If you are a graduating student or a working adult looking for early career success then this article is for you. What you need to know about owning a career is recognising it is not a sprint. Having a career is like running a marathon. It is about being making small conscious steps forward towards your goal, not waiting for that 1 lucky break.
Stepping forward, have you heard of the term “imposter syndrome”? No, it is in no way related to the popular game among us! If you have ever believed that you are undeserving of your achievements, feel like you are not competent enough to excel then you might have imposter syndrome. The truth is, it is perfectly normal to feel this way because it is going to be your first time managing multiple important tasks at once, your first time meeting real clients, your time staying up late to rush paid projects.
But do not just sulk! Before you amplify your strengths and see how you can positively contribute to your company, you need to first understand yourself and be bold to take risks that will stretch you. This means if you are set on doing something, you should silence your inner evil critic and stop over-doubting every single step you are going to take. Be confident in yourself, people buy that.
As you know, our motivation is driven by doing what we love. If you are intentional about building a career out of the things that you are passionate about, it is possible to own a fulfilling career. But what happens when you make a wrong move and fail? Failure is a topic seldom talked about because society is naturally attracted to glorious success stories. “We realized we may have succeeded in understanding success, but we’ve failed at understanding failure,” Dr. Dashun Wang, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern once said in an interview.
It may sound uncomfortable but early-career setbacks can result in a stronger career in the long run. The key to achieving that early-career success is to acknowledge and be quick to dive into opportunities that have the most potential in personal growth. Yes, it is not about the survival of the fittest but constantly becoming a better version of yourself. Since it is no longer common to have only one job, it is important to diversify and build up your skill sets. You can sign up for classes to learn the most industry-relevant skills and knowledge and as you do so, you are opening up the future for yourself. Your skills are your most valuable asset. You are your most valuable asset. Now take it a step further, make it a life-long goal to learn and acquire skills that make you an expert at what you love doing.
Now before you go make the first move to building an early-career success, remember that it is more than just having the right qualifications. Always be open to learning and striving to grow and evolve into the best version of yourself yet. Start setting aspirations and planning sizable steps to reach your end goal. Get comfortable asking questions and speaking to industry experts who have gone ahead of you and are excited to share with you their experience. We wish you all the best!