7 Healthy Career Habits All Women Should Adopt
Are you looking for some sensible career habits to adopt in 2017? Join the club.
These realistic resolutions will help you reflect on your career and take major strides towards a more fulfiling 9-to-5. Even better, they are not the kind of habits you adopt on Januray 1st only to drop by mid-February (cutting out chocolate; who are you kidding?). These attainable actions will help you commit to ongoing career progress in a healthy, manageable way. Ready? Go.
Career Habit #1: Hone your tone
Email is an integral part of everyday business, and often we fire off messages without much thought. However, small changes to the way you approach writing your emails can make a huge difference to the impact of your requests or your opinion. Words and phrases such as “I’m sorry” (unless completely necessary), “Just”, “This may sound stupid”, or “I may be wrong/not making sense, but” should be banned from your email vocabulary. Passive words weaken your message and, if you don’t put certainty behind your opinion, or gravity to your request, no one else will. Using the active voice and getting to the point will help you express yourself more clearly.
Career Habit #2: Learn to negotiate
Thinking of asking for a pay rise or getting ready to talk salary regarding a new job prospect? Then it’s time to reflect on your negotiating habits.
Forbes published a review a few months ago about the best practice for negotiating raises, and there are a few main points we can all apply in any negotiation situation. Firstly, think of yourself, but ensure you highlight your commitment to the team. Secondly, being able to negotiate (and brave enough to do so) is a brilliant skill to possess, so sell it as such; this is one of the few times you’ll be on opposing sides to your boss, so be clear that you are still on the same team! Thirdly, do your research. While an increase to your rent may not be a strong enough reason to warrant a raise, facts about successfully completed projects and your industry value are (keep a record of this and stay informed about expected salaries in your field). Furthermore, consider your employer’s point of view: find out what it is they require, work with this in mind, and reach a compromise.
Our additional top tip is to consider your timing. Springing a discussion about salary on your boss first thing on a Monday morning or last thing on a Friday is definitely not ideal, so always arrange a meeting in advance (the added bonus of having this in the diary means you can make sure you’re well prepared, too).
Career Habit #3: Transform your commute
Are you fed up with your commute to and from the office? Then 2017 is the year to change that. There is plenty you can do to use your travelling time wisely: if you drive, listen to podcasts on mindfulness or something related to your career that’ll help get you ahead. Alternatively, if you’re on the bus or train, make a headstart on your emails, organise your calendar, get up-to-date with professional connections, read, or listen to something stimulating. You’ll be surprised at how much you can pack into this time and how good it can make you feel whilst on-the-go.
Career Habit #4: Organise your everyday essentials
Do you live and die by your to-do list? Then it’s time to get methodical. Prioritise your tasks and make sure you are realistic – always under-promise and over-deliver on expectations. Avoid being bogged down by emails, dates and paperwork by setting up filters, clearing out folders, and always adding events to your organiser. You’ll end up feeling more grounded and better prepared to take on new career challenges in 2017.
Career Habit #5: Learn to speak up
Love them or loath them, meetings are a necessary part of working life – and you should learn to use them to your advantage in 2017. Small things like ensuring you get there early so as to land a good seat, and thorough preparation so you feel confident getting involved in the conversation, will make a memorable impression amongst those who count. Another important thing to practice is good posture (see, those childhood ballet lessons were useful after all); slouching and making yourself as small as possible will detract from your input in the meeting, so sit tall!
Career Habit #6: Validate your actions
It’s a positive thing to bounce ideas and solutions off your team mates – just don’t fall into the trap of letting others take credit. Sure, seek feedback and validation on your ideas – and, in turn, give credit where credit is due to your colleagues – but ensure you always make clear what elements of a proposal, pitch, or project are your own. Whilst it can be tempting to let it go as a little thing, it is important to learn to own your achievements if you want to climb the career ladder in the future; after all, you’ll need a record of your accomplishments when you want to put your name forward for a promotion, negotiate your salary, or secure a fantastic reference. Make recognising your hard work second nature in 2017.
Career Habit #7: Be confident
When push comes to shove, applying for jobs is all about selling yourself as the fantastically experienced and enthusiastic professional you are! So, when you are submitting job applications or networking at a business event, be confident in the skills and experience you have. Easier said than done we know, but don’t give up on an opportunity before you even try. Whether that be applying to a job you don’t meet 100% of the criteria for, or sending a letter of interest to someone in the industry you admire and would like to work with, believing in yourself and your abilities will make getting noticed for new opportunities that much easier.
By adopting these healthy career habits now, you will be well on your way to a successful 2017! Need more advice? Visit City Calling for jobseekers tips and career opportunities.