Whether you’re trying to nab a promotion or negotiate a three-day work week, getting what you want at work takes courage and a nontraditional way of thinking. You’ve probably been taught to value paycheck over passions because it’s the only way, wait your turn for promotions, take what you’re given…and the list goes on. Well, Career Coach Holly MacCue believes these widely accepted rules will actually hurt your chances and keep you in unfulfilling situations. Her tip for achieving these professional goals? Forget what you’ve been told. Unlearn everything that will not serve you.
Break these five rules to achieve real career success:
Rule No.1: Avoid the road less traveled
The Rewrite: Don’t be afraid of creating a new path to success
It is easy to follow a traditional path just because it has worked for most people, but that may fall short of what you really want. So often, we let the fear of uncertainty keep us from doing what we love, and we end up choosing a paycheck in the form of an unfulfilling job.
Forget what they’ve told you, you actually can have it all. Take Holly for example. When she moved to a new country looking for a part-time senior-level job at a blue-chip organization, recruiters recommended against it, saying going part-time would hurt her chances. Holly needed the flexibility to pursue other ventures, and she did, in fact, land her dream job while being honest with her team. “My employers were impressed by my entrepreneurial drive and desire to support others, and it set me apart from everyone else. I openly shared my desire to pursue my passion outside of work, and they appreciated that.” says Holly.
This taught her that her goals don’t have to fit into a box and that she can design the lifestyle she wants, with honesty, authenticity and most importantly, hard work.
Rule No.2: Play it safe
The Rewrite: Calculated risks can offer you everything you want
Many people feel successful ‘on paper’ and stuck in jobs that pay too well to leave, even if they are not fulfilling. They fear having to start over because of the time they might’ve sent creating an old career, or think they will not be as successful doing what they want. Your job may come with a great benefits package and salary, but if it isn’t helping you achieve your long-term goals, then it is taking time away from that more fulfilling pursuit. Whenever you hit a wall like this, create a plan and execute until your situation changes. If your goal is to transition, leverage your existing skill set and figure out how it is transferrable to the new role or venture.
When you play it safe, you get average results. Taking calculated risks will pay off in long-term satisfaction.
Rule No. 3: If no one else has attempted it, it’s not possible
The Rewrite: You won’t know how something will pan out until you do it
As Holly remembers, “I had never heard of anyone landing a part-time, senior role at a Fortune 500 company without being an existing employee, so it would have been easy to assume it wasn’t an option.” She wanted to see for herself, so she negotiated the terms of her role, while emphasizing on her skills, and landed the job.
You may feel like your goals are toot far-fetched because you don’t know anyone who’s ever achieved them. Do not let that discourage you. You are responsible for your goals, so take it upon yourself to see them through. Surround yourself with people who’ve taken risks and gone outside the norm to achieve great things, and fill your lungs with their energy. As the saying goes, “Don’t downgrade your dreams to match your reality. Upgrade your belief to match your vision.”
Rule No. 4: Wait your turn for a promotion
The Rewrite: Give yourself a promotion
You probably wish for a salary bump more often than it is offered or it is “acceptable” to bring up to your boss. Yet, you may find yourself taking on more responsibilities, overworked and earning the same amount. The worst thing is to feel underpaid doing a job you work hard for. So instead of waiting until review time to negotiate a raise, find other sources of income. Diversifying is key to earning as much as you want.
One of Holly’s clients had hit “the glass ceiling” at her job and was denied a raise in multiple occasions. She left her corporate job to start her own digital marketing agency and was able to eventually triple her income within a year As the CEO of her own company, her earning potential is less limited than when she was a full-time employee.
“We all need to value our worth rather than wait for others to recognize it, and we need to take responsibility for our own success.” says Holly.
When opportunities don’t come your way (like an offer for a promotion), create them.