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Came across this interesting article by Jennifer Williamson titled” Four Lies Your Parents Told You” in Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist blog.

This set me thinking of how times have changed in the sphere of work. Old taboos are no longer applicable ( ladies don’t take work which involves night shifts) , old assumptions are no longer valid ( people of a certain race/religion/creed cannot succeed in corporate life) and it’s a different world.

Here are a few observations you may like to keep in mind to get ahead with your career:

  1. You Are Responsible for Your Own Career: Ultimately it is up to you. Many have got the same opportunities but not everyone makes the best use of them. Take charge of your career. Determine what you want to become, by when and work out a strategy to achieve your goals. Don’t expect others, including your boss or mentor to do this for you- though they can certainly help.
  2. Breadth of Experience Means Versatility: While specialisation has its supporters, there is every reason to believe that in the future of work, you need to be versatile. You need to have had exposure in different types of organisations, different kinds of businesses, in different functions and increasingly, in different geographies. Actively seek opportunities to build on your versatility.
  3. It’s ok to be different: Many new age occupations are growing at much faster rates than the more traditional ones. In India, for example: in the past you had to be an engineer or a doctor to be considered successful. I know of people who are not only doing very well but loving every moment of their work lives as RJs, as pilots, as tour organisers. They are making good money too.
  4. Develop more than core competences: For example, being a great technology whiz kid is not enough. You must have the interpersonal skills to relate to others who apply that technology. Having terrific skills in finance is fine but you must have the ability and sensitivity to appreciate the pains and travails of your peers running businesses with shoe string budgets.
  5. Learn while you Earn: Make your career doubly blessed by learning as you are earning. The more current you are in your field, or indeed in related fields, the more your utility will be felt. Go the extra mile to acquire new knowledge and new skills. Share what you know and others will share with you.

These will help you stay on top of your career. Any thoughts?

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This is the 120 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success