We’re all working to get ahead and blaze our own unique career path. Here are our some of our all-time favourite career hacks from a handful of the business world’s most eminent authors to help you do just that.
- Making lemons from lemonade
This piece of advice comes courtesy of Jeff Goins in The Art of Work. Very few of us start off in our dream job right away or, conversely, we start a new job we’re enthusiastic about but learn quite quickly it’s not for us. As Jeff writes, “Your calling is not always easy. It will take work. Practice can teach you what you are and are not meant to do.” Every job, if you allow it, will teach you something new, something you can use later on.
- Don’t get too comfortable
It’s time to forget the proverbial ladder that we’re all told we’re supposed to climb. In Mistakes I Made at Work Lani Guinier relates the following anecdote: “My mother told me that even though I was very comfortable in Detroit, I was ‘too young to be middle-aged’ and should go to Washington, DC, to take a job I was being offered with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. She would remind me: ‘You can always go back to Detroit if that turns out to be what you want.’ Sometimes being comfortable in a place isn’t a good enough reason to stay there. It’s okay to take risks.”
- Know your skills
This sounds obvious, but are you aware of the unique skills that you bring to the table? In Do Over, Jon Acuff suggests we take time out to take stock of our skills. Try the following exercise: Grab a stack of index cards and write a different skill that you possess on each card until you’ve exhausted your skills (keep in mind that the goal is quantity, not quality). Then ask yourself the following questions to organize your cards. Do you see any patterns emerging?
- What are you good at?
- What comes naturally to you?
- What do people pay me to do?
- What are you afraid of?
- If you wrote an eBook, what would the topic be?
- Career Savings Account
Here’s another good GEM from Jon Acuff’s Do Over. Many of us deposit money into a savings account for a rainy day, but how many of us have a Career Savings Account? “These are the areas that you need to invest in over the course of your career to be equipped to handle the career bumps, jumps, ceilings and opportunities that you may encounter.” The equation goes a little something like this: Relationships (who we know) + Skills (what you do) + Character (who you are) x Hustle (how you work) = Career Savings Account. Learn more about how to start investing in your CSA here.
What’s your own personal tried and tested career hack for getting ahead? Tell us in the comments!