals, it is important to break them down into short-term goals and long-term goals. Doing so brings clarification on what needs to be done initially to lay the foundation for the future. Make sure your goals are SMART
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic and
T – Time bound
4. Get a mentor
While having set goals and laid down plans is a step in the right direction, having a mentor(s) is a huge step further. Having mentors who are ahead of you in your chosen career is a huge plus because this helps you see the bigger picture. Mentors also save you from making a lot of mistakes, hence allowing you to achieve your dreams in a shorter time. Having mentors also serves as a reminder that what you hope to achieve is attainable.
5. Surround yourself with successful and like-minded people
Ever heard the saying ‘Your network is your net worth’?
This saying rings true and helps us evaluate the type of friendships we have. Having successful people around you is in itself a defense mechanism. This is because it spurs you to do more and creates a safe environment mentally. Going out to networking events, seminars, and the likes of them, and getting to meet the movers and shakers in your industry will definitely open doors for you.
6. Set a routine
Having a set routine for your day helps you effectively manage your time, thus enabling you to complete more tasks. Having a routine helps to build discipline and any successful person is nothing without discipline.
7. Have regular check-ins with yourself.
From time to time, (this could be monthly, weekly, or yearly) it is important to have a status report on yourself. Take time out to assess your goals, performances, and where improvements need to be made. This would go a long way in helping you stay on track and in charge of your set path.
8. Personal development
Above all else, personal development is most important to attain success. Always seek to improve yourself and climb higher. Take time out to focus on honing your strength and improving it while working on your weaknesses. The role of personal development in building a successful career cannot be overemphasized.
HOW TO REMAIN RELEVANT IN YOUR CHOSEN CAREER.
The key to remaining relevant in any chosen career rests in personal development and self-reinvention.
The reinvention of oneself to suit and adapt to the changing times is paramount to remaining relevant. This also helps to speed up your career advancement.
As man is a social animal who cannot survive alone, the role of having good working relationships with others becomes important. Maintaining old relationships and making new ones within the work environment help one remain relevant in their chosen field.
By continuing to develop oneself and adapt to changes, one can stay relevant and build a successful career for a very long time.
Writer: Umeadi Chidera