You might be thinking that getting a job is quite difficult … that you are lucky enough to earn a salary … that with so many applicants you should be thankful to be elected, right? Think again

You have the power to take control of your career. It will take some thought, planning, and execution, but since work is about a third of your life, why not make the most of it?

Here are 6 simple rules that will help you get the most from your career:

1. Know your strengths, weaknesses, and passions

Be honest with yourself about what you do and which of those strengths is also a passion. Know where your challenges are. Invite others to provide feedback on blind spots and create a plan to address these gaps. Confidence is the best way to defend yourself and the key to long-term career planning.

2. Set short and long term goals

The more concrete and measurable the goals, the better. They can be as simple as “meeting a manager I respect” or “reading 5 blog posts or articles in my field each month”. Goals may also include learning new skills, taking on project leadership roles, receiving awards and honors, or gaining notoriety through new business presentations.

Once you have set your goals, you need to reassess them periodically. This allows you to measure progress, adjust your deadlines to meet your goals, or change your goals when your priorities have changed.

3. Build a strong network

During your career, it is important to find good advisers, mentors and people who share your attitude. You can identify with and bond with the people you want to learn from, but don’t try to force relationships. They have a common interest, so it’s an easy bridge.

 Whenever you try to connect with a senior executive, research them so you can ask questions about their experience. Then find ways to stay in touch. Send an interesting and relevant article by email. Ask to continue the conversation over coffee.

Let relationships grow organically, then nurture them. Stay in touch when you change jobs. After all, a good connection could help you move forward.

4. Do not point your finger. Yes, problem-solving.

It might sound like common sense, but it’s something that many overlook. When there are challenges or crises, don’t just make sure you’re safe. Work hard to fix the problem and find ways not to let it happen again. No one wants to work with someone who wants to blame them. You might think you are protecting your job, but in reality, you are hurting your career. People will want to work with you if you stay humble and open to solutions from others.

5. Conquer your glossophobia

It’s okay to be nervous about speaking in public, but being able to present and communicate well are important skills that will become more and more important as your career progresses. Take every opportunity to become a better presenter:

Practice your presentation yourself, then give it to a colleague or manager and ask for feedback.

Look for tips and advice on public speaking.

Watch TED presentations and take notes on how your favorite presenters present your topic, use anecdotes and humor (no jokes, you are not a comedian), make your points, and draw your conclusions. Tell a compelling and relevant story to the audience.


6. Never stop learning

No industry is like it was 10 years ago. If you want to continue to grow in your career, you must always be one step ahead of the advancements in your field. Take advantage of in-company training, webinars and seminars, as well as advanced courses or diplomas. It is important to continue to acquire pedagogical and technical knowledge, as well as to develop leadership and management skills. Keep learning and growing for your career and your life.

You can’t control everything in your career, but you can do everything to be ready for every challenge and every opportunity. Be proactive and you’ll feel more confident about your skills and your future.