Traits to help you lay the right career foundation
Most people want to have successful careers dotted with numerous achievements and accolades. Most people, however, want it here and now; immediately after graduation. Well, this is impossible. Even the most successful people in the world did not start from the top. Employers will confess that they have met fresh graduates who have instantly asked for a gross pay of Ksh 100,000, but they will also tell you that this is delusional and no employer can pay you that much with nothing to show for it.
It is okay to dream big, to want that mansion and that latest car but it is important to remember that all these come as a result of hard work. Congratulations on receiving your degree or diploma, but the journey has just started. Most successful people will tell you that their success is just the visible tip of the iceberg. The hard work, tears and sweat they put in in the initial stages is usually not as apparent as the resultant accomplishments. As Safaricom’s BLAZE ambassadors rightly put it, it is the little efforts on your way up that eventually reap the big rewards.
Here is how to build a strong foundation for your career.
Willingness to learn
Yes, you have been learning for at least the first 20 years of your life. However, there is still more to learn throughout life’s journey. When you are starting out in your career, be open to learning. Every challenge presents an opportunity to learn. Take every opportunity to learn and go with it. Learn all you can and apply it.
Nothing good ever came out of the comfort zone. Do not get comfortable in your abilities. Instead, take calculated risks once in awhile. You get to learn along the way and it becomes your stepping stone. When you are starting out in your career, you have a lot of room to learn, to experiment with different ideas until you find what really works for you.
Most people will take on a job and simply give up when they meet hurdles along the way. Well, if this is your style, then you will never get anywhere. You need to learn how to overcome barriers along the way as this is how you will grow. You have to keep going even when giving up is the easier option, because this is the only way to set yourself apart. Learn from our world class athletes. They do not become great by waking up one day and winning. They start from the bottom and grow all the way to the top, through persistence.
Success is not a sprint. It is a marathon. It takes time, hard work, persistence and an endless desire to learn. So take your time and pay your dues, and then success will come.
Have clear goals
You cannot achieve success if you do not know what you are really working towards. Set clear and achievable goals. Then, set milestones which will help you work towards your main goal. Celebrate these milestones but do not settle for less than you deserve. Having goals will help you work with a purpose, and this is how to achieve success.
Have an open mind
Most people find the transition from school to work hard. While you were at the top of the food chain by the time you left school, entering the world of work takes you the bottom of the food chain. You suddenly find yourself struggling to find your way and you have to put the work all over again. You have to learn to motivate yourself because sometimes, the work may feel like it is too much and you have to find internal sources of strength to keep going.
It helps to know what your passion is
Talent will take you to the door but passion will get you around. Find what you are passionate about and work on it. Passion will carry you through the tough days when giving up is the easiest option. It will help you have a clear goal and more importantly, it will be hard to give up when you are working on your passion.
Find the right mentor
A mentor is a person who holds your hand along the journey. He or she will teach you what you need to know, correct you along the way and most importantly, help you set realistic goals. A mentor fosters a sense of accountability and you will always have someone to listen to you on the bad days, to cheer you on when you are on the right track, and celebrate you with every achievement.
Build the right networks
Networks help you navigate your career much faster than if you were on your own. When you are starting out in your career, you need to build lasting networks which will be crucial in opening doors for you and knowing things in your fields.
Laying a career foundation does not happen in a day. It takes a lot of hard work, persistence, patience, taking calculated risks, and a lot of learning, because greatness requires inner toughness (G.R.I.T).