This quote comes into mind whenever writing about career skills and career lessons learned too late in life:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
- Maya Angelou, Poet, Dancer, Producer, Playwright, Director, Author
The reality of every career is that, at some point, we take a stand for what we believe, defying the advice given by others. Then, we learn why we were wrong. That is just fine! Why?
Oddly, people need to learn from their own failures. If we all just believed everything we were told, we would not see the same value in lessons learned. So, when a post like this comes along sharing career skills and lessons, it is smarter to learn from others’ mistakes. This way, you don’t have to go through it yourself!
Why you should never burn bridges or damage relationships
This career skill requires emotional intelligence. Work relationships are still relationships. If you are important to a company your departure may be upsetting, especially those who had invested time in training you.
You cannot always control how people react to you leaving a business, but you can control your own actions. Always try to leave a company with gratitude and on a high note. This career lesson will help you protect your career relationships in the long-term.
What makes work and family relationships important
One of the most interesting things I hear from retired Baby Boomers who made their money in the 1980’s on Wall Street:
“If I had to do it all over again, I would spend more time with family.”
There is a great emphasis today on staying productive and employed, but the reality of life is that we are more productive human beings the more we feel loved and acknowledged. The family provides that support unconditionally.
The most successful entrepreneurs often express why their success is attributed to the career skill of properly managing their work and family life. The family is a support system that makes work life much easier. And the family’s support makes taking risks much easier.
How to manage a social media presence
Over the last 10 years, many have used social media to reveal too much about themselves. Social media is a form of public media and should be viewed as a marketing tool, only. Unless your job requires career skills in marketing your public life, keep your social life offline.
How short a career and life really turns out to be
This career lesson is a tough one. In the bigger picture of life, the time between ages 20 to 40 go faster than the time between birth to age 19. When we dig into our career, we spend time learning a trade and attempting to prepare for retirement. However, before you get a chance to think, 10 years have passed and you are halfway to age 40.
The older people get, the less they start to get paid. The behavior of businesses to pay the wisest and experienced employees less is irrational, but it happens. That is why I try to warn people that our most productive, obligation-free years in our career shoot by very fast. Make the most of them!
Today’s workers will spend more time getting paid less or retired. No doubt, this is a broken aspect of business that will be forced to change in the next 20 years, as we live longer and our needs change.
Why love is the most important thing in life!!!
Yes, it is true! It takes time to figure out this career lesson, Admittedly, when I used to hear it I would dismiss it as “mushy nonsense” But then I became an uncle, and two years later, met my wife through online dating.
A sense of epic meaning overwhelms a person who is presented with another human to love unconditionally. When you have a person you would do anything for, work takes on a whole new meaning. Supporting that person provides a sense of accomplishment that tends to make for a happier employee and/or boss.
The older I get the more I am glad I chose to put family, first. Ultimately, when it comes down to jobs and loved ones, loved ones will be there for you always, unconditionally. Work relationships are conditional.
How to call your own shots in your career
Master these three career skills, if you want to call your own shots in a career:
- Become a builder, creator, engineer etc.
- Be your own boss of your own business all the time.
- Treat everyone you meet with the same respect you desire to be treated with.
There is a greater reward in career skills learned from being your own boss and having your own life. In the United States, alone, freelancers make for 35% of the workforce and collectively earned $1 trillion dollars in 2016. When your career is over, the long-term successful feeling will come in the form of knowing, “I did it my way”.
And the only person you could blame for your failures and successes is the person in the mirror!