101 Career Tips You Can Learn in 3 Seconds
Career advice is very important. If you ask the most successful people in the world how they got where they are, many will credit their success to some great advice they received early on in their career.
This explains why there is no shortage of self-help books, inspiration quotes and career gurus providing advice on how to achieve success in your career.
Sometimes, however, you don’t have the time to go through entire books or watch hour long videos, what with your very busy schedule. You want something that you can learn quickly and start changing your life.
101 CAREER TIPS YOU CAN LEARN IN 3 SECONDS
To make things easier for you, we have compiled some of the greatest career advice and reduced it into small, quick tips that you can learn in 3 seconds and make an impact on your life.
1. Always have a plan and timelines when starting a new job.
Never get into a new job without a clear picture of what you want out of the job and a plan on how to get it. A plan provides you with a roadmap for achieving success and milestones for evaluating your progress. Lack of planning will often lead to stagnation.
2. There’s a difference between your career and your life.
Don’t tie your whole existence to your career. If something happens to your career, you will have nothing else to live for. While building your career, don’t forget to build a life outside your career.
3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
Appearance plays a huge role in how others view you. If you dress and act like a boss, people are more likely to take you like a boss, even if you are not.
4. No one will be more interested in your career progress than you.
Don’t wait for others to recognize your hard work or brilliance. Learn to market yourself if you want to be rewarded for your brilliance.
5. Get a mentor.
It doesn’t matter what stage you are in your career. Find someone you admire, someone who has achieved what you are trying to achieve and ask for their guidance.
6. Take risks early in your career.
Take more risks early in your career, because it is easier to start again in case you fail. Remember, you cannot get ahead in your career without taking risks.
7. Unplug from your laptop and spend time with people.
Your career progress will be greatly influenced by the relationships you form with people. The strongest relationships are created in person, not through email or social media. If possible, opt for face to face conversations over online conversations. This is especially important to young people, who are more dependent on technology for communication.
8. Don’t overwork yourself.
Overworking is not something to be worn as a badge of honor. Instead of making your more productive, it will impact your performance negatively. Take some time to unplug and recharge yourself.
9. You won’t end up where you start.
If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to take a job even if it is not what you studied for. People seldom spend their entire life in their first job. Find something interesting to you and start doing it. Something else will come along later.
10. Never stop networking.
It doesn’t matter if you are not looking for a job at the moment. Keep networking and make sure your network is active. This will make things easier for you when it is time to find new opportunities. Trying to activate your network when you are in need will often lead to frustration.
11. Stop trying to be a superstar in your career.
Many employees mistakenly think that claiming credit for everything and excessively tooting your horn is the best way to earn a promotion. Claiming credit for everything will turn off your colleagues and make it seem like you only care about yourself, which will hurt your chances of getting promoted.
12. Exercise humility and restraint.
Always remain humble and avoid showing excessive emotions. If you are angry with your boss or a colleague, don’t shout or say bad things. Hold your anger for a moment and see if it will be there tomorrow.
13. You will never get if you never ask.
If you want to progress in your career, you should have the confidence and courage to ask for things. No one knows what you want, so it is up to you to ask for it.
14. Learn to take criticism.
Criticism is a part of life. Don’t let criticism crush or discourage you. Whenever you receive criticism, evaluate it first. If it is constructive, use it to improve yourself. If it is demeaning and unconstructive, ignore it.
15. Don’t apply to every job you come across.
When searching for a job, it might seem like a sensible thing to apply to every remotely relevant job you come across. Don’t do this. You will only be wasting your time. Instead, focus on jobs that you are qualified for and excited about. This will increase your chances of getting interview invitations and getting hired.
16. Don’t forget to take good care of yourself.
It does not matter where you stay or what you do. The better you feel, the better you’ll do your job. Take care of yourself.
17. Never badmouth a previous employer.
During job interviews, never say anything bad about your previous employer. The interview will assume you are going to do the same thing about them, and this will hurt your chances of getting hired.
18. Learn to ask questions.
The mistake many of us make is to think we know everything. Asking questions is the key to increasing your knowledge. It is better to ask a question and look dumb for a minute, instead of keeping quiet and remaining ignorant for life.
19. Don’t settle for job to just pay the bills.
Look for a job you are passionate about. If you take a job just for the money, you are less likely to accomplish much.
20. Volunteer outside work.
This is a great way to build new, important skills and opportunities that will help your career further down the road.
21. Find out what is required where you are headed.
Before going on a trip to a new place, you often check the weather forecasts and do some research to know what to expect when you get there and to be prepared. The same applies to your career. If your goal is to become CEO, learn the skills, education and experience required to become a CEO and start getting them.
22. Don’t leave it to others to manage your career.
Don’t let others make your career choices for you. You won’t be happy with the results. Make your own choices and focus on the skills and qualifications you need for your dream job.
23. Reverse engineer your career.
Think of that big dream you want to achieve in your career and then go back step by step to where you are today. This will help you figure out the steps you need to take to get to your big dream.
24. Improve your body language.
Your body language communicates more than your words. Master your body language and use it to project the image of a confident professional who knows what they are doing.
25. Pay attention to career predictions.
Are you aware what your field will look like in future? Do you have the necessary skill set to remain relevant in future? By paying attention to career predictions, you will avoid getting caught flatfooted by changes in your industry.
26. Become a good listener.
You learn nothing by talking. You can only learn by listening. Developing good listening skills is a skill that will positively influence your career.
27. If you say you will do something, do it.
If you want to be seen as a trustworthy and reliable person, learn to follow through with what you said you will do.
28. Never go to an interview unprepared.
Before going to a job interview, take the time to prepare yourself. Research about the company, look up the person that will be interviewing you and practice answering common interview questions. Never wing it.
29. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Many people mistakenly think that asking for help is a sign of weakness or incompetence. It’s not. No one ever became successful without some help along the way.
30. Find an accountability partner.
Create a plan to chart your career progress and create milestones to evaluate your progress, then share the plan and milestones with a trustworthy person who will act as your accountability partner. Their role will be to make sure that you follow through with your plan.
31. Be the hardest worker in the room.
Working hard will not on help you achieve more, your work ethic will also earn you the respect of your colleagues and bosses.
32. Don’t be afraid of getting fired.
If you are constantly afraid of getting fired, it will be very hard for you to advance in your career. As you progress in your career, it is inevitable that you’ll ruffle some feathers. Don’t be timid. Take risks. If you know you’re right, stick to your guns.
33. Be loyal to yourself, not your company.
Your company remains loyal to you only if you continue providing value, but is the company providing value to you? If you feel that your current company is not helping you towards your career goals, don’t be afraid to jump ship.
34. Learn to take rejection.
You will get several rejections throughout your career. You will apply for jobs and get rejected. Your proposals will get rejected. Clients will reject you. Don’t give up. Stay strong.
35. Put your goals in writing.
It’s not enough to have goals. Put them in writing. Research shows that those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
36. Brush up on your people skills.
You have to know how to relate well with people if you want to move forward in your career. Be friendly, warm, cheerful, approachable, personable and outgoing. This will help you build relationships with people who might help you find new opportunities in future.
37. Always get to meetings early.
Getting to meetings early shows that you value other people’s time. It also allows you to prepare well for meetings, which will get you noticed with your useful contributions.
38. Never look down on anyone.
Every person you interact with can help you open doors to new opportunities, both in your career and your personal life. Learn to build bridges and relate well with everyone you interact with, from the janitor to the CEO.
39. Bring your whole self to work.
While you have your personal and your professional life, don’t be afraid to use experiences and insights gained outside of work to help you make better decisions at the workplace.
40. Keep your workspace organized.
A neat, organized workspace indicates that you are an organized person who has everything under control. It also makes you more productive.
41. Don’t be afraid to take on leadership roles.
If you want to be a leader, you have to start acting like a leader. When there is a problem at work, don’t be afraid to step up and solve the problem. Be proactive and assertive. Take on more challenging workloads. This will show your superiors that you’re capable, and they will start entrusting you with leadership roles.
42. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas.
Whether in meetings, with your boss or when chatting with colleagues, do not be afraid to speak up and share what is on your mind. Sharing your ideas allows you to show your brilliance to your colleagues and superiors.
43. Step outside your comfort zone.
Growth occurs outside the comfort zone. If you want to progress in your career, you have to start pushing your limits. Find ways to make things better and take on more work.
44. Brush up your resume.
Don’t forget about your resume, even if you are not searching for a job at the moment. Whenever you gain some new experience or learn a new skill, add the information to your CV. You never know when a new opportunity will come up, and it’s always good to be ready with an up-to-date CV.
45. Don’t stop looking for new opportunities.
It does not matter if you are satisfied with your current job, keep looking at other jobs anyway. You never know when the opportunity you have always dreamt about will pop up.
46. Learn how to manage your time.
Good time management skills will not only make you more productive, they will also earn you the trust and confidence of your colleagues and bosses.
47. Keep abreast of trends in your industry.
Make a point of keeping yourself updated with everything that is happening within your field. With up-to-date knowledge about what is happening within your industry, you will be better positioned to contribute to the success of your team. This will make you an asset in the company.
48. Follow your target companies on social media.
If you are looking for a new job, follow the companies you would like to work for on social media. This way, you will get an early heads up whenever there is an open position.
49. Set time aside to think about your career.
At the end of every year, spend some time thinking about your career. Look for new opportunities, compare salaries with similar positions in other companies and warm up your network. This will give you a clearer picture of where you stand and help you make smarter career decisions.
50. Build a professional digital presence.
This is especially important if you are looking for new opportunities. Ensure you social media profiles look professional. Spruce up your LinkedIn or even build a personal website. This will help you get noticed by recruiters.
51. Don’t repeat the facts in your CV in your cover letter.
The purpose of your cover letter is to complement the information on your CV, not to repeat it. Use your cover letter to add some personality and show passion in your application.
52. Learn to share credit.
Don’t hog success to yourself. You cannot succeed alone, therefore you should learn to attribute your success to your team members.
53. Become good at observation.
You can learn a lot by observing others. Observe company executives and those who are good at their jobs and see what you can learn from them.
54. Be your own cheerleader.
Don’t wait for others to recognize your achievements and congratulate you. You are your own biggest fan, and you should act like it. Take note of your achievements, successes and positive attributes and take pride in them. This will spur you to go for even bigger successes.
55. Stop comparing yourself to others.
I know, it is almost impossible to stop measuring yourself against your friends and peers. However, you should recognize that your journey is unique to you. Enjoy your successes and achievements without comparing them to those of others.
56. Know when to move on.
If you realize that there are no more opportunities for you to grow in your current job, don’t stay there. Find a company that will allow you to go places with your skill set.
57. Your colleagues are not your friends.
Don’t share too much of your personal stuff with your colleagues. If you had a problem with your spouse, keep it to yourself. Only share personal stuff with colleagues you’d still hang out with even if you were not working together.
58. Always ask questions in an interview.
Asking no questions during an interview can hurt your chances of getting hired. Ask questions, but make sure you ask the right questions.
59. Be a little nicer.
This little piece of advice can take you very far, both in business and in life.
60. Give it a deadline.
Whenever you need to do something – a project at work, applying for jobs, reaching out to a recruiter, or anything else – give it a deadline. Giving yourself deadlines minimizes the chances of procrastination.
61. Join professional organizations and associations.
Join professional organizations and associations related to your career. Not only will they provide you with opportunities for networking, they will also help you learn more about your industry.
62. Have solutions to the problems you take to your boss.
If you have to take a problem to your boss, think of some possible solutions to the problems and present them to your boss after stating the problems. Even if he doesn’t adopt your solutions, it will show that you are proactive.
63. Your career will form a major part of your life. Choose wisely.
Before you get into any career, ask yourself if it is something you’d be comfortable doing every day for several years. Ensure that whatever career you choose is aligned with your interests and passions.
64. Be aware of the bigger picture.
Keep yourself aware of your company’s goals and overall structure, as well as the current affairs in your country and around the world. This will provide you with material for conversations around the office and will make you appear informed and knowledgeable, raising your profile among your colleagues and superiors.
65. Always have an open mind.
The secret to career progression is keeping an open mind. Many often start with jobs or assignments that are less than ideal, yet it is these jobs that help them find what they really want.
66. Never stop learning.
It doesn’t matter at what point you are in your career; never stop learning. Take up a new course or enroll in a new class that will help you get even further in your career.
67. Don’t get stuck in a job you hate.
If you don’t like your job, find another one. Staying in a job you hate will not only affect your performance, it will also negatively impact the quality of your life.
68. Craft a powerful personal brand
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when people think of you? What do people expect when they work with you? Building a powerful personal brand will make you appear more professional.
69. Never stop pushing your limits.
Always find new ways of making yourself more valuable. Find ways of getting better at your job. If you feel that your job has become redundant, create new opportunities for yourself that will allow you to move even further ahead.
70. Your career is more of a jungle gym than a ladder.
Don’t think of your career as a straight path where the only direction you can go is up or down. Instead, think of it as a jungle gym, where you can move up, down, sideways, over, under, and so on. Don’t be afraid of making drastic changes in your career or even switching to a different industry.
71. Keep benchmarking yourself.
Periodically assess yourself and compare yourself to others in the industry. Is there something more you need to learn? Is there a skill that the best in the industry have that you don’t have? Consult with industry specialists and find ways to keep improving yourself.
72. Never say, “That’s not my job”.
If there is something that needs to be done yet nobody is willing to do it, step up and do it, even if it is below your job designation. Stepping up to get things back in line when no one else wants to do it will help you get noticed and will show you care about the wellbeing of the company.
73. Always believe in yourself.
You will never get anywhere without believing in yourself. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed and grab any opportunities that come way. Don’t let your doubts stop you.
74. Learn to negotiate.
Your career will depend a lot on your negotiation skills. Earning a good salary, getting promoted, closing clients, and creating new opportunities for yourself all depend on your negotiation skills. Don’t neglect this important skill.
75. Never lie about your qualifications.
Sometimes, it might be tempting to misrepresent your qualifications when searching for a job. Don’t do it. It will come back to haunt you.
76. Always follow up after an interview.
After attending a job interview, always remember to send a follow up email to the interviewer. You follow up should be polite and humble.
77. Learn to take responsibility for your actions.
Take credit for your accomplishments, and at the same time be willing to take the blame for your mistakes. Never blame your mistakes on someone else. Taking responsibility for your actions shows your maturity and professionalism.
78. Know what to carry with you to an interview.
Whenever you go for an interview, make sure that you carry with you at least three copies of your resume, a notebook and a pen, and a few samples of your best work.
79. Show respect to everyone.
Treat everyone with respect – your bosses, you subordinates, your colleagues and your customers. It will take you a long way.
80. Learn to take initiative.
Don’t wait to be asked to do something when it is clear that it need to be done. Do it out of your own initiative.
81. Change your mind set when writing cover letters.
The secret to great cover letters is to imagine that the hiring manager is already impressed by your skills and experience.
82. Never openly show your dislike.
Even if you don’t like someone at work, never let it show. Showing your dislike for someone will only paint you as an immature person.
83. Gain the trust of your superiors.
If your boss knows they can trust you, they’ll spend less time worrying that you won’t deliver. They’ll be more comfortable delegating more tasks to you, which is good for your career progression.
84. Drop the negative attitude.
No one ever got anywhere by being negative. Stop whining continuously. This will only drain the energy out of you and your team. Instead of constantly complaining, find ways to make things work.
85. Be willing to assist others.
Don’t be afraid to lend an extra pair of hands or share knowledge if you find one of your colleagues facing a challenge you can solve. Your willingness to assist will reflect well on you.
86. Never hold grudges.
The truth is that life is not fair. You will get passed over for promotions, get assigned the projects no one wants, and so on. Even if it feels bad, don’t turn it into a grudge. Just let it go and focus on the future.
87. Build the right circle around you.
Watch the people you let into your circle. Surround yourself with ambitious and successful people with a “can-do” attitude, and their success and ambition will rub off on you.
88. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
You can only get better if you know your strengths and weaknesses. Awareness allows you to leverage your strengths for success while working to improve weaknesses.
89. Make your boss look good.
Don’t just focus on making yourself look good; make your boss look good as well. Supporting your boss will get you in his good books, and if his career advances because of your support, you will have a more powerful advocate who will want you around.
90. Turn yourself into an asset by learning the skills that are lacking.
If you notice that there is a skill that is lacking, learn it and step up to fill the gap. This will make you an invaluable asset and might even create new opportunities for you.
91. Define your own success.
Success means something different to different people. It might be getting the corner office, a bigger paycheck, a job that gives freedom to spend time with you family, and so on. Define what success means for you and go after it. Going after another person’s definition of success will not satisfy you even after you achieve it.
92. Know your employer’s expectations.
The first thing you should do once you start a new job is to gain an understanding of the company’s culture and values. This way, you can align yourself to be a good fit for the company.
93. Always be prepared.
As a professional, never go into anything unprepared. Whether it is a meeting with a client or superior, a conference, an interview, and so on, always make sure that you are prepared before walking into it.
94. Don’t focus solely on your department. Learn about other departments as well.
This will give you a holistic picture of the organization and how different departments come together to achieve the organization’s objectives. This knowledge will come in handy as you progress in your career.
95. Say yes often.
If you want to progress in your career, you must learn to say yes more often. Say yes to new opportunities, new assignments, new skills, and so on.
96. Don’t be afraid of failure.
The journey to growing your career and achieving your career objectives will not be a straight path. The path will be peppered with moments of failure. Don’t let them stop you. Pick yourself up and keep going.
97. Keep your job search organized.
If you are searching for a job, the entire job search process will be easier if you keep it organized. Have a job search notebook or a spreadsheet to keep track of all the jobs you have applied to and their details, such as when you sent the application, the interview date and so on.
98. Choose job experience over a job title.
When searching for a job, especially when you are starting out in your career, focus on the skills and experience you will gain from a job, not just the job title.
99. Job requirements are negotiable. Use this to your advantage.
Sometimes, you might find an opening for your dream job, but then you don’t meet all the requirements. Perhaps they want someone with 5 years’ experience when you only have 3 years’ experience. If you can prove to them that you can still bring value with your current experience, go ahead and apply for the job.
100. Don’t use averages to pick a career.
Averages can lie. For instance, the average blogger doesn’t make a lot of money. At the same time, the top bloggers make millions per year. The truth is, if you are willing to do what it takes to be great, you will achieve success in whatever career path you choose.
101. What got you past the first door won’t get you past the second door.
When starting out your career, your technical skills are the most important thing. However, if you want to progress, your technical skills will matter less. To get to the next step, your people skills will be more important than your technical skills.