Whether you are in the middle of your career or just starting out, it’s important to have a plan. Career Advice can help you decide not only where you want your career to go but also what you need to do to get there.
The best career advice can come from anywhere, such as conversations with co-workers, mentors or even a random person at an after-work happy hour. But you may find that you can get more helpful, thoughtful guidance if you approach people with a specific request. Asking for career advice can make you more likely to get it and set you up for success in the future.
Don’t be afraid to make the hard decisions that will ultimately propel your career. This could mean leaving a company that is treating you poorly, especially if your mental health and safety are at stake. It’s important to recognize that a toxic work environment isn’t a reflection of who you are and that your loyalty is not required in order to move forward professionally.
Often, your gut or intuition will have the right answer. If something feels right, listen to that voice inside you and trust that it will lead you where you need to go. This can include changing jobs, moving to a new city or making an unpopular decision at work.
You should also strive to be a trustworthy and ethical worker, which will help you in your professional life. Maintaining integrity is crucial at work, both in terms of the respect you receive from your colleagues and the trust you can earn from clients and business partners.
It’s important to build a support network for yourself both at work and outside of it. This can be in the form of mentors, peer groups and industry associations. Networking is key to advancing your career, and a strong support system can keep you motivated when things get tough.
Investing in relationships will help you both in and out of the workplace, as job opportunities and introductions can be just as valuable as skillsets. If you have a goal to become a copywriter, for example, it is helpful to reach out to the creative directors at marketing agencies with whom you regularly interact. They can provide you with valuable feedback on your pitches and offer insight into the industry.
You should also be sure to attend events that are relevant to your field. This can be as simple as going to the monthly tech meetup or as complex as taking advantage of opportunities your employer offers for external events like conferences or client dinners. Attending these events will show you’re invested in your career and can help you develop valuable connections that can help advance your career. Keeping a “brag bag” or “kudos file” where you store positive comments from your peers and bosses can also be a great way to stay motivated during a difficult time in your career.