Misconception # 1 - A career is a job
You are working on a company and you receive compensation. With that, you have a job. A job gives you short-term security as you generate stable income from your work role. However, a career is a long-term venture that does not necessitates stability and encourages you to take risks instead. A career is not a job but every job you have is part of your career.
Misconception# 2 - A career is an occupation
An extensive group of work jobs with related characteristics is referred to as an occupation. This can also be related to your profession and educational attainment. You can be an accountant, physician, teacher, engineer – the list is long. When you are well versed in an occupation, you have the opportunity to achieve a steady job in an organization. Nevertheless, a career is committed to develop and build your skills for a lifetime.
Misconception # 3 - A medium is a career
A medium is the means in which you express your career message. Conveying the content of your message takes various forms. It may be through article-writing, blogging, teaching and training people. But it is sad to note that instead of focusing on the content of the message, most are misconstrued that the medium is the career itself when in fact the message tells it all.
What really is a career? A career is a person’s lifetime venture to develop and enhance one’s knowledge, experiences and skills. By this, you are building up all the events in your life to exploit and maximize every opportunity you have to progress in your career path. Your family, friends and relatives are your alliances to accompany you in life’s path you ought to take. The work jobs, occupations you belong, and medium applied must lead to the fulfillment of your lifetime goal as you pursue your career.
As you seek to achieve success in your career endeavor, this book will help you explore ways and strategies to effectively adapt to the changes happening around that might affect your career.
The road is not easy, but being guided will help you overcome the pitfalls, risks, sidetracks and detours you will encounter on the road to your lifetime dream. This is an opportunity for you to learn. As much as your career success matters to you, learning in the starting phase of your venture equally matters along the way.
Basics to Career Advancement
Everyone wants to advance in any career opportunity they have. But, let’s admit it; climbing up into the ladder of career advancement is not real easy. It takes ample of time and patience as well as high determination to be able to do such. As a start, you can begin structuring your career plan.
Where To Start
Career planning is very essential for you to have a clear view and understanding of actions you must do as you take one step forward to your career success. When you plan your progress, you must define your goals and seek to formulate effective ways to achieve your objective.
As far as a person's working career experience is concerned, it is commonly estimated that a person changes his/her jobs six to ten times. In this setting, career advancement is necessary to cope with the changes happening over time.
According to experts, the most appropriate time for you to pursue career advancement is when you have already worked in a company for some time.
By this, you have already established your work performance and your relationship to your boss, to your co-workers and other people in your organization. As soon, as you have already planned for your career opportunity, it is time for you to realize your objectives and put them into actions.
Here are few advices to assist you as you grab a hold of your career success and at the same time maximize it to gain leverage in your advancement opportunity.
Increase your value
An assessment of your worth in the company will give you an indication in your standing as an asset in the company. If you have not yet created value in your organization, you must seek to build this value for your career advancement.
You can also further increase your company value by joining in working teams, doing additional works for the establishment and helping others within your organization. Show them that you are dedicated to your work assignment and that you have passion and joy in working with them. Make known to them your excellence and commitment in service.
Inform your boss
Initiate an informed conversation with your immediate boss so that you can discuss with him/her your future career advancement plans. It would be good in the part of your employer to know your goal to meet their job expectations from. Exceeding their expectations as well is better for them to have more confidence that you will efficiently perform your duties not just for your personal career goals but also for the benefit of the organization as a whole.
Develop personal relationships
Your relationship with the people around also helps in your career advancement. First, enhance your connection with your boss. Improve your communication with your co-workers in the company to sustain a healthy environment in the workplace. Be professional and open-minded as well. Also, remember to consider your dealings with influential people both inside and outside your company as they can help you get promoted easily. Furthermore, seek to improve your communication skills to better convey your intent to them.
Always be ready and prepared. If you are really interested in advancing your career, you must keep your mind open to learn and acquire new knowledge. This will help you become flexible in future challenges you will encounter in your journey to career success.
How to Get Your Dream Job
You have the freedom to dream. Not only with regards to your future lifestyle, future spouse, future house and all the other future plans you have. But most importantly, you can imagine and envision yourself working on your dream job.
The Dream Job
However, dreaming a dream and leaving it a dream does not make sense at all. You can do something to achieve your dream and make it into reality. It wouldn’t guarantee you an easy way, though. But, the fact is that despite challenges, your dream job is at hand when you are determine to grab it even from afar.
Here are few tips you can use to get your dream job:
Build a professional resume
When you apply for a job, the first thing they receive is your resume. Some also requires your curriculum vitae rather than a resume. Curriculum vitae are more detailed with all your previous work experiences, backgrounds, affiliations, and more are displayed. The resume on the other hand is more brief and concise which showcase your skills and experiences as a worker. You may think that these files are not important, however, they are capable of giving your potential employer an overview of you, your professionalism, and your performance quality.
Don't impress, but express
When you are shortlisted, you get the chance to be interviewed. In this area of the process, most people think of it as a time to impress. However, you are not in the interviewing seat to boast all your past experiences and skills. You are there to express yourself why you qualify for the job. You are there to inform them about you, how you do things and how you will work with the company if given the chance to do so.
In interviews, a big possibility is that you will be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. Well, you are not perfect. However, do not try to impress them by saying you do not have any weakness. Instead, emphasize more on your strengths while underplaying your weaknesses. Don’t forget, first impression lasts. If they see you are acceptable in both your strengths and weaknesses, it will be a good point for you.
Expertise and Team play matters
Being a Jack of all trades is good. But being an expert in one field is better. Specialization in a particular area will leverage you from the rest as you seek to get your dream job. AS we all know, competition is very high and there are a lot of applicants out there who also would like to get the job you are dreaming of. It is good if you know various work areas. Hence, it would work best often if you have an expertise in one field that will differentiate you from the rest.
Also, a team player is what most companies are looking for. Remember, you will be working with various personalities inside and outside the company office. Thus, you should possess an attitude of being a good team player.
Some also would ask you for an interview task. In this case, you must be able to put your job into practice. For example, your dream job is teaching. You will be asked to perform a demonstration. Thus, you must be prepared for this and practice would really make a difference. Perhaps, these advices can help you be guided in each step of the way. Do not ever lose hope. It just takes determination, efforts and positive perspective to be able to make it to your dream job.
Benefits of Meditation
Perhaps, a career advancement opportunity is there already. You can exploit it. You can grab it. But, how?
Let's illustrate it this way.
The first level manager of your company gets a promotion. With that, several people in your workplace, including you, has the opportunity to take the manager’s place before the human resource department hires from external applicants.
What are you going to do now? The rest of the qualified applicants in your work environment are all performing good in their respective jobs. The competition is stiff. But, you've got the chance to take a step higher to the ladders of your career success.
On one side, it will be easier for you to approach the human resource staff for inquiry on the job since you are already familiar with them. Asking few things from them is not something you are deprived to do. So, use it to secure an interview for the position you are aiming for.
More often, interviewers see it a good point when you approach them. It is because your action shows your deep interest on the job offering. However, as you converse and interact with them, don’t leave professionalism on your work desk. Instead, be professional in dealing with them just like how external applicants do to apply for a job. It is a no-no that you casually talk to them as if you are only hanging out with them. Know your place. Be competent.
So, you can ask few questions like:
What is the kind of person are you looking for this job?
What are matters that need to be done?
What are some of problems this job needs to attend to?
Perhaps, they are few but you can always add your own questions in line. Make sure you ask them properly and formally.
When you get the information you need, you must get ready and prepare for the interview. Prior to the interview proper, you must already have an idea of possible questions they will throw on you. Knowledge on these things will enhance your communication with them as an applicant.
You can search on interview questions from the internet or even to people who have already tried getting interviewed. You, yourself is a good source for interview questions. Simply recall questions you encountered back then. Perhaps some of those questions will be asked this time.
Practice your communication skill for the interview. You can do it with someone whom you trust to have a physical run-down of a possible interview flow. This is a good preparation for you.
When the day arrives for your interview, dress appropriately. It doesn't mean that when you get interviewed you will wear your most favorite attire, or the most expensive clothes you have.
Dressing appropriately means your attire suits the occasion. Mostly in interviews, you should wear formal attire. Be there in the location ahead of time. As you seat in front of the interviewer, seat relaxed and proper. Maintain eye contact and always wear your smile.
Do not take the internal interview very lightly. Instead treat it as if you are interviewed externally. Focus. Be motivated. Give it your best shot.
How to Negotiate a Raise
Most of the times, employers overlooked on the value of their employees that they take them for granted. They do not see our need for an increased remuneration for the works we have done. Because of this, we tend to bargain our job, quit, and move to other companies that offer us higher pay. However, quitting should not be our first option. We can negotiate a raise without leaving the company for good.
Let me show you the wrong and right way of negotiating a raise.
Negotiating a raise – the Wrong Way
Mark has been working in a company for two years already. Within that duration, he was able to develop the sloppy department into a fast and efficient one. However, his concern is that he was only receiving a 3% increase for all the efforts he has done. In his mind, the company was already taking advantage of him. So what he did was that he went to his boss’ office full of anger, complaining. He even conditioned the boss that if she will not give him the increase he wanted, he will quit.
The result? He lost both the raise and the job. His boss told him to quit. It was a loss. It was the wrong way.
Of course, Mark deserves a raise. The problem here lies in the way he negotiated with his boss. His approach was inappropriate. He was very aggressive that he forgets he is only the employer, he is not the boss. Bosses do not like people who are acting over their authority. You should never do that, too.
Negotiating a raise – The Right Way
Be responsible of your compensation
Raises are forms of incentives for the great works you have accomplished for the company. However, it is not the boss' responsibility to keep a record of your accomplishments and given them due reward. Normally, people focus more on the negative sides rather than on positive things. The same is true for your boss. Whatever you achieved for your work will not be recognized much. They will always look for things you haven’t do rather than what you were able to do. Even you are also practicing it unknowingly. Let’s cite for example the janitor in your office. You don’t remember him when the office is clean the time you arrived. But when the whole surrounding is not clean, the janitor becomes your center of attention for his mistake.
As you realize these things, it would work if you yourself will track your accomplishments and get compensated for those. Be responsible for the credit of your achievements.
Write a Job Journal
Keeping a record for all the accomplishments you have contributed for the company. Writing them on a job journal works best. Record everything you have worked on and list them on your journal. Quantify as many contributions as you can. Whether it is for the improvement of their money handling, promoting customer value, gaining higher profits, increasing customer traffic, so on and so forth.
If you are in a job that cannot be quantified, think of possible ways wherein you can still record your hard works. Think about how you can be recognized in all the things you have done. Think about the changes you have made, the developments you have completed. For example, you are in the marketing team to recruit people to buy your products and patronize your services. Perhaps you have recruited a lot. Those customers might refer to you when asked about how they came to know the product. Probably, you are in the training team for new employees. Your worth will be seen on the outputs the new employees are capable of and when evaluation time will come, you will be recognized for your good work.
Market your raise to the Boss
As soon as you already have the journal with all your contributions listed in it, you can now schedule a time to talk to your boss and negotiate to him your desired raise. As you try to get the boss on your side, show him/her your loyalty to the company and your commitment to serve them with excellence. By this, your boss will see the value you have for the company. With all your proofs, you can get the raise you have been waiting for.
Becoming a Leader
Leadership styles vary depending on the kind of followers a leader has. There are a lot of leadership styles; however, the effectiveness of the style is dependent on the situation.
As much as these styles differ from each other, the culture of the people in an organization also differs from one organization to another. In an organization, there is at least one leadership style that can be effective to them.
Thus, a person's ability to lead the members of the team to the realization of the company goals is dependent on how effective the leadership style he/she is employing.
Motivation of the team makes the leadership successful
Here are several leadership styles we can look on to:
A charismatic leader is appealing to his/her followers and has the ability to communicate to them well, persuading them with words to direct them in the organizational goals. This type of leadership is applicable both in formal and informal organizations.
Because the leader seems so engaging and pleasing to the followers, the team members get close to them and stick to the team wherever the leader will take them. The followers are able to form a sense of belongingness and trust that the leader will stand by to their objectives and make things happen.
Sometimes, it is not necessary for the leader to have actual authority over their followers. At times, they listen to the concerns of their followers, making the subordinates feel valued and given high importance in the team. The quality of communication the leader has dealt with them enables them to do their part as well for the team and keep their loyalty and goodwill to the leader.
This skill in dealing with followers is not always an inborn ability to all leaders. Some of them develop this skill as the leadership style progress. In this leadership style, the leader becomes effective because of their ability to use their words thriving in conversing with their followers. They are risk takers as well and deny themselves as they take lead to achieve the organizational goals.
The main concept for this leadership style is to create an image in the mind of the followers the ideal form of a leader. In this case, they will see their leader as someone who will make anything possible. As a result, the subordinates also feel that in the same way, they are like their leader. With this, they are mutually encouraged to cooperate and unite with each other to realize all the conceptual goals of the organization. They put their devotion to their works and commit to render their service in excellence.
In a charismatic leadership, the direction of the team is dependent on the given needs that affect the leader. Basically, these motivational factors drive the leader where to take the whole team. The motive and intent of the leader plays a big role in this leadership style. If you become a leader employing this particular style, it would be good if you add to your charisma the virtue of being realistic and factual; at the same time not compromising the goals of the organization. Be flexible to any endeavor you try to make and keep yourself and the followers evaluated for the appropriate direction of the whole team.
One of the most effective leadership styles is transformational leadership. This type of leadership is founded in the motive of the leader to change the lives of the followers and transform them into better people. The leader is committed to give their best to achieve the goals and finish the job. This means, that leader exerted time, effort, energy and sacrifice to for the job to be done. AS a result, the leader, as well as the followers works things with passion and dedication in their service. In transformational leadership, the leader’s primary vision is to enhance the lives of the followers believing that in this way, the followers will be motivated to pursue their career success.
The leader’s vision to convert the lives of the followers plays a big role to keep the loyalty of the followers. To convey the leader’s goal for the subordinates, they make sure that they exploit any opportunity they have to convey their idea to someone who is willing to listen. The integrity of the leader also matters for the followers to trust the leader’s motives and objectives for the organization.
Transformational leadership is similar to charismatic in some points. Their similarity lies in the ability of the leader to use words to appeal more to the followers by seeking to address their issues and concerns. The difference for two leadership styles is that transformational leadership is prioritize more on seeing the lives of the followers changed and converted into better ones.
The leader is not at all times knowledgeable on where to rightfully lead the team. In this case, the leader must be flexible enough and open to accept ideas for the team. As you become a leader in this leadership style, make sure to lead your followers not by pulling them to where you want to lead them, but by pushing them forward to achieve career success. Motivate them, let them see your vision as well and keep yourself realistic as you intent to accomplish your organizational goals.
In this leadership style, the followers are encouraged to join and participate in the leader’s motive to come up with a good decision. This concept is founded in the fact that people cooperate more if they are part in the process of making decisions. This keeps them knowledgeable and guided of the actions that need to be taken since they are the ones who made the decision together. As a result, everyone in the team is united and solid to keep each other’s cooperation intact.
In participative leadership, there are levels in which the followers are able to take part of the decision-making process. At times, the leader employs less participation by merely asking for the followers’ ideas and decides alone on the concern. There are also cases wherein, the whole team is actively participating from giving of opinions to the making of decisions.
The level of the followers’ participation in the decision-making process is dependent on the need of the situation. If there is confidence that the decision can be made alone and the opinions of the followers are not necessary, the leader must not let them join the decision making. But if the issues and concerns call for the help of the followers to decide, then the high level of participatory leadership is required.
In this leadership style, the followers participate in the initial phase of the contract. Here, the followers are informed in the benefits they will acquire as well as they are given the opportunity to active deciding for the terms and agreement of the contract. Furthermore, the requirements for any step to be taken are clearly established for the followers to be guided. This style is effective in such a way that the people are aware of the reward as well as the consequences of any step they take for the achievement of career success.
Similar to transformational leadership, this leadership style seek to improve the lives of the followers without getting any benefit in return. The motivation of the leader is not only advantageous for the followers but also to the society as a whole. To promote the welfare of the society and enhance the common good, the leader selflessly takes actions to improve their lives. Because of this, the followers get closer to the leader and gain confidence that the leader will take them to success.
Achieving success in your career path does not happen in an instant. You have to build it, improve it and develop it along the way.
Your choices play a very important role in your venture to fulfill your career. You must think many times, may it be over and over again for you to come up with a wise decision. The decision you make today will determine the kind of person you are in the future.
Put your heart and soul in your career. Keep your mind focus and always fix your eyes in your goals.
Do not ever lose hope thinking that you can’t do it. Others have reached the peak of their careers. You too can make it to the top. Just keep the faith and keep moving. Success is still in the making.