New Year’s resolutions are a tradition dating back to the ancient Babylonians, according to The History Channel. Unfortunately, they have become a bit of a joke in modern times. Of the three in 10 Americans who make resolutions each year, only 28 percent are successful.
Resolving to improve your career, however, just isn’t something you can give up on after a week or two. Follow this advice and you’ll have no problem taking your career to new heights:
Schawbel: Embrace Risks
“Take risks early and often in your career. One of the important lessons this economy has taught us is that not taking risks is risky. There is so much out of our control and if we just keep doing what we did yesterday, we can’t get ahead. By taking a risk, you are putting yourself in a position to learn, whether you succeed or fail. You’re also showing to your management that you’re willing to put your reputation on the line to make things happen. As we become an ever more entrepreneurial society, those that take risks, both inside and outside of the corporate walls, will become more successful.” – Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Millennial Branding
This piece of advice might go against everything your college advisor ever told you, and for good reason. Advisors, professors and your parents want you to succeed. They often deter you from taking a risky move, especially early in your career, because they don’t want to see it backfire.
This is understandable, but it can actually keep you from reaching your full potential. Even if you don’t succeed, you will have learned something. It’s also easier to bounce back from a failure when you’re younger because you have less to lose.
Ambirge: Put in the Hours
“Don’t wait for anyone to give you anything, and certainly not a job. Want to be a famous author? Get writing. Want to edit videos? Get editing. Anyone can start their own business and actually be the big shot, while most people are sitting around, waiting for someone else just to grace them with the title.” – Ash Ambirge, Founder of The Middle Finger Project
Millennials have a rap — fair or not — for expecting everything to be handed to them, especially in the business world. To find true success, however, recent college graduates need to just start doing what they love. Even if you can’t find your ideal job, accept a position that will improve general skills (such as public speaking or working under a deadline) and work towards your desired career on your free time.
Jarrow: Forget About Quick Success
“Even in these days of the Internet and seemingly immediate access to everything, there is no such thing as instant success. Overnight sensations are just flashes in the pan or one-hit wonders. True, lasting success takes years of hard work and discipline. Be willing to do the work.” – Craig Jarrow, Founder of Time Management Ninja
In a world where television shows depict young adults running their own business or spending their time in a swanky corner office, it’s easy to think your success will come quickly. Unfortunately, real success takes years. Do you want to be a regional sales manager? Accept an entry-level sales position and work your way up. Don’t expect handouts. Show up early, stay late, volunteer to cover extra shifts during a busy period or suggest solutions to improve the company. Show your boss you’re dedicated to his business. When you’ve earned enough experience, you’ll be rewarded.