Today’s post is written by Jasmine Stephenson who will share with us 10 personal development tips she has learned in her career.
We all start our first real careers a little bit ignorant of what to expect. Luckily, the Internet has a host of career resources and blogs like Classy Career Girl, where we can gain professional insights and tips on personal development at work.
Here are personal development lessons I learned on my career journey.
1. Realize your worth: At my first real career job working at a medical transcription company, my responsibilities increased but my pay didn’t. After nine months, I finally submitted a written proposal requesting a raise and reasons supporting my request. In the end, I didn’t get the raise. So what did I do? I found another job that recognized my worth.
2. Keep emotions out of it: The career arena was probably the first time I had to stick up for myself in an adult situation. Taking the example above, asking for a raise wasn’t easy, and there was a whole stew of emotions brewing under the surface when they denied it. However, being overly emotional is unprofessional and won’t get you anywhere.
3. Ask for what you want: As I got older and more assertive, I became less afraid of asking for what I want. In Tim Ferriss’ book The Four-Hour Workweek, he recommends asking your boss if you can telecommute from home instead of going into the office every day. The takeaway is that you won’t know what you can get if you don’t ask.
4. Stay away from negative people: This is a principle I followed not only at work, but in my personal life too. There will always be someone at the office who likes to get caught up in work drama, gossips about coworkers, and is all in all a negative person. Hanging around someone like that will only damage your career.
5. Don’t slack off: When I was 21, I won employee of the year at a law firm I was working at. I was shocked, because I had only been working with them for 10 months, was one of the youngest in the office, and was surrounded by legal career professionals. So why did they elect me for this prestigious award? They cited my willingness to go above and beyond my job description, constantly looking for new things to learn and new ways to get involved with the company.
6. Be early: This is an obvious tip, but one that people rarely think of when they’re looking to advance in their careers. I’ve seen good employees fired because they didn’t show up to work on time. Being early shows your respect for the company and their time.
7. Ask questions: I’m always surprised at how many people end up doing their work wrong because they were too afraid to ask their superiors for help, advice, or clarification. Both you and your higher ups want you to get the job done right – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
8. Share your ideas: After you’ve been working for the company for a while, you may see a way that efficiency could be increased, costs cut down, or a way to gain new clients. Sharing your ideas with your boss is a great way to show them that you’re interested not just in advancing yourself, but the company as a whole.
9. Be assertive: You may have a co-worker trying to dump their share of work on your desk, or a fellow employee making inappropriate remarks. There are a number of ways in which being assertive is essential in the workplace. You might be new, but you’re not a doormat.
10. If you’re unhappy, leave: Many people find themselves stuck in jobs that they hate because they’re complacent or afraid to change. I think this is one of the saddest ways to live. If you find your interests have changed, or you’re not content with your current situation, look for something better.
Which of these career tips do you think is the most important?
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