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Create The Right Career Habits Now
by Chad Carden (Alumni)

Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to build the right behaviors, attitudes and habits now.  Below are five key areas to keep in mind when creating the right career habits.

1.  Be part of the solution not the problem: After working with dozens of companies, most being fortune 500, I have found that most individuals spend way too much energy and time on everything that is 'wrong' with their company or their department, or their supervisor instead of what is 'right'.  Focusing on the solution not the problem is a very simple concept, but most people do not put it into practice.  I have wagered a bet no less than 500 times in the past ten years and haven't found one person to take my bet.  Every time I am working with a client and their employees, I bet them that if we spend just one day together and visit the lunchroom, the break room, or any other location that people congregate while at work, we will hear more negative things said about the company, a department or a supervisor than we would positive things.  I state that every time we hear something negative they have to give me $100 and every time we hear something positive I will give them $100, and amazingly know one has ever taking me up on my bet, Why?  Because most people are focused on everything that is wrong versus right.  To differentiate yourself for your career as well as now on campus, focus on things that are right, not wrong, and if there is something that is wrong, focus your time and energy on ways to solve the problem.  Never bring up something that is wrong with your class, your teacher, your roommate, your organization, or your employer without having a few options or suggestions on ways to improve the situation.  This one habit alone can help you catapult your career or business forward.

2.  Don't suck up: Is attitude contagious' Do you know anyone that when they enter a room the room brightens up a little bit?  How about the opposite, do you know anyone that when they leave the room the room brightens up a little bit?  Attitude is definitely contagious, and you want to be the person that brightens the room when you enter, not when you exit, but you must be sincere when doing so.  Enthusiasm is not always about being a 'cheerleader', it is more about caring and being sincere in everything you do.  I'm not saying don't be helpful, flexible, and willing to take on tasks that will help your supervisor or department, because those things are important.  Just make sure you are doing things for the right reasons, and not just to 'get ahead' quickly.  Most people can read through anyone that is fake and has self-serving motives.

3.  Expect criticism: Anyone trying to advance in life, business, or their career should expect others to criticize them.  As you grow in your career or life you will find more and more people that will begin to give their 'opinion' of you.  Think about this for a moment.  The person in the highest held office in this country, The President of the United States, is always facing others criticizing him.  celebrities, CEO's sport stars, leaders inside organizations; all of these people get enormous criticism daily.  Why?  Because as humans it is easier to find fault in others than in ourselves.  Remember tip #1, most people will look to the negative, before the positive, and the more success you experience the more exposed you are to others, leading to criticism.  Criticism is part of success and should be expected.  Trying to avoid criticism or think that you will be immune is unrealistic and will only lead to disappointment.  As a matter of fact, being criticized should be look to as a positive thing, it means you are making things happen and growing in your career.

4.  Talk less, listen more, and help others discover “their undiscovered greatness within”: Remember, every person you meet has the potential to be even better.  Open ended questions with a desire to learn is crucial to growing your career.  One of the absolute best chapters ever written on this is in Stephen Covey's “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and it is the section titled, Listen to Understand, Not to Respond.  Be curious, be interested to learn.  Remember that asking open ended questions with a sincere desire to learn can and will build trust and rapport.  Help the people you are around to look beyond their problems and get inspired with the incredible miracle that lies right in front of them.  Always try to leave people with positive thoughts and encouragement.  Remind them of their potential.  This kind of encouragement has amazing power and when you start using it every day, I am convinced that you start pulling greatness out of yourself and open yourself up to some of life's greatest treasures.  One of the true gifts that life has to offer is the amazing feeling we get when we look another human being in the eyes and make them aware of the amazing potential that lies within them!  This will make you unique, but you must be sincere at all times!

5.  Continue to work on your communication skills: Communication is what keeps things moving forward.  Many great leaders say, if one can master communication they can write their own ticket inside the organization.  The better you are at communicating, the more value you are capable of generating on a daily basis.  Start a “communication reminder journal” and write your insights into it about do's and don'ts around communication.  Read those insights daily and weekly.  Improve your communication skills by studying communication for at least 15 minutes.  Master the art of communication now and many doors will open for you in the future.  Grow your network of people by communicating to others the value you bring to any organization.  Once again be sincere, not just self-serving.  Understand and communicate that if you can help the organization you know they will help you.  Challenge yourself to build your communication skills daily.

Schedule 15 minutes into your day where you put yourself into a situation that will help practice your communications skills.  If you do this every day all that practice will really start to pay off.  Remember, the more you listen to others, the better you'll get at helping them to improve.

Use these five tips and begin to start building the right behaviors, skills, attitudes, and habits today!  Good Luck!

Article by Chad Carden, President of The Chad Carden Group www.chadcarden.com

Author:
Chad Carden (Alumni)

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