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13 Tips on Career Care and Feeding


If you leave your career on autopilot, you can expect it to crash. Some tips on keeping your career on the right track:

  1. No matter what the assignment, do it well. First think of how to do it efficiently and effectively, then get it done.
  2. Ask your boss what s/he least likes doing. Then offer to do it.
  3. Don't just join professional associations. Pick one to get highly involved in, then roll up your sleeves.
  4. Treat everyone with respect. Always, and that includes yourself. Those who show respect usually get it in return.
  5. Get to know people. This is networking; passing out business cards at professional meetings is not. Attend trade shows, serve on boards, and get out there and meet folks in your industry. Those who do this often find a job interview request or even an offer waiting when they get home the day they get laid off.
  6. Value other people. Those who don't learn to do this are often disliked by their coworkers. Valuing others is not the same as respecting them; you must do both. Look at what other people do, and think of how it contributes to the total team goal. Someone whose job might not seem important to others will appreciate knowing you consider that job important.
  7. Don't just pick up new skills. Map out skill acquisition with a promotion in mind, acquiring and developing skills for the next level up.
  8. Dress for success. Yes, that's an old adage. But ignoring it harms your career prospects.
  9. Get to know people outside your company, and not just in your industry. Go to events, trade shows, seminars, and conferences.  Follow up with e-mails and phone calls to three people who most impressed you. Think of a lunch or dinner for follow-up discussion.
  10. Get a paper or article published. Be a subject matter expert for the trade and professional publications relevant to your career.
  11. Take some time off. People who fixate on climbing the corporate ladder often become emotionally disable, tone-deaf to others, and downright boring. They also lose their ability to be creative, innovative, and imaginative--thereby shooting themselves in the foot.
  12. Get physically fit. The vast majority of Americans are at an unhealthy level of body fat (some estimates are 85%), and this impedes them in multiple ways. Eat smaller portions, eat green not grain, and exercise both strenuously and regularly. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Make fitness a lifestyle, not an afterthought.
  13. Try to have fun. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, this will show in both the quality of your work and the attitude that others pick up from you.

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