Now I am the first person to say I am not an expert when it comes to careers but what I have done is persevered and through the mistakes and the triumphs. I know what it feels like to feel like you are rut and have no idea how to progress in the world of work. Over the years I discovered five ways to enhance your career which have helped me to this very day.
Be Kind and Have Courage
You often get told being kind does not get you very far but I am here to tell you that is not the case. Kind people do succeed. Saying good morning to the receptionist of your building and being empathetic to your colleagues will be appreciated in the long run. Contrary to popular belief ,it is not the weakness however you also have to have courage. It will not always easy to navigate and some people will try and take advantage of your kindness. Be aware of this and act accordingly. Remember there is a nice way to turn down an idea, say no and speak up in the boardroom. You can be kind AND fight your corner.
If you work for a company it can be easy get complacent and not take up opportunities which are presented to you. I am an anxious person and stepping out of my comfort zone is not something which comes easily to me. Throughout your career there will be chances for you to seize opportunities which may feel out of your remit. Seize them. Something I have learnt, voicing your opinion, speaking up about an idea you may have regardless of how it pans out will only help you in your career. Sitting by the sidelines, just sitting in your comfort zone, doing what you are told will keep you at a standstill.
It is a myth that education finishes the moment you leave school. There is still so much you need to learn. Take a doctor for example, a doctor is always learning, there is always a course they need to do in order to keep to date and relevant within your industry. As a creative, there are many writing courses, photography courses and social media courses to help me hone in the skills I always have so I can be better.
Presentation with substance
Unfortunately people do judge you based on first impressions. The way you dress and look can have an impact on how people see you and in turn listen to your ideas. As a muslim woman in the digital space I know this all too well. 85% of the time I do not really pay attention to what I wear to work but on days when I have a meeting I will be more conscious about what I am going to wear and how I present myself. Mainly because it gives me a bit of confidence and makes me feel better within myself. This goes beyond your physical looks but also the documents and presentations you share with clients and colleagues. When I am making a document or a presentation, I make sure to get all my ideas and points on the paper but then, I will take the time to work on the presentation. If I have a meeting, I will make sure I have all the documents I need to get my points across professionally. So yes take the time to polish up the presentations and documents but remember eventually, people do see through it, so make sure you back it up with substance.
Write everything down
I always have a notebook with me. In a meeting, on my desk, in my bag, you name it. In fact there are two here with me right now. Personally my memory is not the best, so if I am in a meeting and I agree to do something, I will write it down so I won’t forget. Sometimes a colleague will come up to me asking me to do something for them so I will write it down so I can do it once I have finished my current task. I also do a lot of phone meetings so I write things down for reference.
Sometimes I come up with an idea but it is not the right time to follow through with it so I will write it down so I do not forget it.
I am still in the early stages in my career and it took me a while to discover the above but they really have been life changing.