By Lilian Wamaitha
Most of us (including me) want a successful career that is full of achievements that we can be proud of. The only problem is that we are not willing to work hard for that. We want everything here and now. We want to graduate and get a well-paying job, rise within a few years to top management.
Building a career takes patience, hard work and will not happen overnight. You therefore need to get rid of that perfect picture of a career that guarantees you a good life, a house and the latest car model and start focusing on the fact that to have all that, handwork is a must.
You need to build a career first if you want a good life in future. That said, here are traits that you can adopt to build a solid career.
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1. Know your passion
If you are looking to build a solid career, you need to recognize what you are actually good at. One thing that most people in this generation don’t realize is that there is a big difference between a career and a job. Just because you have landed a job in sales doesn’t mean that you have to build a career out of that.
When everything fails, passion will take you far. What do you love doing? Is it writing, build a career from that.
Maybe you love fashion, decided where you can utilize your passion. Passion is what will take you far and with it, you can always build a career that you can be proud of ten years to come.
2. Be willing to learn
Yes, you have been learning and sitting for exams for almost all your life. But learning does not necessarily stop just because you graduated. You are just starting out in your career and so you need to be willing to continue learning.
There is no limit to what you can learn. Your knowledge is what will take you places. It is what will give you that management position.
James Mworia was once an intern, doing filling for the company, but because he never stopped learning, he became CEO of one of the biggest investment firms in Kenya.
3. Take calculated risks
Any successful person will tell you that no good will ever come out of you staying in a comfort zone. Yes you got a job, now what? Instead of getting comfortable, take calculated risks. The best lessons are the ones learned from failure.
Therefore since you are just starting out in your career, realize that you have so much room to learn, try out different ideas until you find that one that you like and are comfortable with.
4. Be persistent as you are starting out
For most of us, we tend to give up too easily when faced with challenges. No job is perfect and you will learn this as you try building a career.
You have to stay strong and overcome any challenges. Don’t just quit because you faced a few set backs. Hold on and believe that you can do it. Otherwise, you may never build a career if you keep giving up at every instance.
5. Create clear and achievable goals
You may never succeed if you have no idea what you are working hard towards. Do you want to rise in your position in the coming years, then create a plan to get you there and stick to it and celebrate your achievements along the way.
However, never settle for anything less if it’s not what you want.
6. Go in with an open mind
Transitioning from school to work is normally hard. Where you were used to being given everything, your boss expects to work without being followed around.
If you are looking to create a career, then have an open mind. Believe that you can make it and that you can achieve anything you set your mind on.
7. Find a mentor
A mentor will guide you every step of the way. They will be there to teach you and correct you where you go wrong.
In order to create a solid career, you need to find the right mentor. This could be someone who has already build a successful career and is ready to pass on some nuggets of wisdom.
Now that you have finished school, have been looking for a job, you need to understand that there is so much more that comes after the job. You need to build a career out of that and a career that you will love. And building that career will take time and it’s not something that will happen in a day. And having the right person to guide you will go a long way. Who knows you may need to seek the services of a career coach to help you figure out which direction your career should take.
The writer is a Communications & Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Got any career related questions? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org