As 2018 comes to a close, we’re all evaluating the successes and disappointments in our career, over the past 12 months. These are 10 personal tips that I would like to share, that build success.
- Never assume that you know everything: Regardless of how senior your position is or how many years experience you have in the industry, you can always learn more. Be open-minded to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Everyone in the company can teach you something new, from the receptionist to the intern, as well as the CEO. We all have different perspectives based on our experiences.
- Always be prepared for meetings: This sounds obvious but a lot of people look past this pedestrian move that should be habitual. Prepping for meetings means, doing your homework and knowing what the meeting is about, coming prepared with an agenda or talking points (even if you aren’t the one hosting the meeting), having a notebook and pen and having business cards on hand. Being well prepared for meetings will hold you in good stead with your clients, colleagues and suppliers.
- Don’t spend too much time at the water-cooler: After a long, frustrating day, you may want to vent to your colleagues about your nightmarish clients, your boss who spoke down to you or your colleague who annoyed you. Don’t. Not only does this make you look unprofessional and like you cannot handle the pressure, but it sets you up to be the person people come to, to off load and no one likes a gossip monger. It creates a toxic work environment and sets you up to be a scape-goat when someone asks why spirits are low.
Be an example: From the moment you walk into the office, people are watching you. From the way you dress, to the way you carry yourself. Always be professional, be as optimistic as possible and look for moments to inspire your team. People look up to people that they can learn from, so seek out learning opportunities whenever possible.
- Chin up princess: Bad days are unavoidable; you will have them, just make sure you don’t have a bad 20 mins and then milk it throughout the day. This will distract you from what you’re there to do; and it will rub off on your colleagues, as everything you do has a ripple effect. Allow yourself to feel down for a minute and then give yourself a pep talk and get on with your day.
- Burn out is real: Be sure to set boundaries as a means to respect yourself. It’s so easy to get sucked in to an exciting project and lose all consciousness of time and boundaries. If you let these bad habits persist for an extended period of time, before you know it, you’ll start feeling less creative, tired-all-the-time and you won’t be bringing your best self to the office every day. Make sure you have a way to relieve stress – I use gym and cooking. Find what works for you.
Expose yourself to new stimuli: Exposing yourself to new stimuli can only benefit your idea generation, creativity and confidence. Everything we expose ourselves to affects the way we think, so be conscious of what you allow into your environment. Short courses, industry related talks and industry related events are great place to start.
- Never let them break you: You’ve messed up, royally. You knew better, your training taught you better, you took a risk and it didn’t pay off. Everyone has an opinion on how things should’ve been handled as hindsight is a beautiful thing. Don’t let this knock your confidence, you’re still good at what you do, you just had an off day. You’re only human after all. ‘They’ could be the self-doubt in your head, your clients or even your colleagues. Whatever happens, don’t let the feedback break you. Take it as a key learning and keep it poppin’ girl. Use the hurt to propel you forward by turning that negative energy into positivity and confidence.
- The full package: Add more to the company than just your skill-set. Add to the corporate culture. Whether this is through joining the social committee, adding great ideas to how to improve the company culture or adding ideas on how to increase staff morale and productivity. Be a positive colleague and a team player so that people look forward to seeing you, collaborating with you and working with you.
- Social media: Social media is a digital billboard of who you are / what you represent. You control what you share with people. Be responsible. Read your organizations social media guidelines. Don’t expose client strategies, don’t talk about race, religion or politics, stay away from anything controversial or funny memes that could be offensive. We’ve seen people lose their jobs over some of these errors in judgement and it really isn’t worth it.
These are my tips for business success. What are yours?