Whether we reach our goal does not only depend on whether we use opportunities properly. Sometimes it may be favorable to take a step sideways, in order to later be able to take a step forward and closer to our goals. It is also not only about making the right acquaintances and cultivating our network. First and foremost it is up to us. Many are not aware that the most important investment is ourselves. We are the ones who are constantly developing and growing. And we can help to steer these developments. Learning has not ended when leaving school or university, in fact we should all become comfortable thinking of ourselves as lifelong learners.
In order to be competitive in the long term, one needs to build up expertise. While this generally occurs within the company where we work, it is important to keep in mind the position we have in the labour market in general. This means deepening and regularly updating your expertise. Equipped with knowledge and experience, you can convince your surroundings that you can always be expected to deliver the best results.
Regularly compare your knowledge with current developments in your field of work and the industry. Also keep your eyes open towards adjacent branches. You could discover an interesting and forward-looking addition to your area of expertise. Read specialist articles, blogs and news, take courses or seminars to keep your knowledge up to date.
Everyone who has ever set up their own business knows that a good network can make the difference between success and failure. If you are part of a network of people who are intelligent, competent, well-connected and who enjoy supporting others in their endeavors, this gives you access to many resources. In addition, you learn a lot for your further career on the meta-level.
When we talk about a network we mean more than just people that can help you climb the ladder of success or who you can ask for favors. By network we mean people who you can engage with and learn from.
Joining a professional group, physical or digital, as well as the professional exchange in the corresponding social media groups is a good start. Comment on the articles of people you appreciate. You will be noticed. You can also create an "innovation group", a small group of like-minded people from your and related fields of work to exchange experiences once a month, discuss difficulties from different angles and report on goals achieved.
Only very few successful entrepreneurs have gotten where they are today because they have put their money on the safe side. Whether you want to turn your own idea into a business or climb the career ladder in a company - one needs to develop a certain willingness to take risks.
Leaving the safe and long known environment is certainly not always easy. You have set yourself up and can cope with everything. It takes courage to leave your comfort zone and take a professional step or even a new start, which means confrontation with great challenges, possible setbacks or even uncertainty. And you definitely have to prepare yourself, lay your cards on the table and imagine certain scenarios.
When thinking about change we always look at the risks it brings. After all, what we have now is safe and certain. It is equally as important to weigh the potential risks and benefits of an opportunity. If you do that, you will often see all of the good that can come from taking a few calculated risks in your career.
Above all you have to believe in yourself and your abilities! You have to realize that there is no straight path. The one step backwards may take you three steps forward the day after tomorrow and get much closer to your professional dream. Therefore you may sometimes have to take risks.