You learn a lot in the early days of your career, but some things that could help your growth and career trajectory are commonly missed or not taught. Depending on your personality, some items can come easier than others. Still, you can become a master of them by putting specific practices in place to enhance […]
You learn a lot in the early days of your career, but some things that could help your growth and career trajectory are commonly missed or not taught. Depending on your personality, some items can come easier than others. Still, you can become a master of them by putting specific practices in place to enhance what does not come naturally.
Slow down and pay attention to the details.
Some of the things I am least proud of in my career are the simplest mistakes that should have been fixed (spelling errors, grammar errors, etc.). Use all of the tools you can to make sure these mistakes do not happen, and double- and triple-check your work before you post, send or print. When these mistakes happen (which they will), forgive yourself quickly and move on. We are all humans, and mistakes will happen.
Continue to learn new skills.
Coming from a design background, this comes naturally to me because many new technologies are built into software updates, but make sure to curate your social feeds to keep you in the know. It is easier to keep learning than to catch up with the new generations. Building more skills also makes you a more valuable employee, but advocate for yourself so your employer knows if you take on more tasks outside of your job description.
Stand up for yourself, but don't die on a hill that's not worth fighting for.
This is a hard concept to practice when you are young, excited and, frankly, think you know it all. Your teammates and superiors should constantly challenge you; that is how we all improve and get better. Make sure you are open to listening when you are getting feedback.
However, you must learn where to draw the line when it comes to standing up and speaking versus sitting back and listening. If a situation is nothing personal and a matter of differing strategies, you can speak your peace and let the situation play out. In contrast, if the matter you find is ethically wrong, you have cause to make noise and elevate the problem to higher authorities professionally. Knowing when to let conflicts go and move on will save you time, stress, worry and relationships.
Network to build relationships.
Relationships will be critical to the longevity and advancement of your career. It would be best to have people who value your knowledge and skills and will take chances on you. If you are not the most outgoing person and find it hard to build relationships, find a mentor program or an organization where you can volunteer and join committees. Often, it is easier to build relationships if you are working toward a common goal.
Another thing that seems simple but is often forgotten is to take business cards and connect with people you meet on LinkedIn after you meet them. That way, you can keep engaged on where they are and what they are doing. While building these relationships, make sure to listen and take notes if necessary until you are more comfortable with remembering things about people.
The idea is to create a solid, well-rounded foundation to build your skills and network. This can open doors for you in the future because while you do not know where you will be, what you will have is a reputation for putting out high-quality work with a network of people who will speak highly of you.
Article written by: Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family.
Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.