Raghav Haran, marketer and entrepreneur, identifies for Quartz eleven secrets no one shares about building your career.
Want to be that person who loves their job, advances quickly, and just seems to know how to navigate daily for the best results?
Here are the eleven ways to secure your future:
Negotiable Job Requirements: Don’t assume the stated requirement of 3-5 years experience is set in stone. Look for ways to prove you have valuable experience despite not meeting that requirement. Show the company what you can bring to the table. Have you produced something during an internship? Do you have ideas about how the company could improve their website or a product? Draw up a proposal and send it in with a note saying you would like the chance to discuss your idea further.
Embrace these 3 Characteristics: The cultural groups that are more successful than others have 3 common characteristics:
- A superiority complex
- Some insecurity, or a feeling that you’re not good enough at what you do
- Impulse control
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. Embrace that feeling of inadequacy.
Don’t be Held Back by What seems Unrealistic: Depending on your upbringing, some careers may seem unrealistic to you, and therefore, unachieveable. If your parent is a lawyer, law may seem realistic to you, but if your parent worked as a cashier at 7/11, you may not think law is a choice for you. “Work alongside the best in the 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.”
Don’t use Employment Numbers and Average Salaries to pick Your Career: Do what you enjoy and become the best at it. The salary and success will follow.
Pick your Boss, Not a Company: Successful people know a good mentor will lead to better opportunities. You will learn from the mentor, but you will also gain networking contacts that will lead to other opportunities. Pay attention to what these contacts say about possible job offers, as they can help you avoid signing on to a job that will not enhance your career.
Be Patient: Take the job with the good mentor over the job with a higher salary. The investment in a good mentor will take you further later, and you will more likely end up with a higher salary in the long-run.
Level Two is Not Level One: To move from Level One to Level Two, you need more than expertise in your area. You need to understand and effectively navigate office politics. You need to figure out what the company wants ahead of time and give it to them before they ask.
Continue to Educate Yourself: Read, read, read! You may have your college degree, and even a graduate degree, but the world changes at a faster pace. You need to be on top of industry changes, concerns, innovations. Be informed!
Get Exposure: Whenever you accomplish something or help someone else, get online and write about it. The more you are present online, the more valuable you become to your profession.
Know the Mechanics of Your Company: The children of a successful corporate owner wanted to work in the family business. The owner told them they would have to start behind the cash register of one of the corporate stores. They needed to learn the business from the ground up in order to be successful running the business in the future. There is value in understanding all aspects of a corporation – look at the success of Undercover Boss. In every case, the boss became a better boss knowing what is happening daily on the ground.
The Front Door Isn’t the Only Way In: Alex Banayan said it best:
“[All highly successful people] treat life, business, and success… just like a nightclub.
There are always three ways in.
There’s the First Door, where 99% of people wait in line, hoping to get in.
There’s the Second Door, where billionaires and royalty slip through.
But then there is always, always… the Third Door.
It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, climb over the dumpster, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, and sneak through kitchen. But there’s always a way in.
Whether it’s how Bill Gates sold his first piece of software, or how Steven Spielberg became the youngest director at a major studio in Hollywood — they all took the Third Door.”
Being willing to take a chance, to look for an appropriate, yet possibly unorthodox way to accomplish what you want, can get you the attention you need to earn your goal. Don’t underestimate being creative in your approach.