In the course of my journey I gathered insights that went on to shape my understanding my learning about few aspects of the professional career. Things that I struggled with, stumbled upon and re-wrote differently. They may resonate with you, help you to re-write or even challenge few insights.
Learning Number 1 – Academic brilliance is not a measure for predicting success in one’s career and vice versa.
Not all my academically bright friends from school and college did exceptionally well in their career (according to convention) and not all successful professionals were exceptional in academics. Our years of conditioning told us that in order to have a successful career you had to score well and do well for yourself in your academics. Brilliant academic achievement will definitely help you to start off your career on a level better than others but if your achievement has not been exceptional, you need not despair.
If you are wondering, what is common between academic brilliance and professional success – it would be an individual’s focus and perseverance and his/her ability to stay on track and not get complacent. What works for achieving academic excellence also works for attaining professional excellence.
Your time starts now to carve your future on a base of sincere and unrelenting effort, self-motivation and a mindset that is positive. While how to stay on track and not get complacent are learnings for another day but I must clarify that professional success may not at all times be equated with happiness.
Learning Number 2 – Discovering our strengths and passion is a long-drawn process and may not occur to you at one go. Do what makes you happy and that which you are passionate about.
It isn’t the destination but the journey that is important. You could be lucky if you knew right from the beginning what you were passionate about. If you didn’t know it is never too late to discover and work towards doing what is essentially your strength and doing what makes you happy
Learning Number 3 – Being hands-on is as important as knowing how and when to delegate.
Most managers fall on either side of the line and fail to strike a balance between being hands on or delegating and supervising to ensure that the task is done. Having available time in your hand enables you to ideate, think deep and strategize.
Learning Number 4 – It is not just important to be good at your work, it pays to network, build relationship and nurture individuals and teams.
I learnt late in life that it isn’t good enough to just work and do your best. A lot depends on how you project your body of work, how do you connect and build a formidable set of relationships by being a giver. What you receive in return is nothing in comparison to your pay check, designation or even your success. Nurturing meaningful connections and paying it forward proves to be immensely rewarding in the long run.
Learning Number 5 – Learning is the only way to stay on track. Keep the learning quotient high to re-discover yourself and open up possibilities for you. Learning is not through a structured program alone. You can learn by reading, listening to podcasts, talking to people be it people who are sharper than you or even the younger generation. Thanks to the online learning wave, there is a whole lot of content and curated programs that are readily available and inexpensive. Follow thought leaders and those who inspire you on social media and you will get to learn in the manner that is convenient to you. To say the least the discussion thread on Twitter can be as enlightening as the blog on Linked In or the story on Instagram.