Sometimes you need to throw conventional wisdom aside and try something different. Forget about what everyone else is doing, and focus on your own journey. In order to succeed, you may need to follow a different pathway, and these four career tips you probably haven’t heard before might be able to help you along your journey.
1. Rocking the Boat Works in Your Favor
You may have been told not to make waves at work, that you should never rock the boat. Such advice will not help you advance in your career. It’s better to rock the boat than to stay stagnant and simply let things happen around you. If you want to make a good impression on your manager, start rocking the boat by initiating positive change. Don’t stay on the sidelines where you have no part in making things happen. Rocking the boat gets a bad rap many times. Of course, you don’t want to capsize it – after all, no one is ever going to get promoted in the workplace by causing chaos. You will advance in your career by causing positive events to occur, which always lead back to increasing the productivity in the workplace.
Rocking the boat in your career involves being able to take chances when that perfect opportunity comes your way. If you’re too willing to play it safe and stay calmly sailing along, you may miss out on an opportunity that could have otherwise advanced your career. Maybe your manager wanted to promote you to team leader because your work performance dictated that you’d be a good fit. If you’re too comfortable in your current position and not assertive enough to take chances, you’ll miss out on the promotion. Rocking the boat means you know how to challenge yourself even when you’re scared out of your mind. You may have some great idea that conflicts with how everyone else in the office thinks things should be run. Someone who rocks the boat faces those fears. He steps outside of his comfort zone to challenge himself to make productive suggestions even when he knows they won’t be received well. He knows that being assertive, without aggression, is the first step toward rocking the boat and initiating positive change.
2. Being Loyal Doesn't Help Your Career
Loyalty is a great quality that people should develop. Yet, when it comes to your career, loyalty can hinder your professional advancement. Of course, you want to be loyal and not reveal trade secrets with your boss’ competitors. You need to be a loyal employee and come to work on time and do a good job. However, there is a limit to your loyalty if you really want to advance your career. Did you know that if you stay at your job for more than two years, you’re going to decrease your lifetime earning potential by 50%?
Gone are the days when you stayed at your company for decades and then retired with an awesome pension plan. If you want to advance your career, you actually need to be loyal to yourself. That may entail staying at your current job for ten years. If things are going well and you keep getting promoted, you should stay. However, the problem arises when employees start getting satisfied where they’re at, receiving only minimal raises, and don’t consider that they could do better for themselves at another company.
The savvy employee knows how to read the signs when it’s time to hand in their resignation letter and move on to the next big opportunity. They’ve lost motivation to come in to work each day. Their manager has stopped appreciating them going the extra mile on company projects. These employees have been given more job responsibilities with no salary increase. If they did receive a salary bump, it was only minimal and not enough to warrant their continued loyalty to the company. Stop being so comfortable in your job: if you want to advance your career, focus on being loyal to yourself and your professional goals. Then make the decision to loyally follow where the next career opportunity will take you.
3. Surrendering Is Not a Failure
Some people think that surrendering is for wimps, but that’s not always true. Surrendering and raising the white flag can sometimes mean that you’re a realist. You’re someone who knows your own limits and realizes that you cannot make it alone. Basically, you need help. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that. Trying to do everything by yourself all the time can become extremely exhausting. When you need help, the best thing to do is admit that to yourself and seek out assistance from a colleague.
If you’re working on a project and realize that you simply cannot get all the tasks completed by the deadline, should you keep fighting to finish or surrender and ask for help? If you decide to keep fighting to finish, you put yourself in a very dangerous position. What if you don’t finish and your fighting was in vain? Your ship has sunk and now you have to explain to your boss why you didn’t ask someone for help. If you decided to surrender and ask for help, you will be able to complete the work with a colleague and save the day. Don’t you think that you’ll look more like the hero then? Your boss will be happier that you chose to ask for help and got the work completed than if you tried to wing it alone and failed.
4. Failing to Be the Smartest Person is Good
Sure you want to be smart. That’s important, but you don’t have to feel like you need to be the smartest person in the room at any given moment. When you operate that way, you miss out on vital learning experiences. People who think they are the smartest—or appear that way to others—don’t allow themselves to expand their knowledge base. Why would they? Aren’t they smart enough already? Who needs to learn more, anyway?
Excelling in your career involves growing and learning new things. You must constantly seek to enlarge your perspective and become more tolerant. If your manager thinks you’re the smartest person on your team, you’ll be tasked with always leading team projects or directing colleagues. Failing to be the smartest person is better. You need to continue in the cycle of constantly learning and developing as a professional.
People, who think they’re the smartest in the room, think they’re right even when they are completely wrong. You know the type. This know-it-all causes more issues in the workplace than solutions. When this smartest person is working on a team project, his way is the only way. If someone has another idea that is more efficient and effective in completing the project, this person will push back and stubbornly argue his way. It’s more important to be productive at work than to have your own way because you think you’re always right.
Sometimes going the unconventional route when it comes to success in your career is the only option. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat when necessary. You owe yourself loyalty and not your current employer. Continue to learn each day. Raise the white flag when needed and ask for help. That’s so much better than falling flat on your face and failing.
Can you think of any other career tips that you probably never hear about? Let us know in the comments section below!