Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy – or all the time, am I right?! As a young professional and millennial (like it or not), we’re often under the microscope, having our every move scrutinized and criticized. So much so that if not properly managed, it can even get in the way of our own successes. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, or just starting out, here’s a quick list – a “spring cleaning” of old habits, if you will – of what not to do in order to get ahead:
1.) Play it safe
Being successful doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it rarely happen while playing it safe and staying inside the box. Many successful young professionals have contributed to their team’s success with bold and innovative ideas. Being the most junior person on a team doesn’t mean to silence your creative ideas, it just might give you – and your company or client – an advantage. Even if your big ideas don’t pan out, it will put you on the radar for future opportunities.
2.) Not making mistakes
Why is it you always hear the most successful people rave about making mistakes? Because time and time again they admit what they have learned from making mistakes. As young professionals we hear the advice, yet we’re still afraid of making them. We should be making plenty of mistakes – as long as we’re learning from them of course. By making different mistakes, we as young professionals, can understand what works and what works better, and we can learn – a lot.
3.) Ignoring work/life balance
As young professionals, we try to live up the expectation of being a workaholic, and so much so that we might even glamorize it. We give ourselves projects, deadlines and volunteer commitments, that it is easy to get caught up in work and forget the most important thing – ourselves. But the more young professionals enjoy life outside of work, the better they are at producing quality work.
4.) Not speaking up
It is often so hard finding our voice, and even harder when you’re most likely the newest face in the room. Part of having professional success is knowing when to listen, and when to speak up. More often than not, young professionals don’t speak up when they have a great opportunity. If there is an event or project you’re interested in, let your CEO or supervisor know you’re interested. If you have a skill that needs improving, take a leap and volunteer for a project that will allow you to do it. Speaking up when you have a fresh idea, a different approach or valuable insight can yield the greatest reward.
5.) Let learning become stagnant
As young professionals with plenty of access to the internet and other resources, we should be constantly searching for articles, case studies, etc. that can help us be in the know and on top of industry trends. Being well-informed will make you a valued resource within your team, and others will be willing to turn to you to bring outside knowledge to an important project or deadline.
There you have it, now let the success ensue! Have something to add? Drop the chamber a line, or join us for an Ignite meeting!
This blog posting was beautifully researched and written by Ignite member, Sarah Hines, Account Assistant with Prosio Communications.