Career Advice From My Dad
While my dad was never a career counselor and never even had to face a career transition (he was with one company for 30 years), he did give me some sage advice about my career along the way. Here are a few of my favorite nuggets:
You won't always get along with your boss.
Everyone I've ever met has an interesting story about a bad boss. The trick is to figure out either how to manage that relationship or get out of it. The DISC assessment tool is very useful for figuring out how you communicate with people and how those around you respond to your method of communication. It can help you discover how to tweak your communication style to improve your relationship with a difficult boss.
You will never be able to please everyone.
It seems like our entire lives are spent trying to please someone...a teacher, a boss, a family member. Some people only hear from their bosses when something goes wrong. Be sure to keep track of your stories of success throughout the year so your discussion at performance review time focuses on your positive contributions rather than just the things that need to be improved.
No job is worth risking your health for.
I meet many people who have sacrificed their health for their jobs. Stress can contribute to numerous health issues including obesity, heart disease, and depression. Examine your career choices and regularly assess how well they are aligned with your overall life goals.
Getting fired is not the worst thing that can happen in life.
Being fired can be an enormous blow to one's ego, but many people report that it was the best thing that ever happened to them because it allowed them to gain perspective on a bad situation, discover their strengths, and move forward to a more fulfilling career.
Don't expect others to manage your career.
My dad taught me a long time ago that no one cares about my career as much as I do. It's certainly beneficial to have a mentor along the way, but ultimately you have to own your career. Take responsibility for that ownership by keeping your resume up to date, networking regularly, maintaining relationships with recruiters, and monitoring your online identity.