By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
It is what it is. Don’t blow smoke. At the end of the day. We’ve heard them time and time again: those clichés your parents couldn’t seem to stop saying.
While we’ve heard them so often that our immediate response is to roll our eyes, the reality is these clichés hold some truth. In our professional lives, these tidbits of advice can make a difference in whether you succeed or fail at your job. Your parents may annoy you by always being right, but ultimately the choice is up to you to be successful and these clichés can help you get there.
NEVER BURN YOUR BRIDGES
This is one you may have heard growing up – you know, when your parents would tell you to not throw a friend aside over a petty fight. But, it isn’t only applicable to your personal life. As you navigate your career, there is nothing more important than building your network along the way. Regardless of whether you are leaving a job you loved or hated, it is essential to maintain those relationships you have fostered through your time with said company.
After you leave, it is inevitable your new employers will seek out your past employers and ask the hard questions – “Was he/she a team player?” “Were they dedicated to their tasks?” “Did they hit deadlines?” – and that’s just to name a few. Give your past employers a reason to say great things about you after you leave, so that your future is not hindered by your past.
IT'S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW, BUT WHO YOU KNOW
So, you have been in the same position for a while now and are looking to explore new opportunities. A potential employer sends an email to let you know they’ve seen your LinkedIn profile or reviewed your resume, and that they are interested in hiring you. You get excited, ace the interview, but receive that dreaded email letting you know they’ve given the job to a better fit. Then, you come to find out the owner’s daughter’s boyfriend’s cousin’s brother got YOUR dream job. Ouch.
What to take away from this scenario? Even the most qualified professional for the job is not guaranteed to receive the position. This is not to say you must know someone to ultimately receive the offer, but it can be a major contributing factor for many hiring managers. To increase the likelihood of this happening to you, keep networking and talking to those in your industry – they may just come to find the perfect position for you and be that connection you’ve been looking for.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
This is one of the most common clichés because it can be applied to countless scenarios. Remaining true to your word through your actions is very important for your professional reputation. If employers have high expectations of your abilities because you have talked yourself up, you should be ready to put your money where your mouth is. Anyone can put “leader” or “has experience” on their resume, but the truth comes out when you don’t live up to those expectations.
Most of the time, your actions do upstage your words. You can apologize repeatedly for a mistake, but your boss will not fully move on until you show you have learned from that mistake. You could say you are a team player, but only worry about your own tasks. We see this all the time, but this workplace commonplace is easily avoidable.
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT
You might have learned by now impatience won’t get you anywhere. If you are constantly thinking about a new job or opportunity, how are you going to fully dedicate yourself to your current one? On the same token, your current job could easily open new doors for you. The more experience you have and the more people you know, the easier it will be to get your foot in the door at a new company.
Job searches are grueling and frustrating at times. Jobvite’s study in 2014 found that it takes an average 43 days, just over six weeks, for an individual to find a job. Obviously, this varies heavily by industry, as it could take around 75 days to be hired in a management or C level position. Jobvite also found that an average 59 people apply for one job opening, but only 12% make it to the interview process – that’s only 7 people! By practicing patience and widening your search beyond your comfort zone, you'll be surprised at what opportunities land at your feet.
YOU CAN'T SWIM WITHOUT GETTING WET
As far as your experiences go, you will get out of them whatever you put into them, so you might as well jump in with two feet. Don’t miss that important deadline or forget to follow-up with a client. Stay detail-oriented, and this will help you maintain professionalism and keep you on the path to promotion.
The more you can bring to the table, the more valuable you are to your team. Find what sets you apart and levarge those strengths as best you can. You are likely to lose these skills if you do not actively practice and use them day-to-day. How can a soccer player stay in good shape if they never work out? How can a student pass an exam if they don’t study? Same goes for all professionals – keep up your skills to remain valuable to potential employers.
As annoying as they may be, clichés are repeated over and over for a reason: because they are true. We might as well take advice from our parents or peers, because they truly have been through it all before. Opportunities only knock once, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on that promotion or new position. As you get older and advance in your career, you may just come up with some of your own clichés to pass down to your kids one day.