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The career advice no one tells you

https://qz.com/640112/the-career-advice-no-one-tells-you/

qz.com

The career advice no one tells you
Most people have "okay" jobs. We go to work, do what we have to do from 9 to 5, come back home, maybe hang out with friends, and do it all over again the next day. There's nothing wrong with this. But some people perform at a totally different level.

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Negotiable job requirements

Apart from jobs in academic professions, like medicine or law, job requirements are largely negotiable — you just have to prove that you can bring value to the table.

People who aren’t willing to “break the rules” a little bit usually end up wasting years of time and money trying to achieve a goal they could have achieved with a lot less.

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Impostor syndrome as a good thing

Embrace that feeling of inadequacy.

The combination of believing that you can get to almost wherever you want to be, having discipline, and having insecurity about where you are is the formula for a successful, impactful career.

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What’s “realistic” for you

... is entirely predicated on what you’ve been exposed to. There are so many things in life you take for granted that someone else would think is crazy and unrealistic.

Work alongside the best in your field, read their books, listen to their interviews, study what they did to get where they are — and eventually, those crazy unrealistic dreams will become realistic for you.

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Career picking criteria

Don’t pick a career based on “average salaries” or employment numbers. When you’re striving to be great at what you do, the “averages” don’t matter.

When it comes to any field, the people who strive to be great have more than enough money and success. And everyone else fights over scraps.

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Pick a boss, not a company

Surrounding yourself with the right people could lead to more opportunities than any company could ever give you.

Not only will you learn a ridiculous amount just by being around successful people in your field, you’ll also get into their “inner circle” if you can prove that you’re legit. 

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Advancing in your career

In the beginning of your career, your technical skills matter the most. But as time goes on, those technical skills start to matter less. How you interact with people starts to matter a lot more.

Figure out what your company needs, and give it to them.

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Real education starts after the formal one

The real education begins after college. Everything you’ve learned in class is largely worthless in the real world.

Successful people read books and research papers, listen to podcasts, go to conferences and talk to other people who are doing big things. That’s how they’re able to “connect the dots” between seemingly unrelated subjects and use that insight to land more opportunities.

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Exposure builds credibility

After you accomplish anything professionally, get online and write about it. Help someone who was once in your shoes trying to figure things out.

The bigger the audience you have, the more people will take you seriously.

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Stand out from the crowd

No one gets extraordinary opportunities by taking the same approach everyone else takes.

The name of the game is noticing the ‘unspoken rules’ around you, and giving people what they want before they have to ask you. That’s how you win.

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Zero distractions. Just get that work done.

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Rushing to conclusions

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Dodging the decision

Sticking your head in the sand and just hoping it will go away isn't wise. Procrastination only causes problems to fester and possibly grow bigger. 

For example, if you have two feuding employees, you may avoid confronting the issue in the hope they will work it out on their own. If they don’t, the conflict may grow and boil over.

Over-analyzing information

To overthink a decision may cause you to miss time-sensitive opportunities.

Whether it’s due to fear or perfectionism, being indecisive and taking too much time to gather information not only affects the productivity of your business, but it also damages your employees’ confidence in you as a leader.

The peak-end rule

The peak-end rule

Is a cognitive bias that impacts how people remember past events. 

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Taking advantage of the Peak-end rule

  • End on a high note: to make better memories, always consider how you will end an experience.
  • More peaks, more memories: getting out there, even if it hurts, can create lasting memories if it leads to an intense payoff. 
  • Small bursts will do: we don’t need an experience to be long to make a positive memory.