Six Factors that Shape your Career – Part 1

In the following blog series based on career advice, we will be exploring the six factors that can help you shape your career. Your career path is entirely up to you and the choices you make. On your career journey, you will be faced with opportunities that might help you with your career development. In order for you to make the most of these career opportunities, you should focus on the following six factors. These are easy, practical steps you can take to not only build your confidence, but also to help you find a job that suits you perfectly.

It goes without saying that a prerequisite for being in a career is that you can do what it takes to perform well in that profession. It is essential to do the job well. However, there are many factors, beside skill and proficiency that determine how your career evolves. In this first post, we will explore the first two factors that will help guide your career more consciously.

Factor One:  It is all about people

Regardless of what you are working on or what career choices you make, you inevitably work with people. You can be an engineer, travel writer, programmer, YouTuber, influencer, management consultant, lawyer, doctor, architect, carpenter, web designer, waitress, analyst, salesman, teacher, or something else entirely, but either way your career will involve working with other people. If you are able to work well with people, you will be able to do most things quite easily, if you do not work well with other people, you will struggle in your career, no matter how skilled you are professionally. Working well with others and being good with people is an essential skill to have when striving for career success.

So how do you become good with people and make sure that you can work well with people? Be curious about others, not nosy, but sincerely interested. Learn how people function and approach different kinds of people with positive curiosity and genuine interest. Here are some steps you can take right now to improve your people skills. 

  1. Observe – In the workplace or in your private life, tune into what is going on around you. Start paying attention to people. Focus specifically on how they talk and act. Pay close attention to their word choices, their mannerisms and their posture. 
  2. Understanding dynamics – Do this simple analysis and try to figure out people’s motivation behind their behavior. Use the question why? And try to understand why others react the way they do when discussing something, having fun or when arguing. Also ask yourself “where is this coming from” when analysing conversations between people. Focus on things like what is that person trying to communicate, is the way they are communicating working?
  3. Ask questions – Be curious: Ask Questions. Ask people why they react in certain ways when something specific happens. What is their reason for laughing? What is their reason for getting angry? When you are curious about people, you will understand how people work. 

I want you to understand that your way of seeing the world is tied to your perception and it is simply your view. Your view is not better nor fairer than that of anyone else. It is important to have a diverse circle of friends. Actively seek out friendships with people who have a different world view than you, people who come from different circumstances than yourself and spend time with people who have different interests than you do. A lot of what you will learn through Yong is just about your relationship with the different people you will meet throughout your career. Always remember it is all about people. 

Factor two: Do your job well.

Have you ever had a part time job, or have you been an intern? If so, you have already learnt something important. The most important part of doing a job is to do that job well. You naturally have to have the knowledge and skills that are essential to perform the tasks that are required of you but preferably, you should perform them a little better than is expected. Here are three key points for you to consider when you want to make sure that you are not only doing your job well, but you’re also doing more than is expected:

  • Do what is expected of you:
    Make sure you know what is expected of you. You have to know and understand your roles and responsibilities clearly. Be sure about what your job is and how success in your specific job is measured. You should have a clear job description from your employer. If you are pulled in several directions, the job description helps you to stay focused. Do your job as you are required to. When you embrace your role, however small it may be, you begin to realise that you actually matter at work. Even if your job is small in comparison to the jobs of others, your job is still significant in the bigger picture and it contributes to the successful running of the company.
  • Search for improvement:
    Always look for ways to do the job better. Doing the job better does not necessarily mean working harder. Most often it means doing tasks in a smarter way. When you have a novel task to do in your job, you can always ask one of your colleagues with more experience, if they have some tips for you. You can inquire if they see anything that you can do in a smarter way. Although many tasks are performed in the same way they have always been, remember, as a new person to the role, you have a unique perspective, and you are looking at things with fresh eyes. 
  • Be known for doing a good job:
    If you want to have a successful career you have to make sure that you are noticed for the right reasons at work. You need a good work ethic, and you need to be good at what you do. If you are a programmer, be a good programmer, if you are a waitress, be a good waitress, and so on. You will need more skills than just to be good at your job, but it is definitely one of the cornerstones you need to put down when you are building the foundations for a successful career. Do what you were hired to do and do it well. 

Building a successful and enduring career is a complex process, navigating that process is even more complicated. That is why I decided to share the steps and actions you need to take at the beginning and at significant moments during your career to set you up for success. Click here to see part two of our three-part blog series on – The six factors that shape your career. 

Topic: Cool Confidence, Motivation Mastery