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The career advice no one tells you

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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The career advice no one tells you

The career advice no one tells you

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

qz.com

9

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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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Your brain is most attuned first thing in the morning, and so are your energy levels. Consequently, the best time to do your best work is during this time.

The “90–90–1” rule

Spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your #1 priority, nothing else. 

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.

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Focus on what matters
  • Write down the end goal.
  • Divide the goal into specific actions you need to take to get there. Think in terms of systems: focussed, routine actions that you can do daily.
  • List a...
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. It’s true for companies, and it’s true for products."

Seek Simplicity
  • Find out if the problem really exists, and why. This will open a path to alternative ways of solving it.
  • Some problems, which seem complex, often have simple solutions.
  • What is the surest thing in that complex problem? That becomes your First Principle, your starting point.
  • List out the possible solutions
  • Focus on one good solution while removing the rest.

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“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time ..."
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Learning is an investment

Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  It's the reason Warren Buffett (& other successful individuals) spends 80% of his time reading. 

Intellectual Capital

Knowledge is the new money. While goods and services are becoming demonetized and replaced by machines, knowledge is becoming increasingly valuable.

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Decide What You Want

Waiting around often means you’re not happy with any of the options, because they’re not right for who you are. So, when you find yourself stuck between possibilities, think about what you rea...

Being “Supposed To" Choose Something

If you’re feeling pressured into making the decision that looks good, step back and examine your reasoning.

If you can’t come up with a good answer, you know it’s not for you.

Do Something

Remember that doing something trumps doing nothing.

For example, instead of being afraid of choosing the wrong job and suffering through the same job you have been hating for years, imagine taking a job that is not the ideal, but giving your all and building on it. This will help you advance, lead projects and develop your skills and resume. You'll be more at ease to change jobs at that point.

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A Changing Work Culture

The work culture is changing globally. On one side we have large, established companies which are the gravest offenders. They have deeply entrenched hierarchies, rules, regulations, and ...

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Companies are recognizing that the old way may amplify the employee's resentment to the conformance and the 'fitting in', and that they must upgrade their culture.

New Choices in the Old Way
  • The traditional career path now offers new kinds of digital opportunities as new technologies offer new possibilities and are also streamlining the old operation process.

  • As Big Tech expands further, new innovations will transform many current jobs.
  • It is a good idea to keep looking, keep learning, and be ready to pivot.

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“With low interest rates, and an uncertain stock market, the old adages of saving and investing for the long term make no sense.”

It is what Kiyosaki recommends in his famous book, but saving and investing for the long term are exactly what most experts say you should do.

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Bullying is intended to dominate a victim into submission.

When we're under attack, our rational minds shut down and move into the fight-or-flight mode. When we can't fight or run away, we fr...

Workplace bullying 

Bullying in the business world is more masked:

  • Taking credit for others' work. 
  • Shaming others in public.
  • Inventing faults to accuse team members when superiors are around.
  • Concerned with building a reputation as a hard-driving manager that is focused on continuous improvement.

The staff members usually resort to passivity to survive. It is true that people leave bosses, not jobs.

Bullying to seem smart

A colleague may use their position of authority to demean and dominate others. They may seem poised and confident and can be responsible for substantial billings. But little cracks start showing when coworkers become hesitant to work with the person or even threaten to leave.

Coworkers note that she is superior and disdainful, and ignores comments. No-one may critique her solution. She rolls her eyes when they speak up.

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The peak-end rule

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

We don’t remember experiences accurately. Rather, we tend to recall the highlights and how things end. This appl...

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.