1. You need to own your career
Don’t let others define it for you. You’re going to live it, so you should be the one in control . No one else is as well-qualified or motivated to guide your path.
2. Start by understanding yourself
The more you learn about who you are as a person, the more fulfilled you’ll be able to be professionally. Having a strong sense-of-self is a real asset that can benefit you not only at work, but in all aspects of your life.
3. Set goals and commit to achieving them
While many of us go through the annual ritual of goal-setting at work, too few of us take the time to define broader career goals. Articulating your career goals will help focus your day-to-day activities and long-term planning.
5. Establish your team and build your network
No one is truly self-made. Every successful person has a team of mentors and others supporting them along the way. Get this team in place, and supplement it with a strong professional network.
6. Keep learning
Commit to being a lifelong learner. Be curious. Ask questions. You may be done with formal schooling, but you are never done learning. Every situation you’re in, everything you do well or not well, creates a learning opportunity.
7. Get comfortable with advocating for yourself
Learning how to ask for what you want will make it more likely that you actually get what you want.
9. Live your values
Get clear on what’s most important to you early in your career. Then stay true to those principles, even when it’s hard. As you protect what’s most important, it will get easier to keep doing so over time.
10. Keep your options open
As you grow professionally, it’s inevitable that certain career choices will fall away. Focus on always having a viable Plan B and Plan C. Take the actions needed at work and in life to maintain these options.
11. Believe in yourself and in your plan
If you’ve done the planning and the work, and you’re living your values, you’re putting yourself in the best position you can to achieve your career objectives. That’s all any of us can do.