CCG is getting ready to celebrate our SIX YEAR anniversary in March so we decided to collect the 100 best pieces of career advice from our site over the last 6 years. We hope you get inspired!
Our suggestion is to pick one tip and write it down in your journal. Read it everyday and start practicing it in your career every single day.
(P.S. If you enjoy the below image, please pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share this article with a friend!)
Our Best Career Advice:
1. It’s OK to not be perfect. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to do something that you wish you hadn’t done, because if we don’t do those things, we never grow. The most important thing is that we all keep growing and that we all keep learning.
2. A terrible mistake is to think you know everything. We are all flawed. Put yourself out there and do big things! If something doesn’t go right, make your apologies and don’t do it the next time.
3. Do what you want to do instead of what you feel like you should do. It’s so easy to just go along that path with what you should do. For most people they are lucky and at some point they realize they have gone wrong and corrected it but you can save yourself so much time and trouble if you just start with what you want to do.
4. Even if you pick one career path, you don’t have to stick with it. You can deviate from your original path. Your previous experience will always help you no matter where you end up.
5. Learn more about yourself. Once you recognize what your personal values are, it will feel like everything just comes into place so much more quickly as far as choosing a career that magnifies who you are.
6. As you know start to know yourself better, you learn what is important to you and the lifestyle that you want to live. Then you can start crafting a career that will meet your personal and professional needs.
7. The career you started in doesn’t necessarily have to be the career you ended with. There is freedom in your career and you don’t have to stick with one career. You can be so many things.
8. Definitely keep your options open. Even if you don’t think it is possible, it’s possible.
9. Work becomes such a big part of your life after college that you really want to be happy in your career. No matter what anyone else says, you really have to look within yourself and decide what is going to make you happy and what you are going to enjoy doing for the rest of your life.
10. Trust your own voice and your intuition. Your career will go a lot smoother.
11. You need to promote yourself. You are going to have great bosses and bosses you don’t love but the only person that will speak up for yourself, your goals and your expectations is you yourself.
12. Have that confidence to say “Hey, I do a good job!” Sometimes people expect other people to do that for them but YOU need to push yourself.
13. Figure out what you want, how you are going to get there and do everything in your power to prepare yourself for the future.
14. Take opportunities, any opportunity that arises. Take it to as far as it can go because you never know where it’s going to lead.
15. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you?
16. Don’t say I am pretty good. Say I am great at it and I am an expert at it. Give yourself credit for knowing what you know.
17. Expect to be talked about, expect to be misunderstood, and expect to be hated on. But don’t let anything stop you from pursuing what you know God has really given to you to pursue.
18. Be patient and recognize that this thing will happen.
19. Understand other people’s point of view. Try to imagine yourself in somebody else’s shoes. If you understand where the other person is coming from, it will help you get what you want and help you build better relationships.
20. You might think people aren’t noticing all of the hard work you are doing, but they are. Whether you think someone is watching you or not, someone is watching you and your hard work is being noticed.
21. Know how important benefits and a retirement plan is in a job offer.
22. Step out of your comfort zone and do the things that you don’t feel comfortable with. Do them because you are learning a new skill.
23. Confidence is not, “I know what to do, when to do it, how to do it and have no doubts.” Instead, confidence is belief that you can figure it out. It’s really belief in yourself and being proactive.
24. Confidence is not something that somebody can do, but something that you develop. It’s not something that you’re going to get just by being around confident people. You get confidence by getting out there and just doing it.
25. The combination of courage and common sense is such a powerful combination. Be brave. Trust yourself. You know more than you think.
26. It’s okay to make a change. Realize that you can actually change your mind. Do something totally different with your life if you want to. As long as you’re living a fulfilled life, that’s the most important thing – the money will follow.
27. Think outside the box. Don’t just think about disciplinary possibilities for living and working between the lines. It’s OK to go outside the lines. Making and nurturing connections is also very important.
28. If you stick your neck out and ask for something, the majority of the time people will be willing to help you make it happen.
29. Get clear on what it is you want so you ask for the right things because you might just be surprised what you can get.
30. Be in the moment and give every job you have your very best. Don’t be so attached to “What’s next?”
31. Understand the way people work and the way money flows in your company. Learn how your job impacts the bottom line.
32. It is very important to be a good public speaker. You need to know how to ask questions and how to speak up in meetings.
33. It’s OK to ask for help. One of the best and easiest ways to gain experience is by asking others.
34. Gossip is not a good thing. Understand how to be friendly versus friends with everyone you work with.
35. There are so many people out there in the world that are simply waiting to help you and all you have to do to ask. As women, we forget that we have the power to ask for help.
36. It’s OK to seek out mentors, that it’s OK to boldly ask people for career guidance and insights.
37. You have to be grabby. Don’t wait for opportunities to happen to you.
38. You absolutely must ask for the money. You have to ask, ask, ask! Otherwise they will not give it to you.
39. As women we sometimes are afraid of being a burden, we don’t want to ask for too much help. We don’t want to look inexperienced. But, the fact really is that everyone wants to help each other.
40. The earlier you take the risk, the earlier you open yourself up to failure. Then the earlier you will learn whatever lesson is attached to that experience and you can move on.
41. No one gives confidence to you, you have to earn it. Understanding new and innovative ways of doing things is not wrong. Many of us are really afraid of doing things differently. Instead push forward and don’t think that you’re doing something wrong.
42. Share your opinion more and speak out more. It is so much less important that you have the exact right answer and much more important that you have the confidence to put some ideas on the table. Try to speak at least once in every meeting.
43. Do what you fear and go where you’re scared to go.
44. In a negotiation, take what you were going to ask for and double it. Men tend to exaggerate what they ask for and how they talk about their own skills and women tend to minimize.
45. Embrace all of the challenges, all of the successes and defeats, and all of the “happy chaos” that exists and you’ll have a very full life.
46. Don’t let the boundaries of your current position stop you from seeking, exploring, reaching out and looking for how can you reshape, rework, re-energize the job you’re doing now.
47. Don’t be afraid to take a step back to get ahead and to create a runway for yourself for the future. Don’t be afraid to take some of those risks.
48. Design your life so that you have a simple routine that naturally leads towards you investing time in your priorities and having realistic expectations.
49. Start your day with only three main priorities that you must get done that day. Work on the hardest and most difficult one first.
50. Focus on one task at a time so you don’t have to think about other things. Give yourself permission to make something a priority and then let everything else go.
51. Own your destiny, decide what your goals are, what you want to achieve, and then think about how you want to get there. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, who you are and how you want to present yourself to build your professional brand. Be your own best advocate.
52. Know your career priority, know your family’s priority, know your values and make decisions about where to focus your time and energy based on that.
53. Assume everything is negotiable because many more things are than you might think. Others expect you to negotiate and they’ll offer you less with the hope that you won’t negotiate. But, the assumption is always there that you will probably try to push it a little bit.
54. If you’re applying for a new job, do not try to negotiate until you get the offer. Wait until they have done their research on you and they have decided they really want you. Then you have the strongest position to ask for what you want.
55. Start small and take small risks. That will help you gain the confidence to make bigger risks in the future.
56. The most important thing to know about social media is that they can absolutely help you find a job. Take advantage of the opportunity to post a status update and let people know what you’re looking for and what your expertise is.
57. When you’re trying to find out what your niche is or where you stand out, take a group of about 5 or 6 of your closest friends, both male and female, and ask them this question, “If you could describe me in three words, what would they be?”
58. You don’t have to be more intelligent than most of the people around you. You don’t have to be better than most people around you. You just have to have more drive. When your goals and your ambition are aligned, it is possible for any women of any type of personality in any male-dominated industry to succeed.
59. You absolutely should tailor your resume to each job you apply to. If you’re doing a job search online, you really need to look at the job description and match the keywords. If you’re applying for the same job, you should rewrite your cover letter every single time so it better matches the job posting.
60. If you want to be seen as someone who should be taken seriously, be among the first 2 or 3 people to speak in any meeting. Early speakers are seen as more self-confident than later speakers.
61. People want to be around and promote people who are nice. But successful women are not just nice, they balance nice with being direct and straightforward. They have difficult conversations and take risks.
62. Don’t go to work looking to make friends with all the women you work with. It’s more important to be friendly and professional with the women you work with instead. Let them slowly earn your trust because not all women are the same and some are going to be inherently competitive with you.
63. Aim to be respected, not liked by everyone you work with. Don’t be a people pleaser.
64. “No” is a complete sentence. Only say yes to the things that really matter.
65. When presenting an idea or topic to a man, remember to keep it short and sweet. Men don’t like a lot of detail and you will have a lot more success if you are direct and get to the point as quickly as possible.
66. Your goal is to be noticed when you walk into a room; not for being attractive but for being well put together professionally so you demand respect.
67. Once you say no to the things in your life that are holding you back and free up room for awesome things to come your way, doors will start opening.
68. Never check your work email first thing in the morning! Take some time to yourself to read, enjoy your coffee, meditate or work on your passion instead.
69. Unplug and live life offline. Try to spend one day a week without checking email and social media.
70. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. The best opportunities come when you are a little scared.
71. Don’t wait for your boss to manage your career development plan for you. You are the only one in charge of it. You have to make things happen yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. Ask your boss for a career development discussion this week.
72. Being open all the time to learn what other people do and how it might interact with what you do is vital. You want to build that support network around you.
73. Get out of your comfort zone, look into what networking events are around you and just dive in. Things will come out of it that are very beneficial.
74. Know your goals before each networking event and know what you want to get out of the event. You can waste a lot of time networking so make sure it is efficient and strategic.
75. It’s very important to keep up that contact list and keep up with the networks that you create for yourself.You have to keep that up because you don’t know where or how you are going to run into someone that can help you out in the future.
76. Write lots of thank you notes. This will completely separate you from everyone else, especially now with email.
77. Don’t overlook informational interviews. They are the #1 way for potential employers to see how proactive, prepared and knowledgeable you are.
78. If you go to an event, try to always make one meaningful connection to follow up with.
79. Learn what style of networker you are. It could be that you are better one-on-one or with a group of people.
80. Don’t forget about the people that you already have a pre-established relationship with. Go back to people who have already helped you and start networking with them again.
81. Networking is not just about meeting new people. Never forget about your family and friends.
82. Always find someone to keep you accountable.
83. Have random times in your calendar where you just call people randomly you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
84. Before you go to any event you want to evaluate, why are you going and what is your goal from the event. At an event, make a good enough impression that a person will want to see you again. After a networking event, follow up with them with a handwritten note, email, or phone call. Include your LinkedIn link in your email signature.
85. If you write your name tag, make sure you write your name big and bold and place it higher than your chest. Challenge yourself to really slow down during introductions. Learn how to say the other person’s name and say your name slowly.
86. Make sure you extend your network inside and outside your company. We all need a tribe (network) because a tribe will teach us new things and help us do our jobs better.
87. Before launching a bunch of emails or going to a bunch of events, take time to really craft your elevator pitch. Develop your pitch and figure out what your brand messaging really is. Then, practice it in the shower.
88. Use all ways of networking: one-on-one networking, going to networking events and social media networking. Bring it all together and make sure your brand is specific and consistent in every place you’re networking.
89. When you’re going in an event, research the people you could possibly talk to. Find out as much as you can so that when you’re talking to them, you have questions ready to go.
90. Surround yourself with people that are positive and bring out the best of you. Find people to add to your network that inspire you.
91. Find a sponsor and a mentor. The most successful women have a network of mentors both instead and outside of their company. Your mentor provides guidance during a challenging situation. A sponsor advocates for you and promotes your visibility within the company.
92. Challenge yourself to network. Meet with 4 people you don’t know and 4 people you do know every month.
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