The world of work has become demanding and strenuous. However, in spite of all these a fulfilling career is still attainable if we periodically pause, reflect, and sharpen our “saw.” As coined by popular writer Stephen Covey, “sharpening the saw” is the wisdom to look after our emotional bank to remain at the cutting edge of our lives. It is based on the premise that it is impossible to optimally lead yourself or those around you with a “dull saw.” The absence of inner balance will invariably result in agitation, disorientation, and the dropping of a few balls. You owe it to yourself to occasionally retreat, analyze your situation, and decide how to reposition yourself. The latter sharpens your awareness including the important happenings around you and not be caught off guard by the dynamics in your work environment that could send your careers off-course.
Strive to be an Adaptive leader
Catapulting your career in 2023 is about being flexible and agile; able to change and advance with the times; able to quickly assess situations and willingness to do something different – seeing the big picture. Rather than just surviving in your career, resolve to thrive in it. Thriving is more than excellent performance and technical proficiency, but the ability to handle difficult challenges. Whilst technical skills are necessary, keep in mind that as you advance in your career, recruiters will increasingly rely their selections on your soft skills. Developing your emotional quotient and an adaptive mindset while focusing on self-leadership and interpersonal skills, always leads to a place of authenticity.
Change is often daunting
Anxiety, worry, and fear may arise as you steer your career to greater heights or pursue a different path that is aligned with your dreams. This year, summon courage to evict that obnoxious “roommate” living in our heads which according to Arianna Huffington is there to hold us back from moving forward. The “obnoxious roommate” thrives on putting us down and feeding our fears and doubts. The courage summoned, combats imposter syndrome and fears of making the wrong decision, rejection, not feeling prepared, and so on. While fear appears to protect us, it is actually the weapon that is holding us back.
Leverage on your uniqueness for success
Understanding your strengths and fully own it, is what differentiates you in the career. Identify at least three areas in which you excel and would like to be associated with. These areas should be congruent with the values of the company and authentic to you. They become your DNA when decision-makers and peers deliberate about your career progression in the boardroom, so live by them in carrying out your duties and interactions.
As you navigate your career path, keep an eye out for a guardian angel. Optimal growth occurs when we are aware of who and what best supports our goals, and therefore, you should ideally designate at least a mentor during each phase of your career.
Ipupa Fadeyi is the Founder & Director of IpupaK Grow You Mentorship.