My Best Career Advice – Be Yourself

This is a question that is asked quite often – what is your best piece of career advice or what is the one piece of career advice that you would give,

We have all received advice that has been relevant and helpful – on that note, if you are thinking of one or two such key pieces of advice now I encourage you to reach out to the person who gave that advice to you and thank them.  Even if you have thanked them before, perhaps send a card or make a short phone call. If you haven`t been in contact for a while it could be a great opportunity to re-establish contact and who knows where that might lead.

In our need to be somebody, we often forget that we are somebody.

Eric Michael Leventhal – Author

One of the best and most important things I can suggest is that you need to be yourself. You are unique. That is something that each person needs to come to grips with. (Self awareness and self esteem are two areas frequently covered in coaching)  The best way to stand out from the crowd is to be who you are.

Having role models is important and knowing the sort of characteristics that you wish to develop in yourself is admirable, yet the worst thing you can do for your career is to try to be someone else. It is also the worst thing you can do for yourself because holding a “mask” or pretending to be someone that you are not is hard stressful work.

job-interview-156130_640When I first left the Public Service after 10 years of varied roles I went to see a recruiter. As you do.

We spoke about my recent work experience and the projects I’d worked on as well as my target next role.

He looked at me and told me that “none of your experience matters in the private sector”

I was taken aback as you can imagine and realised that I had two choices: accept what he said or reject it.

I stood up, thanked him for his time and asked for my resume back saying “If you don’t see the value in my experience than you will not be able to present me properly to a prospective employer so I will find a recruiter who does”

The point of sharing that story with you is to make sure that you value yourself and your experience, because if you don`t then I’m sure no-one else will either!

If you lack faith in your experience and what you can contribute in a role then it will be very hard to convince anyone else of that.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.

Raymond Hull

Know yourself.   Be yourself.  Be successful at being you.

My best career advice to you has 3 parts

  1. Know yourself really well including your strengths and your weaknesses.
  2. Stay true to yourself and do not promise things unless you can deliver them
  3. Believe in yourself and if you cannot do that just yet, find someone that you trust and when they say they believe you can do it, take action on the basis of their belief in you.

Successful careers are not only about making more money and getting more promotions.

Successful careers are fulfilling and generate fair income as well as satisfaction and a sense of doing a job for a purpose. I admit that sometimes our jobs are a means to an end but that doesn’t mean that you should work in a job that you hate forever.

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