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How to boost your career: 5 actionable tips

boost your career

Perhaps you are thinking now when reading the title: “Oh, again the same, worn-out and far too abstract career tips that don’t help you anyway.” But I assure you: No, by no means! In this post, you will find some little-known, but all the more promising tips for your career that can have a positive impact on your professional success. Most of the tips come from people who are actually successful. So it is definitely worth reading on. Our guide outlines 5 easily actionable tips to boost your career.

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5 tips to boost your career

1. Learn to listen

People who can listen are more successful. That may sound a little surprising. What do you get from it if you just sit and listen to what your colleagues have to say, for example? In fact: Not always wanting to add your mustard immediately is a positive quality that can also prove beneficial for your own career. 

This first career tip comes from Mark Cuban, software millionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, a team of the American professional basketball league NBA. Cuban is certain that listening is one of the most important skills in the professional world. But how can a good listener influence your career positively? It is crucial that one actually listens – for example during a meeting – concentrates on what the other person has to say and always reflects on what has been said, perhaps taking notes on occasion. Building on this, employees can often make a constructive contribution.

Good listeners are also more successful in negotiation situations. This is because they do not focus exclusively on their own arguments, but also ask questions and really understand what the negotiating partner is thinking – which is crucial if you want to convince someone of something — and a great skill to boost your career.

2. Ask for help

It sounds very simple: if you get stuck, just ask someone for help. Admittedly, this is not a particularly innovative career tip at first glance. But it comes from none other than Steve Jobs. Obviously, if you know how to solve a problem yourself, it shows independence. But depending on the situation, it can’t hurt to ask questions. Be it when you get stuck on a project and could use new ideas, or when you have to deal with problems in your private life that significantly affect performance at work. Most people like to help: “I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want to help me when I asked for it,” says Jobs.

3. Self-promotion is good, excellent work is better

The slogans about personal branding are piling up in the world of careers, but the role of self-marketing is overestimated. Because if you focus too much on self-marketing, which is mostly misused, you risk producing too much hot air and empty promises, which will inevitably lead to disappointments both for you and for the employer — not a good way to boost your career. The American comedian Jerry Seinfeld particularly recommends young professionals to be economical with self-promotion and instead to concentrate on the actual work. So remember: a little – right! – Self-promotion makes sense, but should not be the most important thing when applying or at work. The dose makes the poison here too. Instead, focus on your actual performance and willingness to perform.

4. Look for a job that makes sense for you

Do you feel like you are doing something useful in your job? With meaningful work, it is hardly surprising that you are motivated to do your best every day. Because in this case you are convinced that your work is making a valuable contribution to something bigger. What exactly is meaningful work, everyone has to decide for themselves. However, you do not have to be a world saver to be able to classify your work as meaningful. There are many other ways of helping people with their work, making their lives easier, or otherwise making a contribution to society. However, work also makes sense if you can use or fully utilize your individual skills and potential in your job on a daily basis. By the way: This tip comes from me. Because sometimes it’s better to get tips from normal,

5. Be brave and often say yes

‘No risk, no fun’ is a well-known motto, which should encourage us to enjoy life to the fullest and not to let fear or doubts slow us down. But you could also replace the ‘fun’ with the word ‘success’ – success or success in your job. Professional success often comes about simply by taking a chance and saying ‘yes’ despite initial doubts. ‘Yes’ to an unspeakably challenging project, perhaps even exceeding our subjectively assessed skills and competencies. ‘Yes’ to a long-delayed and therefore all the more sought after further education. Maybe even ‘yes’ for dismissal and a professional reorientation, even if the timing seems to be bad (because maybe it is not!). Even if every professional decision – regardless of whether in everyday work life or when changing jobs – should be well considered, it doesn’t hurt if you listen to your gut feeling more often. Oh yes: This career tip comes from the extremely successful TV presenter Katie Couric.

If you follow just a few of these career tips, your path to professional success will be made a lot easier. Who knows, maybe the new year has some promising career opportunities for you, to which you simply have to say ‘yes’.

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