Career advice you wish you had gotten earlier

Starting a career is confusing. Not everyone knows what they want to become at an early age. And once you have started your professional life, you will come across many situations that will make you think, ‘Why did nobody teach me this in college?’. Well, worry not. Here are 10 pieces of advice that will surely come in handy in your career.

1. Opportunities are rare, grab them:

Opportunities don’t come every day. Grab them when they knock at your door (or your desk). Don’t blame your fate later if you don’t make it better when you get the chance. You will get multiple opportunities in your career, a lot of which you won’t be able to get hold of because of circumstances. But a few will come at the right time. Make sure you see the big picture and recognise them!

2. Take things seriously:

It’s good to be a light-hearted person but don’t take things too lightly all the time. Your career will depend on how seriously you take it. It is after all, what you make of it. If you don’t give your 100% in everything, you can’t expect it to give you 100% results.

3. Don’t take things too seriously:

Also, don’t take things too seriously. Learn when to let go. Be a balanced person, not an extreme personality. 

4. Whatever you choose to do, make it great:

If you are confused between multiple things, don’t get stressed. It’s not like there is always one right choice. Whatever you pick, make sure you work hard to make that great. Say, you want to pick a certification to become an ethical hacker.  Don’t get confused. Do your research and pick one. If you pick CEH over others, make sure you do it from a great institute and excel in it. Simple!

5. Take criticism as feedback:

One of the hardest things to do is to take criticism as constructive feedback. Don’t get overly sensitive when someone suggests you or gives you negative feedback. Same goes for receiving positive feedback. Just like you should not let appreciation get to your head, you should also not let criticism bring you to the ground.

6. Dress for the job you want:

Continuing from the earlier example, ethical hacking training won’t include how you should dress on your job. Dressing rightly, not just for the job you do, but for the job you want, is a sign of someone who is ready to take more responsibility. It may seem like a small thing but it works wonders. If you look the part, it’s more likely you will get the part!

7. Act professionally:

Dressing professionally without being professional will only make you look like a fool. Your behaviour should match your appearance. Make sure you act professionally at work and informal gatherings. People trust people who seem reliable and your behaviour says a lot about you. This doesn’t mean you should not have any fun at all. As they say, find the right balance.

8. Be optimistic:

Positive people are welcomed everywhere. Your career is a part of your life and how you handle its ups and downs will decide how much longer you will last. It is good to be positive even in dire times. It gets your mind out of the negative spiral and helps you look for solutions instead of cribbing about the problem.

9. Have a backup plan:

Being positive does not mean being delusional. Don’t be extremely optimistic about things that you know will go down. It always pays to have a backup plan. It keeps the stress away and saves you from unexpected outcomes. As they always say, make sure to save for a rainy day.

10. Say no to things:

Last but not the least, say no to things that are unimportant and waste your time. When you say no to distractions, you automatically make time for things that really need your focus. Remember, you will always have enough time if you set your priorities right!


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