Last week, we shared the inspiring story of a successful business director who built his success on the solid foundations of hard work and personal sacrifice which he started doing right from the start of his career. Today, we want to focus on the nuts and bolts of getting right your early choices in your career, for the long-term success of your career.
The guiding principle of the sacrifices that you need to make early into your career is that you need to focus TODAY on developing the skills that you will need for TOMORROW’s rewarding job. This might mean that sometimes, you might stick to a low-paying job that gives you best on the job training instead of rushing for a high- paying job that may not expose you to good training and skills development.
In some cases, you might even have to leave a well-paying job in order to grab a job that pays less, but is endowed with best chances and opportunities for skills development, giving you a future chance for step change in your career. In doing this, you are making big personal sacrifices, trading immediate financial benefits for advancement in your skills and knowledge so that you can have a leading edge and unique value proposition tomorrow. This is exactly what the big director ‘Joseph’ did early into his career as was discussed last week.
Such sacrifices also mean that you may sometimes delay some job promotions in order to ensure that you stay longer in a job where you are learning vital skills and acquiring important knowledge for your tomorrow’s success. Some employees jump at every opportunity for a job that pays more and rush for all job promotions. But clever employees keep their eyes on the long-term view. They will sometimes say: “Sorry Boss, I do not think I am ready yet for a promotion. I think I need an extra one, or two or three years to learn what I am doing.” Or they may ask for another job on the same level, but in another sections, or department before they can accept to go up.
Watch such people. They always excel in the job they hold. They only grab a job when they are ready and ripe for it. They never go for a job prematurely because they know that to excel in any job, they need to have the right set of skills and knowledge.
This means that timing is also key to sacrificing. You need to judge and measure when is the right time to make which move. To get your timing right, you need to be constantly observing other people’s experiences. Check the moves that are done right and also study those that are mistimed. Learn as much from other people’s and not your own mistakes.
The other point to bear in mind about sacrificing for long-term careers success is that you may even be required to invest your little resources on your training. You may have to sign up to an academic or professional course that may require you to spend a big chunk of your income on the studies. You might have to spend most of your evenings, weekend and even using all your leave days on the courses that you are pursuing. A cousin of mine signed up to an MBA two years ago but is an addicted Manchester United fan. I was blunt with him that signing up for MBA was great but that also it meant that he needed to take a full break from FULL time supporting of Man U. He did that and excelled in his MBA.
As you aim to build a lasting and successful career path, bear in mind that you will have to make serious sacrifices along the way. This is what all the successful career people you see in town did and perhaps they continue doing. Good luck as you rise and shine through making sacrifices today for bigger achievements of tomorrow.