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The Top Five Lessons People Have Learned Throughout Their Career

Recently, a survey of successful people was done, asking what they had learned from the early stages of their careers. The answers might surprise you. Did they mention learning sophisticated software, getting in on the ground floor of a start-up, or even finding a mentor?

No. The most crucial learning was more about character and how to move through life. Here is what they said.

1. Proactively meet challenges

Everyone’s career has challenges. Being assigned to a job where the resources seem to constantly fall short is one. But challenges come in all shapes and sizes. You might have a supervisor who micromanages, or a sudden new project that requires coding you’ve never done.

Meet those challenges proactively. Work hard. Ask for help when you need it. Think strategically, in terms of what how meeting this challenge will benefit you.

2. Have courage

The advice to have courage comes from financial guru Suze Orman. Why? Because before she became a financial guru, she was a budding restaurant owner. Only she lost the $50,000 friends and family had loaned her.

Many early career ventures fail. The important thing is to take heart and keep climbing above obstacles. You may have to deal with setbacks. Some, like Orman’s, can even be personally embarrassing. What’s important is how you meet difficult situations.

3. Don’t overlook any skill’s importance

Do you think skills like getting to work on time or hanging out with the gang are minor compared to knowledge about how to do your actual job? (Or even that things like that aren’t a skill?)

Don’t think they’re minor! They are, in fact skills - and important ones. Being punctual is key to job success. So is being a team player, which can be demonstrated by going to happy hour with coworkers now and then.

“Soft skills,” as human resources people call them, may be easy to overlook. They’re the skills that don’t have to do with knowledge, but with general work ethic, the way you interact with people, and how you are perceived. They contrast with “hard skills,” which is your knowledge and skill in doing job tasks.

4. The people and the job are equally important

All too often, people focus on their jobs, rather than the people around them. It’s easy to do. After all, your job is the reason you’re there, right?

But in fact, the people are equally important. All people in an organization need to have “people skills.” That’s the ability to listen to everyone, to realize everyone’s contribution is important, and to work as part of a team.

5. Listen

Meg Whitman, the founder of eBay, singles out the importance of listening, and listening well, as the primary thing she learned in her career. It means not submitting to the potential pitfalls of thinking you know it all. Always ask for advice. Be open to what people have to say.

Get your career off on the right foot by contacting Nesco Resource today!

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