Four Career Lessons Better Learned Now Instead of Later

October 15, 2018


According to Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, the expression ‘KEEP ON KEEPING ON,’ dates back to the 1910s. This adage is often used today, but is it really a sustainable strategy?

Here are four career lessons you’ll be grateful to learn sooner rather than later.

  1. Regret robs your ability to enjoy the gift of the present moment. It’s human nature to consider what-if’s such as, “What if I had taken that other job out of college? What if I had pursued a different area of expertise?” Investing time considering hypothetical situations or mulling over past mistakes is a waste of time unless you leverage the lessons learned by doing things differently in the future. This is why Dale Carnegie said, “Try to profit from your losses.” When the same regretful thoughts keep popping up in your head, put the past behind you by focusing on your short and long-term goals.
  2. Life is short. You’ve heard this a million times, but it’s worth repeating if you feel unfulfilled in your current role. Many people settle with their current career because of financial concerns or the fear that they’ll never find a better job. Truth be told, you’ll never know unless you try! Identify barriers holding you back from pursuing what will make you truly happy. It’s never too late to go back to school; change careers or embark on entirely new industries. When you begin to consider that each day in itself is a blessing, you’ll become more judicious with how you spend your time.
  3. Never take your health for granted. Many successful people struggle to attain work/life balance and end up feeling burnt out or developing serious health problems. In addition to stress in the workplace, nearly every aspect of life seems to require a full-steam-ahead attitude, however it’s not sustainable. Jeffrey Brantley, a psychiatrist and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine warns, “We pay an enormous price in both health and happiness for living in a sped-up world.” Truth be told, it’s easier to maintain your health than it is to recover from a serious illness or disease. No amount of success or money is worth your health and overall well-being.
  4. Worry is a waste of energy. Dale Carnegie said, “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” When you feel worried, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?” which is the first step in Dale Carnegie’s principles for overcoming worry. Next, prepare to accept the worst and try to prove upon it by doing something. The only antidote to fear and worry is action and hustle. If you’re concerned you may not survive the next round of job cuts, it’s time to refresh your resume and start job hunting. If you’ve been assigned a new project and don’t know where to begin, ask someone you trust for help. Swap anxiety with action to keep moving forward.
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