My career over the past eight years hasn’t been perfect—in fact, if I had the chance and ability, I would probably turn back time and do certain things a little bit differently.
Unfortunately this isn’t possible. However, I have learned several valuable lessons throughout my experience that might help you as you navigate your own career.
Please realise that it is never too late to do any of these things!
1. Invest more in your mind and less in material stuff
How you handle you paychecks at the beginning of your career will have a big impact on the direction and speed of your career.
The temptation to spend on the a nicer apartment, upgrading your clothes, and going out to fancier restaurants will be real and very strong.
While these aren’t necessarily bad things—you deserve to treat yourself every once in a while—you might want to think about spending your money on knowledge instead.
This will not only give you the greatest return on investment, but also be the one thing that lasts over time.
There are certain skills that are applicable to any job, such as communication, knowing how to effectively read and write, building strong relationships, networking, and time management, while there are obviously others that are more specific to your industry.
To expand on any of these, you have several options for investing your money (instead of having a luxurious weekend away)—you can take an online class, or buy a career-boosting book, or even hire a career coach.
2. Make your health your top priority
Your health is your wealth and the more you have it the more you can create more wealth and have a great career.
It is the foundation that accelerates everything in your life. It elevates your creativity, energy, and grit to get through the inevitable ups and downs you’ll experience.
Don’t work so hard in everything else in your life but neglect to take care of your mental and physical health. If you do, you will struggle to find breakthroughs in your beside having less willpower and discipline during your day, and thus being less productive over time.
Prioritizing your health isn’t just a one-time task. It actually has to take priority over everything you do. That means scheduling it into your calendar, making investments to buy the right food and exercise regularly, and even giving up other bad habits.
It’s true: Once you have your health together, everything else comes easier.
3. Learn how to best manage self within the available time
How we spend our time ultimately determines how much we will accomplish in our lifetime.
While 30 minutes here or there getting sucked into social media or taking one too many coffee breaks doesn’t feel like much, it can start to add up in a bad way.
The thing is, how you manage your time is something only you can figure out—everyone works through their to-dos in different ways.
The best time management tactics I’ve learned over time—that might help you get started—are usually the simplest. For example, you can try scheduling everything into your calendar so each task has a specific time frame for completion.
Or, you can try the “One Thing” strategy of asking yourself, “What’s the one task I can complete that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”
We can’t control how time passes, but we can maximize it to be, do, and achieve more.
4. Treat every relationship as a golden opportunity
The person you meet today may be someone you work with two, five, or 10 years from now. He or she could be an employee you want to hire, a potential business partner, or even your future boss.
When you treat every relationship as a golden opportunity and as a lifelong relationship, you’ll be more giving, more patient, and more pleasant to be around.
To practice this daily, you need to focus on giving first without expecting anything in return.
This might mean checking in with someone you met at a networking event via social media or over email every few months to see what’s new with them. Or, setting aside time in your calendar to regularly have lunch with team members.
And, you never know how even the most insignificant relationships will help you down the road.
5. Always think big
One of the most common regrets I hear from successful people being interviewed is that they “didn’t think big enough.”
Many of the things we want in our lives will come to us as long as we give ourselves the permission to receive them. I’m sure there are things you have in your life today that five years ago you only dreamed about.
Whether you’re looking for a promotion, a new career opportunity, or a better life overall, it starts by thinking big and bigger and raising your standards.
Always ask yourself this one question – What would you have to do if you want to achieve your 10-year goal in six months?
As unrealistic as it may sound, this level of thinking forces you to break past your current limitations and fears and ultimately approach your career with confidence, ambition, and a clear head.
How about you: What’s one thing that you would do differently if you started your career over? Kindly share on the comment segment below.