01 May Turn Your Job Into Your Dream Career
My first job out of college was less than perfect for me. I was selling life insurance in Boston and was unhappy. I wasn’t passionate and I didn’t feel challenged. My boss had questionable ethics (He would later go to federal jail.) It just wan’t a fit for me.
As hundreds of thousands of college students graduate this spring, the job search becomes more competitive. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lauren Berger, whose new book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career, tells students how to succeed in their first, second, and third job after college and how to turn your average job into your dream job. These are the 8 tips she shared:
1. Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Feeling shy? Push yourself outside of your comfort zone; introduce yourself to someone you normally wouldn’t speak with or attend an event you wouldn’t normally go to. When you go outside of your comfort zone, you grow the most as an individual.
2. Don’t Just Think Big, Execute Big
You can talk about the most amazing idea on the planet but if you can’t execute it like a rockstar – it’s worthless. Focus on execution – perfect execution.
3. Learn to Deal with Rejection
Rejection happens – it’s part of life (personally and professionally). Let rejection motivate you to go on and conquer the next big thing. Eventually, you will learn that to get to where you want to be – you will always get rejected. It’s part of the process.
4. Stay Balanced
You won’t excel at your job by becoming a work-a-holic. Make sure that you leave enough time for friends, family – and yourself!
5. Perfect Your Basic Tasks
Before you ask your boss for additional work or more challenging work, make sure you perfect the entry-level tasks at hand. Could anyone do the tasks better than you? The answer should always be no.
6. Make Everyone Love You Over the Phone
Phone skills are a lost art! Whenever anyone calls to speak with you, make them enjoy it! In fact, make them look forward to speaking with you. Make people feel like they can talk to you about anything. This makes you extremely valuable to your boss and the culture of his or her office.
7. Let Your Boss Know Your Plan
Your boss isn’t a mind reader. Don’t pretend like he or she knows or thinks about what you want to do with the rest of your career. Set aside time with your boss to fill them in and ask for their advice. Most people love mentoring others- take advantage of the opportunity when you see it.
8. Don’t Forget to Network Internally and Externally
You never know what is going to happen with your position or with your company. Make sure that you spend equal time networking inside your company and outside of your company.
When I asked Lauren for some final advice for people looking to jumpstart their dream career, she said,
Make it happen! Go after your dreams! (And read my book for TONS of actionable tips on the real world).”