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5 Career Lessons Most People Learn Too Late In Life

Posted by | June 22, 2017 | Graduate Article

By Selipha Kihagi

Do you ever wonder how you’ll age? Whether you’ll still be in the career you are in today as when you turn 60? Or what career lessons you’ll pass on to your children and grandchildren? Well, I do, and I’m sure most of you do. If not, take a moment and think about it.

Today, you may be trying hard to get a job. You apply for a position you think you meet qualifications for, only for you not to get the interview. Or maybe you do get invited for the job interview, but someone else gets the job. It’s a frustrating feeling.

Tomorrow, all this bad luck could change. You could get that job you’ve always wanted, that interview you were looking forward to, that promotion you wanted, or that raise you have been chasing. It all starts with evaluating your mistakes, taking responsibility and learning from those who have succeeded before you.

This post is about learning from those who have been there before you. It details 5 lessons that people learn about their careers when it’s too late to do something about it. Luckily for you, it’s not too late.

1. You’ll Never be Ready to Make an Important Career Decision

When you are contemplating saying yes to a new opportunity, quitting your job, asking for a raise or taking up that promotion, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “am I ready? You want to wait until you are ready to leave your job. You want to wait until the day you feel ready to start looking for a new job.

Well, you know what? There is never really a good time to make an important decision in your career. You will never be truly ready to do it. Most people make decisions after having an epiphany, weighing all their options or talking to God about it.

So don’t wait for when you are ready because that day might never come. Learn to take chances, to take risks and to go for what you want.

2. Negativity Leads To a Very Frustrating Life

Have you ever taken the time to evaluate if you are a negative person? Observed your friends and the people around you, to see if they are a negative lot? And how that negatively affects your well-being and career?

If you never have, do so today. Being negative affects the way you look at things. For instance, when your boss tells you congratulations for good work done, you fail to see his or her genuine appreciation. You assume they are faking it, or that they are up to something.

When you are given more responsibilities, you only see more work. You don’t see the side that you are probably being groomed for a promotion. And when you don’t get a job you applied for, you see the bad in recruiters and employers. You don’t think about what you probably did wrong.

Until when shall you be negative? Consider taking a positive approach in your career and see where it leads you.

3. Fear and Worry only Slows Down Your Career 

Are you the employee that is always afraid of going into their boss’ office to ask something? Do you see your boss in the corridors and run as far as your legs will take you? Or are you a job seeker who is too afraid to talk to a recruiter or potential employer about a job?

You are not alone. Most people today are afraid to ask their bosses for a raise because they are worried they’ll lose their jobs. Unfortunately, worrying and being afraid does not do any justice to your career. It only leaves you poorly paid, unappreciated and stuck in a job you hate.

Ask yourself this; what would I do if I weren’t afraid? Write down all the things that come to mind, then go ahead and do them. You may feel anxious at first but the reward will be greater.

4. You Can Enjoy Your Job if You really Want to

You are probably smirking at this wondering how it’s even possible. Well, very many people today are in jobs they actually love. And you too can join this happy lot. How? By applying for positions you are really passionate about.

Instead of making an application for whatever jobs comes along in your inbox or appears that day on a job board, focus on those you’d love. Consider what you love doing, what an ideal job would look like for you, and then search for exactly that. You’ll be surprised what you find.

5. Success is Contagious

We all want to be successful, but are the people you are hanging out with going to lead you to success? Like the old adage goes, ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with’. You probably hate hearing this quote, like I did some years back.

But that was until I realized the truth that quote holds. If you hang around negative people, you absorb negativity. If you hang around positive people, you lead a positive life. And if you hang around ambitious people, ambition starts to rub off on you.

So make it your new mission to hang around successful people. If you don’t have any in your circles, start following them on social media, subscribe to their blogs if they have any, and attend events where they are. With time, you’ll find success starting to follow you.