As men, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our careers. Whether it’s for financial stability, personal satisfaction, or the desire to be a role model for others, the pursuit of professional success is a common goal. However, getting sidetracked can be easy, or losing sight of our career aspirations. That’s why it’s essential to focus on our careers; it’s one of the most important proactive steps toward becoming the best version of ourselves.
With that in mind, we’ll explore different ways to set and achieve career goals, develop essential skills, and achieve balance in our personal and professional lives. We can become better men and achieve the career success we all desire through a few simple and generally applicable career strategies. So, let’s get started!
Setting Achievable Goals
Setting specific, achievable goals is one of the first steps toward more significant career success. Being specific about your goals is essential, as this will give you a clear roadmap to follow.
For example, rather than simply setting a goal to “advance in your career,” try setting a specific goal such as “become a manager within the next two years.” This will give you a clear target to work towards and help you stay motivated.
These goals should tie into a broader career development plan. This plan will help you identify the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and keep you on track. A career development plan might include different activities and priorities, such as:
- Taking on more responsibilities at work
- Seeking new learning opportunities.
Once you finish a plan, you’ll already feel like you’ve made some progress — with a set of achievable goals and a rough outline of the steps leading toward them, the success you seek will start feeling more palpable and real.
Developing Professional Skills
No matter your work line, you rely on a particular set of skills (shout out to Liam Neeson) while performing your daily tasks. And if you want to step up as a man and become more successful in your career, you’ll need to do two essential things as you fulfill your career plan:
- Improve existing skills;
- Obtain new skills
Remember, continuous learning and self-improvement are crucial for career success. And even if you’re starting a new job, the process of becoming good at it can be broken down into a series of skills you need to obtain to become more proficient in general.
For example, if you want to learn how to become a plumber, what you’re really learning is a set of skills like:
- Technical knowledge — properties of various materials, the principles of water flow, and the regulations and codes that apply to plumbing systems;
- Problem-solving skill — identify and troubleshoot problems with plumbing systems;
- Physical strength and agility — plumbers often work in confined spaces and may need to lift and carry heavy tools and materials;
- Communication skills — communicate clearly and effectively with clients, supervisors, and colleagues. This includes explaining technical concepts in layman’s terms and providing clear instructions.
- Time management skills: Plumbers typically work on multiple projects at a time and may need to manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and satisfy their clients.
So, the example of plumbers aside, how do you continuously improve your work skills in practice? Here are a few suggestions:
- Take on new challenges: Look for opportunities to take on new work responsibilities or learn new things. This will not only help you build new skills, but it will also show your dedication and willingness to grow.
- Learn from others: Seek mentors or colleagues skilled in areas you want to improve. Not only can they offer guidance and support, but they can also serve as role models.
- Invest in yourself: Consider investing in professional development through courses, workshops, or conferences. This can be a great way to learn new skills and make connections in your industry.
- Practice communication skills: Strong communication skills are essential for success in any career. Practice active listening, clear speaking, and effective writing to improve your communication skills.
- Improve teamwork skills: Working well with others is crucial for career success. Practice being a team player by volunteering for group projects, seeking out feedback, and actively listening to others.
Balancing work and personal life
Achieving success in our careers is essential, but maintaining a healthy work-life balance is just as crucial. Remember — allowing work to consume our lives can lead to burnout, stress, and other negative consequences. Here are a few tips for balancing work and personal life:
- Set boundaries: It’s essential to set boundaries between work and personal time. This might involve limiting when you check work emails or setting aside specific days for work and personal activities.
- Make time for hobbies and interests: Always make time for activities that bring joy and personal fulfillment outside work. We’re discussing hobbies, exercise, spending time with family and friends, or volunteering.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of ourselves is crucial for maintaining balance. Remember, you won’t be at your best in the office if you’re not getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.
- Seek support: If you’re struggling to balance work and personal life, don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or a professional counselor. Many of us stumble on the path to professional betterment — you’re no less of a man if you ask for help when needed.
By achieving balance, we can be more productive and satisfied personally and professionally. Ultimately, this will help you perform better in the workplace, improve your career in the long run, and fulfill every single goal you’ve set as a part of your career plan!