Slow-and-steady and overnight success are not your only options.
November 28, 2018 5 min read
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When it comes to career growth, the general wisdom is that slow but steady wins the race. However, sometimes you need results a little bit faster to stay motivated. The good news is that there are several tried and true methods that you can put to work to improve your professional life right now. Try these quick and easy methods to to improve your career instantly:
Revisit your goals.
Don’t wait for an annual review to consider your goals. As it turns out, frequently considering your goals can lead to greater success. According to Goal Setting Theory, individuals who have clear and challenging goals will perform better than those who do not. So go ahead: take a few minutes right now to revisit your goals, adjusting if needed so that they are motivating for you.
Do this on a regular basis — daily, weekly or monthly. It will give you greater clarity on what you want to achieve, and will help you focus on what’s necessary to make your goals a reality.
Take inventory of your achievements.
Do you ever stop and think about how much you’ve achieved already in your career? Most of us don’t do this very often, because it’s easy to lose sight of our achievements when we get lost in the daily shuffle.
Take a little time to consider all that you’ve achieved, and create a log of achievements. You might maintain it in a spreadsheet, in a word document, or in a journal. Having a resource like this can improve your career quickly by boosting your self confidence. But it’s also something handy to have nearby when opportunities arise or when it’s time to negotiate a pay raise.
Make a connection.
Business is all about relationships, so it’s important to cultivate them and make them count. By investing time and energy in networking, you will in effect be planting seeds that can grow into opportunities in the future.
How could you forge a positive connection right now? Maybe it’s following up with someone you met at a trade show, or maybe it’s signing up for an industry event. Not only will getting out there help you remain curious in your industry, but it will help you improve your career both right now and in the long term.
Related: 7 Steps to Become Successful Sooner
If you want to become more successful quickly and effectively, do yourself a favor and seek out a mentor. Since your mentor is further along in their career than you, they can help you stretch out of your comfort zone and help foster career growth quickly.
Not only can they give general insight on your field, but they can give you great feedback on what you’re doing (and what you’re not doing). This can help you make changes right away that can help your career.
It’s definitely helpful to take a step back and assess your own progress. However, you might not have the ability to see yourself objectively, so it’s important to seek out feedback.
Get into the habit of asking trusted colleagues and even managers for feedback on projects. Without being obsequious or needy, you can end meetings or projects by asking what worked, and how things could work better. By simply asking things like this on a regular basis, you’ll get cues to small ways in which you can improve.
For instance, if someone says that you could be better about communicating, you can send more regular updates on your next project. That’s an easy thing to add to your routine that can reap rewards since you asked and since you’re following up.
Learn everything about your industry.
Making a commitment to learning will enrich your life. Making a commitment to learning about your industry will enrich your career.
It’s easy to lose your curiosity about your field when you’re working in the trenches, day in and day out. But if you take the time to study your industry, you may find that you’re reminded of what got you into this field to begin with. This can be a powerful motivator.
So…get curious. Ask questions of your colleagues, customers and experts in your field. Check out books and podcasts on the topic. By investing in your “education” account, you’re more likely to stay motivated and excited about your work, and you’re more likely to get ideas that will help you stay relevant and achieve more.
Shifting your mindset is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your career right this instant. Go ahead: take some time to be thankful for all that you have and all that you have achieved. Adopting an attitude of gratitude only takes an instant, but it can change your whole perspective.
It can make you more excited and motivated in your work, which can have a powerful and positive effect on your productivity. This can make a huge difference in your career, and all it takes is a few minutes to shift your point of view.
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