If I were to ask you, “What are the top 5 things you need to do today to move you along in your career or life,” what would they be? I don’t mean the to-do list or current projects or outstanding tasks. Those all fall under maintenance; they need to be done but they aren’t necessarily advancing your career. These 5 items I’m looking for are often the things we avoid, procrastinate on, or outright forget while we continue to do our daily tasks.
Here are a few examples that you might want to consider. First, get off the fence. Agree to making this list of 5 things every day. Continuing to do your job well isn’t necessarily a plan. Second, look into the benefits your company already has and exploit them. Do they offer training or pay for outside classes? Go take them! Third, network like it’s your part-time job. Don’t just link in with others, schedule a call to catch up. Fourth, look into acquiring new skills—heck, everything is online now, so take a class from Yale or Harvard. Fifth, come up with a few career goals and set firm deadlines for achieving them. And finally, find a good mentor, you’ll never regret that decision.
Unfortunately, we fall into the monotony of our daily lives and we often forget to make our career trajectory a priority. This is a task that requires our daily attention even if it’s simply a 5 minute check-in. As I have said many times—time stands still for no one. If we make this a priority now, it won’t be a regret later. It’s our choice, choose wisely.
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