How to Make the Most of Your Job
When it comes to career advice, the Internet is overflowing with it. From advice about what to wear to an interview to guarantee you make a great impression, to tips about how to juggle responsibilities and put to use your maximum productive capacity, you name it. And offline every reasonably successful climber on the career ladder will have their own success musts. It’s hard to summarize all this information but let’s try, nevertheless, based on reading scores of success stories and real-life observations.
It is essential to know what you actually want. That’s true for career and life in general for the very simple reason that if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve there’s a good chance that you won’t achieve it. If you are clear about your goals, however, it will be much easier to find the right way and means to accomplish them. Knowing yourself also includes being clear about your strong and weak points, and also knowing how many of your weaknesses you can get rid of by applying conscious effort. By the way, bear in mind that what you consider a weakness may in fact be a hidden strength: if you’re shy and quiet that’s not necessarily a bad thing, not all bosses like upfront chatterboxes.
Maximizing your productivity is a gradual process closely related to getting to know yourself and what you’re best at. What’s more important is that productivity has been linked to happiness. Not surprisingly, happiness enhances productivity and that’s something you probably already knew even if only subconsciously: we are all happier when we do something we enjoy and are willing to put much more effort into it than into something that bores us, annoys us and generally makes us unhappy. Even if you don’t exactly love your job, there must be something that’s holding you there. If there isn’t — why prolong the agony?
Whatever your job is, making schedules and prioritizing tasks can’t do any harm. On the contrary, it will help you be more productive and will reduce the time wasted wondering what was it that you were supposed to do next. When you organize your work, don’t forget to make space for little rests. No-one can work with the same level of energy and concentration throughout the day and a short break, regardless of how urgent what you’re doing is, will only be of benefit. Of course, that doesn’t mean taking a break in the middle of something, it means not forgetting to take one after you finish a task.
Never let yourself slip into a rut when it comes to work (and not just work, by the way — ruts are bad, they take the joy out of life). Very often there is more than one way to do something well and one of these ways will yield better results than another, even if you’ve been used to doing things just one way. Be open to new ideas and new information in your field, never stop learning. New skills, new knowledge can make you much more competitive and bring you one or more steps closer to your long-term goal.
Patience is a virtue, we’ve all heard that. Yet the hectic world we live in seems to be making us increasingly impatient, unwilling to wait for things to take their course and get us closer to the reward we’re dreaming of, but rather eager to reach out and grab it. And what happens if while we reach out and grab one opportunity we miss another, better one? We resent our impatience, that’s what happens. This is of course not to say that you should pass on opportunities just because you’re waiting for a better one that you’re sure is waiting for you around the corner. No, just be careful about timing and don’t trod on other people’s fingers in your quest to the big reward. Making enemies is hardly a smart tactic, no matter what area of business you’ve set your eyes on conquering.