Most people will be in the workforce for about 50 years, some even 60, depending on when they choose to retire or whether they started out early. But 50 years is a long time not to try out some risks and challenge yourself in different ways.
Inspired by things I need to put in my bucket list, I came up with a list that you should at least try in your career life. So if you are like me in the prime years of your career, take a peep at the list below and share with us if you have been there, done that!
If you haven’t, maybe it is time to try one of those below. It may just be the perk-me-up your career needs. Please bear with me as this is a long list.
Take Part in A Major Project
It can revive any dull boring feelings you have on your career, perhaps stir up some unknown passion.
To be involve in a major project can allow you to work with different people from different parts of the company and allow you to try out different roles other than the one you currently hired for.
It can also bring a lot of satisfaction when the project takes off and a lot of pride when the project is successful. Likewise, any problem you encountered during the project phase will also improve your problem solving skills and increase your resources in a major scale.
I have done plenty of major projects in my career life and some at national level. Some of the projects are still running these days even though I have left the company and whenever someone compliments on it, it feels good, knowing I was once part of the implementation process.
Start A Trend
Something simple like “bring your own coffee mug” to something fun like “wear black on a Black Friday” or even something conducive like “share a cupcake day”. It’s up to your creativity to spice things up in the office.
To start a movement, you don’t even have to involve everyone in the workplace. You just have to gather your teammates to join in and let word-of-mouth do the spreading. Something fun but oddly feels satisfying when you see your idea goes viral around the office.
In my corporate days, I will start off silly trends and movement just to spice up our dull days in the office. The bosses usually turned a blind eye as long as it is on a Friday or subtle.
For example, I started leaving nice comments on Post-its end of Friday evening randomly so that those coming to work on Monday will see those messages and drive the blues away. Soon, the whole office start to follow and I even got a nice note from our boss!
Talk Back To Your Boss
Talking about bosses. They are not always right, you know. They might be experienced, knowledgeable and superior but they are humans too. And they make mistakes.
So when you see a wrong that your boss makes, pick your fights wisely and choose to stand up for what’s right.
I have plenty of experience talking back to my boss (of course, politely) but when I feel as passionate as I should be on a certain issue, I want to make known my stand even though I know it will not be approved by my boss.
Do it properly and you will get to be respected by both your peers and your boss. And not look upon as a pest.
Not everyone wants to be a manager. However, whether it is over a small project or covering your boss to manage a team in his absence, it is good to take charge for once. It’ll change your perspective as you’ll be standing on the other side, looking from a different angle.
Empowerment is a strong drug, with power comes responsibilities.
I’ve seen people change when they are given authority, no matter how temporary. Some change for the better – putting themselves behind supporting their team while some became arrogant and aggressive. So which do you belong? You’ll never know until you take charge.
I strongly advocate this to anyone who wants an unique resume that stands out from others.
Working overseas not only benefit your career but add on to your personal growth as well. Especially in a different country, you tend to grow wiser and matured a lot faster as you survive independently without family beside you.
I realised that I became a lot more tolerant and open minded when I moved to Shanghai and Malaysia. The experience in both different countries have humbled me and taught me a lot about myself. I had never regretted leaving my comfort zone to seek higher ground.
Mingle with Different Generations and Backgrounds
This is a different level of the usual networking with your colleagues. You probably are much more comfortable mingling with people that are similar to you, same background, around the same age group.
Try find diversity in your group. Go and reach out to different ethnicities, generations and education background in your company. You will learn so much more if you do not stick with the same peers all the time.
I have a rule in my heart to always try to seek out different lunch partner in the company each week so I can know more people personally.
Everyone has a story to tell and different ways of doing their job. If you listen carefully, you might just able to get a free tip or two!
Find a Mentor
In our personal life, we usually have someone to guide us through difficult times. Maybe your parents or your older siblings or even a teacher.
Same goes for your career. It definitely a good thing to have a mentor in the company that you can go to seek advice from, especially if the said situation is confidential and you don’t wish to disclose to the HR or your direct boss.
In different companies, I have seek out worthy mentors and some of them are from different departments. All of them are able to give me sound advice and point me to useful resources.
Most importantly, they pointed out certain areas that weren’t clear to me or pick out my flaws so I can constantly improve myself.
Do Something Different other than Your Specialty
This is very crucial to your growth in your career. Sometimes when we are in a certain role for too long, we don’t get to see what our action resulted in.
Doing an opposite role helps to let you see what goes on behind your role after you passed on your task. You’ll learn to be more patient and tolerant towards decisions that are made in your current department because you understand and see the bigger picture. It also helps you to realise your potential and your passion as you try out different roles.
I started out as sales but I ventured into customer service so that it allows me to understand my customers better in order for me to sell and serve them their needs.
Likewise, I dabbled in operations and marketing along my career in order to understand the process flow and hiccups in service deliverance. This not only benefit me a great deal, it also help my customers to quickly solve their problems and in turn, they become my returning sales.
Jump to a Different Industry
Sticking to the same industry for the last 20 years is no longer seem as a good thing.
Instead, hopping to different industries gives you new challenges as well as provide new opportunities. It helps to diversify your portfolio too.
Different industries have different needs and process of dealing in the same role. By understanding how different companies work, you gain a better understanding of handling the same tasks in a different way.
I have my fingers in education, health, retail, telecommunications and IT. I love challenges and different industries have helped me grow stronger in my specialty because I am able to implement those processes that works in the new companies I worked in.
Dabble in Your Passion
Life is way too short to do the work you hate. Life is also dull if you can’t find passion in your work. Take a calculated risk and dabble in your passion.
We all have multiple passions that we can explore in without risking your income.
Whether it is doing your passion as a sideline or freelancing it, it brings back satisfaction that you may not get in your regular job. Once you get the hang of it, figure how to merge your passion into something profitable.
I love working with people and I know I do best in a job that allows me to deal with people’s problems. Hence, I always hunt for jobs that I know can impact people’s lives. I also love to coach and train people therefore I enjoyed myself leading a team of folks in any different roles, be it sales, customer service or operations.
Take a Sabbatical Leave
Along the way in your career path, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and overtired. At that point, it’s time to take a break. You need time to re-evaluate what’s important to you and how you can move forward in your career.
Taking a sabbatical leave will give you time to think as well as to try out new stuff.
If I never leave the corporate world to have the time to myself, I may never knew I can write to attract a regular audience. I probably will work myself to climb the ladder higher but at some point, I will question myself if I’m happy where I am.
This break allows me to focus on different part of my needs and see how I work these needs into my next step in my career.
Finally, you need to feel contented in your career. The path that you have created along the way. You’ve got to be happy with what you are doing and the achievements that you have gathered in your career life. It’s important to celebrate your milestones on your career life too, just like you celebrate your personal milestones.
Striking a balance in both your career and personal life is important to a healthy lifestyle. Happy employees, happy customers and lead to happy shareholders.
So what are the things you have achieve on this list? Do you think it is easy to achieve some of them if not all? Come and share with us in the comments below.
Have you found your passion? Check out these articles to find happiness in your work life:
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.