#1. Work hard
I had to start with the most obvious one. Your career will never progress unless you truly give it your all, blood and sweat. Don’t half-ass two tasks when you can whole-ass one, and definitely never settle for less than perfect.
“A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work“ — Colin Powell
#2. Be respectful
Always be the kind of person, you’d want to work and deal with. I know that we’re all humans and sometimes we have bad days that affect our mood, but a professional will never let it show, not to his colleagues, and definitely not to his clients.
#3. Set goals
Two rockets are launched into space, one has a specific target to go to, and the other has no destination. They’re both going up, but which of them in your opinion will go further? It’s the same thing with our careers, we need to have certain goals and milestones to work toward, and fly to.
#4. Be pragmatic
Being realistic and making decisions based on reason rather than emotions, is a recipe for success, as long as you don’t overdo it, of course, I don’t want to catch you working when you should be spending time with a friend in need. At the end of the day, most, if not all of us, only want to further our careers, to take care of our loved ones, so make sure you don’t gain something by losing everything.
#5. Never stop learning
The second we stop moving forward is the second we start falling backward. I can’t stress how important it is to stay relevant and up to date on your field. After all, we’d all hate to go to a doctor because of a sore throat, and having them prescribe heroin for us.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi
#6. Take some time for yourself
After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We should keep in mind that rest in itself, is an important part of work, it helps us reset, take a breather, and get back at it, ready for a day in the trenches.
#7. Take care of your body
It’s a known fact, that we’re not as productive as we can be if we don’t eat well and have a good night of sleep every day. A healthy breakfast, an hour of workout, and eight hours of sleep daily will change your life and your energy significantly.
#8. Be a mentor
Be the kind of person that people can learn from, and gravitate towards. There’s joy in giving, especially if you’re willingly giving your time, experience, and knowledge.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey
#9. Emerge yourself in the community
There are so many communities out there for every line of work, and all of them are full of amazing and talented people, that have so much to offer, and so many tips that can drive your career lightyears ahead.
#10. Find your niche
Don’t be a jackass of all trades, master of none. Find your niche and work at it, become the go-to person when it comes to it, and most importantly, you’ll become an expert, which will help you immensely in your work.
#11. Track your progress
It’s very important for you to be able to look back and see all the progress you made. It’ll be the dose of motivation you need to keep pushing forward.
#12. Own up to your mistakes
it takes a big person to admit they are wrong, so whenever you screw up, there’s nothing wrong with owning up to it. You’ll gain the respect and trust of the people around you.
“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.” — Nikki Giovanni
#13. Give credit when credit is due
There’s nothing worse than a manager or a colleague who takes all the praise and glory for something you helped them do. So if you’re ever in a similar position and someone gives you a hand with whatever you’re working on, give them the credit they deserve, you’ll not only make their day, but you’ll also make an ally that you can count on.
#14. Have a passion project
Having a passion project can push you to learn so many new things that are out of your wheelhouse, like marketing, sales, or even coding.
#15. Delegate whenever you can
We live in societies because none of us can accomplish everything on our own, so maybe we should take a hint from a concept that’s been proven for thousands of years now. Not to mention that delegating will allow you so much more time to focus on other aspects of your work, thus effectively doubling your output.
#16. Don’t get sucked into the office drama
I mean do I really need to explain this one?
#17. Accept criticism
Don’t be so full of yourself, that you can’t even accept constructive criticism, we’re all humans and none of us is perfect, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t become better, by accepting different opinions and working on our self-improvement.
“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” —Norman Vincent Peale
#18. Always keep your word
“Measure a man’s worth by his actions alone. For the devil also promises the moon!”
Our word is our bond, and if your colleagues, managers, or clients can’t trust you, then your career is going nowhere but down.
#19. Stay humble
Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will. It’s important for your career, and your life in general, to be humble and keep your ego in check, don’t let it blind you, and keep you from becoming the best version of yourself.
And as Kendrick Lamar so elegantly puts it:
(Hol’ up, bitch) sit down
(Sit down, hol’ up, lil’ bitch)
Be humble (bitch)
#20. Stop procrastinating
Procrastination is a monster that feeds on your habits, the more you feed it, the bigger it gets, and the bigger it gets, the more it will control your life. It’s a vicious cycle, that you can only break with a strong will and the desire to improve your life, and I bet you have it in you, champ.
#21. “Don’t try”
Don’t try, is the philosophy of Charles Bukowski, and I have to say that I agree with it. Always give everything you do a hundred percent, don’t just try to be great, be great.