It has been two years since I started practicing my new career in the Cloud Computing industry. Growing up as a child I remember saying that I wanted to be a pastor whenever asked. The Bible stories that were told to us really moved my heart and ignited my desire to make a difference in people’s life. (It was the only way I knew based on my exposure). Well, right now I’m not a pastor not because I no longer want to be but because I have allowed God’s will to prevail.
I was that kid who used to operate between home, school, church, and sometimes to the shop when sent. This tells you a lot about my interactions and exposure. However, this never stopped me from pursuing the desires of my heart and getting to learn new things. High School came and the genesis of my exposure started. The rest is a story, probably for another day. Fast-forward, while in my sophomore in college I started doing some research and getting to learn some new skills in my field of interest, Information Technological despite the fact that I was doing a degree in Mathematics.
Soon after completing my undergraduate studies, just before graduation, I started working for an IT and Software company and that is when I realized that I was not making progress while trying to build my career. I was approaching the whole thing from a blind perspective.
All in all, It taught me some important lessons, some of which I have attempted to summarize below. I hope you will get to learn from my lessons:
The 20 Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned in My Career
1. Never wait for tomorrow to get started.
Personally, I had a lot of fears and excuses that barred me from starting off but the moment I started, I never came to a point of thinking to drop along the way. Learning new things became and still is so sweet.
One of the reasons why most dreams die is because we always think that we have time, yet we don’t. If indeed you are so determined to get somewhere, get started today. Don’t wait for tomorrow for it will never come. And never say you are not well equipped to get started, start with what you already have and things will fall in place along the way.
2. Every skill learned along the way is important.
The world is changing so fast and technology is evolving bringing about change in almost everything. What you know today might be irrelevant tomorrow and what you learn today might be useful tomorrow. So if you don’t keep up you will be left behind. Keep learning and appreciating every skill that you learn along the way.
3. Create valuable connections.
Go out of your
4. Time Management.
We all have only 24 hours in a day. What you do with those hours has a direct impact on your career growth. Building awareness of how long things will take to complete and proactively tackling some key time management tasks will help you work more efficiently and ensure you can actually finish everything you need to.
People with good time management skills are naturally more productive and in control – and far less likely to suffer from stress at work.
5. Don’t be lazy.
Don’t desire to be a lazy person. Laziness in your career growth leads to stunted growth. You will not make any progress if you are lazy. This is a decease that if you entertain will eat you up. Make a daily plan and ensure you have finished at the stipulated time.
We all have our own struggles but don’t allow laziness to be one of them. And if you are already in that trap, please start fighting it. It is never too late to fight bad behavior. Once you overcome you will appreciate it.
You have very SMART goals but if you are not consistent in pursuing your goal then you will end up nowhere. Consistency is power, and it is what inspires success.
Eliud Kipchoge, a renowned marathon-runner once said, “When you bring motivation and discipline together, then you can be consistent. They say if you want to grow, consistency is the key. I’m confident in saying that consistency is key if you want to grow in a new profession. Be it sports. Be it law. Be it all sorts of professions. If you are not consistent, you cannot go anywhere. Consistency makes you grow.”
It is said and of course, it is true that the best way to understand or check if you have understood something is by teaching someone else. This could be through mentorship. When you mentor someone, you not only help them to grow but also helping yourself to grow and master what you already know.
8. Patience pays.
Nothing comes easy. Even if you see a friend or a colleague excelling in his career so fast remember that our paths, as well as pace, are different. The moment you learn about your race, you will not feel like you are delaying. Careers, relationships, etc. all take time and require patience. Don’t lose heart, keep working. It all takes time- your life isn’t ruined because your career has not taken off yet.
They say curiosity killed the cat but a career may not be the cat. When it comes to career development, I would recommend that you employ curiosity. Get to know what the people in your career path are up to, how they reached where they are, and of course, the technological developments happening in your career field. This will help you learn what is relevant and staying up to date.
10. Be nice.
Always be nice. You never know what someone else is going through. Be the reason some can afford a smile on his face. Doing small favors for people makes them feel disproportionately indebted to you, according to research
When you get employed you realize that you will have not only your personal goal to achieve but the company’s as well. This means you will need to adjust and balance the two so that none of them underperforms. At the end of the employment gives you an opportunity to practice your skills and help you grow in your career. (That is you get to work in your field of interest)
Humility is a time-honored virtue. Let no one lie to you that humility means that you lack confidence, it means that you are honest and real about who you are and that you take the good with the bad. Feel very okay to ask when you don’t know something, that’s how growth comes about. You will be wasting your time for nothing pretending that you know it all.
During my early days in my new career, I literally feared facing or sorting client’s ‘hard’ problems. I used to forward them to my supervisor. However, he constantly encouraged me to try out and find a solution before forwarding them to him. This helped in building my confidence as well as my problem-solving skills.
Since then, I grew to become someone who doesn’t fear any challenge irrespective of whether I know where to start from or not.
Empathy is an emotional skill that is built through understanding others. Empathy is an important ability for career success because it improves your capacity to communicate with others, to be part of a team, and to better your leadership skills.
15. Don’t give up.
Pursuing a new career can be tough at times and the feeling to give up will always knock at the door. One thing all successful people have in common is they never, ever give up. You never know how close you are to the next opportunity or the next breakthrough- so keep grinding.
16. Have a SMART goal.
Your career doesn’t just blossom into a success story overnight. It takes reaching milestones you set for yourself. Setting a career goal is about deciding where you want to head in your career, and noting the steps needed to reach that point. A common acronym called SMART is mostly used to describe how a smart goal looks like.
- Specific: General goals tend to get lost in the busyness of our daily lives. However, specific goals are easily achievable.
- Attainable: Focus on those goals that are most important and most attainable to you.
- Measurable: Establish criteria for measuring progress on each goal you set.
- Relevant: Your goal can (and should) be inspirational, but just make sure that you can really make substantial progress.
- Timely: Every goal should have a time frame.
Integrity is not about personal gain, It is about making the right choice even if it goes against the general consensus. Be real, honest, and stay true to what you believe in. The best way to be seen as having integrity is to be real and authentic. An American senator, Alan Kool Simpson, once said, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”
18. Be a Team Player.
Being successful in your career and at work comes from working and developing as a team. There is a saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far don’t go alone.” Find those friends or workmates that you share almost the same interest or that will help you grow. Collaboration is good for personal and career development and for the bottom line.
19. Have a work-life balance.
Don’t overwork yourself and forget other aspects of your life. There is more to your life than just your career. Set time for everything and ensure that you utilize every bit. No one will love you more than you will love yourself, so love yourself completely because you’re the best advocate you have.
20. Try it first.
Most times we find ourselves not knowing how to go about certain problems that we encounter. It could be an error on your code or a technical issue. Try getting a solution online before asking for help. If you bug people with questions about things you could just Google and learn yourself, you will drive them crazy and they will want to smack you
I hope you have picked something from my personal lessons. Feel free to share the lessons that you have learned so far in the comment section below…
I wish you all the best as you continue pursuing your career and seeking to grow in it.