The Real Career Advice Nobody Gave You

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Let’s say you’re quite ‘okay’ with your current job.

Are you? Oh wait, don’t answer that. I wouldn’t encourage you to start pointing out the negative aspects of your job here. There must be something very satisfying about it anyway, since you’re continuing with it and enjoying it, aren’t you?

Okay, let me stop asking silly questions and get straight to the point. Most people, even when they don’t find their job perfect, do keep going with it until they get a better opportunity. There’s always something that keeps you going in a job, or at least establishes a comfort zone for you to live by. It could be the attractive paycheque you get at the end of every month; stable working hours that fit in well with your personal life; clearly assigned and achievable goals; some colleagues you enjoy spending time with; or simply the reason that that’s the best offer you have at hand so far.

That’s all good, even if your reasons include the last one on the list. But if that’s your only reason to stick to your current job, you’ve probably not had anyone give you real career advice. Certain awesome career tips, if you knew and applied earlier, wouldn’t have let you end up in this situation in the first place.

Don’t take me wrong. Your situation is not bad. We’re just talking here to help you achieve a lot more than what you have now, in terms of both personal and professional development.

Maarten van Doorn, a professional writer and subject matter expert in a range of philosophy-related topics, states, “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”

Sure, we all want to be remarkable. But how?

Here is some real career advice on this that nobody gave you before.


You can negotiate the job requirements

Are you the kind of person who behaves in the geeky way every time you’re called for a job interview? Are you all about convincing the employer with arguments and evidence that you’ll be able to fulfil all the requirements listed in the job posting in the exact way the company wants? If yes, you’re doing it all wrong.

Job requirements are not the ultimate and all-inclusive goals the employer wants the selected candidate to achieve. They are merely an indication of the kind of role the job requires you to play, and the phase the company or the corresponding department is at.

If you are able to show that you are capable of doing something above and beyond what’s listed there, you’ll not only have a greater chance of getting the job, but also have an upper hand in negotiating the terms of your employment contract.

On the other hand, if there’s something in the job description that you’re not willing to do, you can negotiate on that as well. That would show the employer that you know what you’re good at and that you value your choice.

A professional writer and editor in The Narrative, Katy Velvet, once said, “People always talk about being a ‘yes’ person — and while that is true to some extent, you also have to learn to be a ‘no’ person.”


Don’t try to be overly realistic

As Michael Echols, the founder of Human Capital LLC puts it, “Uncertainty is the future certainty.”

We can never know what exactly the future holds for us. We also don’t know how much we may be able to achieve, whether it’s for ourselves or for the company we’re in. It is thus not a good idea to be overly realistic and limit your scope to just that, which you can foresee yourself doing, based on your previous experiences and expertise. You never know — you might end up getting a fantastic mentor along the way, or invest in a mastermind group somebody introduces you to, both of which can enhance your learning curve exponentially.

Michael Thompson, a featured article writer on PGSG, writes, “Opportunities come to those who invest in themselves.”

By opening up your mind and investing in yourself, you’ll be able to open up to opportunities that are bigger than your anticipation. If only you dream big, you get can on the road to achieve big.


Don’t decide based on average salaries

I would like to break this to you that employment statistics do not give a true picture of how much you can earn in any specified field. The truth is you can earn a hefty amount in simply any profession or field of your choice, as long as you’re interested enough in it to keep on exploring your career path in that field. Don’t look at the average salaries earned by people in any given area or industry; rather look into the opportunities available and how you can contribute to or benefit from them.


Choose the boss, not the company

This can just not be emphasised enough! Generally, you would think if you get a job in a multi-national or well-established firm, your life would be all set. Well, that’s not wholly true.

The real key to success is to have the right mentor or coach at almost every or any phase in life. If you end up with a boss who’s always trying to put you down, and you continue with that job for years for some reason, you can pretty much say goodbye to your self-confidence and career growth. You could also end up with a boss who is too incompetent to understand your job scope correctly, value your worth, acknowledge the work you deliver, or even be able to make decisions for giving approval on your suggestions. It’s quite awkward dealing with an incompetent boss, and I’ll be sharing with you soon how exactly that feels.

For now, it suffices to say that when you have few offers to consider, always go with your gut feeling as well as sound judgment about the potential boss you’ll be having in each; instead of choosing based on the size of the company, how long has it been operating, or how much revenue they make.


Real education begins after you graduate

If you’re under the impression that since you’ve gotten your degree, you are done with education, that’s far from the truth. The wise people believe there is no end to gaining and increasing your knowledge in life.

Couple of months back, Ibrahim Bahat, a creative thinker and pro Medium writer, defined the journey of learning as “an endless road where you discover the new you.”

When you start your career, you get new exposure. Every time you change your job (or the industry as well at times), you enter into a new work environment and meet new people. In order to be able to constantly cope with the changing surroundings and situations in life, you need to keep on reading, observing and learning to enhance your skills and capabilities.


Let’s change our mindset from settling for whatever comes our way; to aiming for higher career goals, and taking the right actions to ensure we’re able to get there.

Sana Uqaili

Sana Uqaili is a professional content developer, a strategic marketing adviser and a freelance copywriter. Her ghostwriting contributions have enhanced the Google rankings of various news portals and publication sites. She is currently employed as the team lead for digital marketing in an engineering consultancy firm. In her free time at home, she writes for Opinined.

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