Ah, career commandments. I refer to these as must-use rules or tenets to follow that can help you soar. Help you exceed doing what you love to do. In a world that is often chaotic and still rebuilding from a pandemic, a lot of focus has been placed on our personal lives–and rightfully so. Even as we reinvent ourselves personally, our professional lives also need a dose of tender loving care too.
I’ve been a careerist and working mom advocate for years. As I shift from having two kids in my house, to one kid, to no kids, I want to make sure that I am helping my readers and audience pour into themselves with career and professional advice and tips that is top tier, real, and above all else, helpful.
This year, you will see a shift in content on my blog that is focused on Work Life Management and the C-Suite Life.
First in these series of posts is 15 Essential Career Commandments for the New Year. This will serve as a blueprint for your professional success to assist you in going to the next level with your role, job, or entrepreneurial endeavors.
Thou Shall Lead
Not everyone is fit to be a leader, and perhaps, not everyone wants to be one. Leadership is a quality that will always help you stand out when working with others. Take the opportunity when you can to be a leader in your role. Whether it is going above and beyond when it’s feasible, or taking the initiative on a project, leadership qualities will never go unnoticed on the managerial front. If you are looking to go to the next level career-wise, being a strong and thoughtful leader will help you get there.
Thou Shall Not Settle
Repeat after me: there will be no settling when it comes to your position, your role, and your work. This year, go after what you want in a professional manner and do not settle for less than you deserve. That can be your salary, your job position, the way you are treated, etc.
Thou Shall Network
Networking can be tricky in a post-Covid world, but it is still necessary. Try to network monthly and do it virtually if you can. You can do this by joining a Facebook Group with other professionals in your field, or logging in to LinkedIn and introducing yourself there. Many clubs and membership groups are hosting virtual meetings online, so subscribe to their email lists so you can be aware of networking opportunities.
Thou Shall Update Social Media Profiles Regularly
Speaking of LinkedIn, gone are the days of outdated social media profiles with un-updated job titles and old profile photos. One day each month (schedule it on your calendar), update your bios so that they are current and up-to-date. Share status updates weekly, and comment and congratulate those on your social feeds with new roles and announcements.
Thou Shall Upskill
When you stop learning, you stop growing. Make sure to continue your education in your field by taking a course online or enrolling in a Masterclass. This can help up-level your skillset and put you on track to increasing your salary.
Thou Shall Communicate Effectively
Communication is always key in the workplace. Those who communicate effectively and professionally tend to get considered for key roles.
Thou Shall Not Procrastinate
Procrastination is not your friend, no matter how many times you’ve been able to get the job done while the clock was running out. You’ve taught yourself that you can procrastinate and soar, but you are wrong. You are squeaking by and soon, that won’t be enough.
Manage your time effectively, and don’t put things off even if you can. This is a pattern that won’t serve you well in the long-term.
Thou Shall be Flexible
In an environment where things change at the drop of a dime, being flexible is an asset. Pivoting while being nimble is an asset that middle and upper management roles demand. If you want the C-Suite life, it is important to be flexible.
Thou Shall be Consistent
In my former life as an HR Manager, I can tell you that there was one trait amongst others that usually caused people to get looked over for raises and promotions–inconsistency.
In order to be successful at anything, one must be consistent. And please, don’t be lazy.
Thou Shall Assess Your Goals Regularly
As the year continues, you might find yourself wanting things that you didn’t want before. Goals are meant to just be made at the beginning of a year or quarter. Assess your goals on a regular basis and fine-tune them as much as you need. This will help you crush them successfully.
Thou Shall Maximize Employee Benefits
You wouldn’t leave money on the table, right? Then why leave benefits unused? You may have benefits outside of medical, dental, vision and 401k that you aren’t using. Make an appointment with your manager or HR team member to go over your eligible benefits. Does your company offer tuition reimbursement? An allotment for continued education or classes? A stipend for clothing or dry-cleaning? Gym membership? These are all benefits you should be using if you have them.
Thou Shall Create Authentic Connections
Earlier, I discussed the importance of networking to increase your visibility in your field. It’s important to not just network, but to create authentic connections, not based on who can do something for you or ally-ship, but on true colleague relationship.
Thou Shall Know Your Worth
Knowing your worth, what you’ve brought to the table professionally, and your assets help you master up-leveling your career. Playing yourself short and accepting a lower salary or role will end up doing you a disservice in the long run. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your company for opportunities.
Thou Shall Admit Mistakes
You are not infallible. No one is. Admitting mistakes (and yes, you’ve made them–we all have) in the workplace is the sign of a leader and a professional. When you continue passing the buck and not being accountable, people notice. Don’t be that person.
Oh, and be coachable and able to take constructive criticism and feedback. It’ll make you better.
Thou Shall Not Feel Stuck
You do not have to stay in a role at any company where you do not feel appreciated, respected, or properly compensated. Feel free to look for opportunities that are good for you personally and professionally. Let’s leave the feeling stuck and stagnant in our careers in 2021. You are worthy of more.
I hope that with my robust list of 15 Essential Career Commandments for the New Year, you’ll be able to conquer your career goals while excelling up the rung of success. I look forward to continuing these career conversations and if you have a topic you’d like me to discuss, I am all ears.
What are your career goals this year?