There’s an entrepreneur in each one of us, running a startup: our career. Here’re five tips to fast-track this startup towards success.
Most students graduate from colleges and join jobs. One question that the ambitious few have asked me over and over is: 'What are the key learnings you’ve had from your career?' or 'If there’s one thing you would do differently, what would it be?'. Here are a few nuggets I’ve gathered over 11 years in tech.
Some people in your career just propel you forward. They push you to limits you didn't know you were capable of; their drive and focus causes you to want to revolve in their orbit. These bosses may drive you hard; they demand exceptionally high performance. But they set a vision for you, pushing you to your career-best. Identify such talent magnets in your industry, and make it your business to go work for them even at a lower pay.
Over and over, I've learnt that two types of projects propel folks farther and faster than others:
Don't wait for formal performance review cycles to introspect into what your strengths and weaknesses are. This should be an ongoing process:
Earlier in our careers, all our skills are raw. We should be open to learning anything and everything. Whether excel modelling or giving the perfect presentations, throw yourself into every fire, and iterate towards perfection. Make mistakes; learn from them.
Over time, we figure out skills we're strong at and those that we're not-so-strong-at. Notice what skills are starting to get positive reviews, and what your peers are approaching you to learn. It's important to critically evaluate yourself and have a clear assessment of your strengths and abilities.
Next, find that inflection point in your career when you should move from being a skill-sponge to honing just your strengths. Focussing on chipping away towards perfection in one area helps focus your energies making your strongest traits even stronger. Further, your innate strength in that area will propel you towards success, which will reinforce your efforts.
Strange but true: most companies go out of their way to retain not just high-performers, but high-performers at risk. These are the people who a) are critical go-to-persons on the team, and b) are in demand in the industry. Hence it's important to build your brand:
In conclusion, you should think like entrepreneurs continually working on a startup: you! You need to be constantly planning and adapting as businesses do. Always think of yourself as being in beta - constantly striving to evolve and making yourself better.
Cheers to your successful career!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)