It either takes a lifetime to earn the most practical and actionable career lessons that make you successful or you can learn from those who have reached the heights you are aiming for. Here are some of the best career lessons from the successful and rich (with some additions from the latest research on achievers in our society):
Table of Contents
Pursue Passion, Not Wealth (and Commit to Evolve It).
Henry Ford set out to make a horseless carriage. Bill Gates was interested in computers and what they could do. Steve Jobs dreamt of putting a computer in hands of everyone. Passion keeps you moving in the gloomiest of times. When the income dries off, passion does not let you accept failure or give up hope.
Choosing careers based on paychecks and the lifestyle that money can offer you gives you a false start. There is no end to greed. More you earn more you spend. The more you spend, the more you want to earn. You must choose a career that makes you want to get up and go to your workplace. When you choose something you love to do, you will feel excited to do your best and achieve your goals.
But you already know that. So, what’s new?
A 2018 Stanford research paper on the ‘Implicit Theories of Interest’ points out that people who think that interests and passions are fixed are likely to give up when they face challenges. Success belongs to people who understand that passions are fluid and commit to evolving them consciously. Only when you realize that you have to make contributions to grow your passion and lead it to fruition, you can hope to see career breakthroughs.
Work for Someone You Respect and Admire.
Warren Buffett revealed that when he started his career, he worked for his mentor Benjamin Graham. At the time, he didn’t even ask the salary he would get for the job he had to do. He came to know his salary only when he got his paycheck at the end of the month.
Graham was Buffett’s professor at Columbia Business School. Buffett credits him for being the key influence in developing his career and investment philosophy.
Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger believe that one should work for people who are fun, admirable, and worthy to learn from. Working for someone you hate adds unnecessary work stress to your life, a big obstruction on your path to success.
When you work for someone you admire, you earn a mentor with the power to propel your career faster than you. When people hope between jobs to get a better salary or a better position in a company, they make the mistake of burning the bridges and lose big opportunities along the way.
True leaders are authentic and have a ‘humans first’ attitude. They understand that they have to model behaviors to earn trust, loyalty, and commitment of their followers and get the best business outcomes. They work hard to build camaraderie in the workplace and make it fun and engaging.
Compassion is another trait you should look for in a boss. If you have a boss who cares for his or her employees and is kind to people around him or her, stick with him or her. Terry Turner of Pinnacle Financial Partners is said to be a great human-centered leader. 99% of his associates are proud of their workplace. Pinnacle has a 91.5% retention rate – a first in the financial service industry!
Never Shy Away from Learning a New Skill.
Denis Waitley, the famous American motivational speaker, famously said:
Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise.Denis Waitley
View life as a continuous learning experience.
Learning something new may seem challenging but it is also fun and exciting. It allows you to come up with fresh ideas and gain new perceptions. It makes you feel that you are living your life to the fullest.
New experiences, such as learning to ride sea waves on the surfboard for the first time or saying a full sentence in a new language you are learning, give you a sense of accomplishment and a moment of pride. It also makes you value time more and helps in honing your time management skills.
Learn a new skill for 50 minutes a day every day and see the difference in your personal and professional growth.
Desire Drives Career!
Late Johnny Carson, known for hosting TV shows and comedy, rightly pointed out:
Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career.Johnny Carson
Not education. Not being born with hidden talents.
It’s alright to say that you should do what you love but be honest. What is it that drives us to work? Our desire to make more money, live big, be famous, and to succeed.
When we work to meet our needs, we need to walk a certain distance. But when we dare to dream big and touch the skies, we achieve inconceivable heights.
Is your desire driving you to success?
That depends on how deep your desire is and what you are ready to sacrifice for it.
Not all desires are created equal. You may be looking for a new job but if you don’t actively build a new resume and post it on job sites, go to job interviews, and try to nail them, you will not get one. If you want a promotion, you will have to acquire the skills or the experience you need for the post you are eyeing.
The biggest stumbling path on the path of your desire is your resistance. Resistance can crop up in the form of:
- bad habits,
- lack of discipline, and even
- a mental disorder or two.
Resistance stops you from having constructive thoughts and taking essential actions to fulfill your desire.
You get the courage, motivation, and perseverance to overcome all kinds of resistance only when you have a deep burning desire to achieve your goals. You can stoke the intensity of your desire by changing the way you think.
Jay Block, a career coach, states that if you set your goals by starting with:
- ‘I mightâ€¦’, you have a 5% chance of achieving them. (I might want to buy a farmhouse.)
- ‘I shouldâ€¦’, you have a 20% chance of achieving them. (I should be able to buy a farmhouse.)
- ‘I mustâ€¦’, you have a 50% chance of winning. (I must buy a farmhouse.)
- ‘I willâ€¦’, you have an 85% chance of achieving your goals. (I will buy a farmhouse.)
Write down your goals. Re-word them with the right words. Visualize them. Meditate on them. And use your desires and dreams to motivate yourself and keep forging your path to success.
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