Category Archives: Personal Development

5 Ways To Advance Your Career

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The millennial generation is often criticized for being lazy, self-centred and lacking foresight. At times I agree with this statement but generally, I think millennials are really just misunderstood. Our way of doing things is different. We don’t like being told what to do. We believe the system is broken. And we all want to work for ourselves. These are of course, sweeping generalizations but to sum it up, our generation is about creating change and starting something that we can call our own.

So how do we build a career, whether it be as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur (See my article on intrapreneurship for more details) when the odds seem stacked up against us? I believe it’s about bringing your most creative ideas and a pragmatic approach to building your career.

Here are 5 key ideas that I’ve learned through my experience that will help you get ahead in your career.

1) Think beyond yourself

This may sound like spiritual wisdom but it’s really practical. What I really mean by this is to look big picture. Every day, what are you doing to advance your company, your investors, your projects, your peers? How are you adding value? When you start thinking beyond yourself, you see how you role impacts the world around you. Direct your energy towards making the lives of the people around you (i.e. bosses, stakeholders, and investors) easier and you will reap tremendous benefits.

2) The details do matter

I always use to joke that I was an “ideas” guy and my job was to figure out the vision and other people could figure out how to make it happen. I’ve realized through executing my own ideas that this simply isn’t true. The person developing the idea has to understand the mechanics and details of how it comes to life just as well as the person executing. In order to lead and direct the person executing the idea, they need to understand how it is grounded in reality.

3) Watch trends. Read industry news. Stay relevant.

Find out what’s happening in your industry on a daily basis. Check popular media news sites, blogs, thought leaders and begin to analyze how your industry is changing. This will not only allow you to gather information on how you  or your company can perform better but will also be a great conversation starter.

4) Grow your network purposefully

I’ve always been a big champion of networking. I don’t mean just going to events, have a drink in hand and try to mingle. I mean purposefully developing connections who might need your help or might be able to help you with something. And even if it’s somebody who simply has a different perspective than you, you’ll find these people highly valuable in the future.

5) Look to the future

See how your job is evolving with your industry. Identify the skills and experience you’ll need not only to advance within your own company but also to advance in your industry. Is it coding skills? UX design? New management philosophies? Future proof your career by understanding how your job will need to change as the world demands new talent with better skills.

2014 Intentions and My “Stop Doing” List

2013 was an incredible year. Full of new experiences, a new job, and a lot of self discovery. The word that I used to set my intention and goals for 2013 was “fun”. I wanted to have fun with my work, projects, and in life. That meant taking more risks, letting loose, and having a laugh when things went south. I definitely did a lot of that.

Now as 2013 has come to a close, I’m refocusing my energy and intentions on a new word for 2014. I’m going to borrow a word from a friend of mine because I love it and really resonates with me for this year. The word is “thrive”. This year, I’m going to focus on thriving in every aspect of my life including my career (of course), my relationships, my community and my goals.

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The Secret to Success…Ask How You Can Help

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I was at a family dinner the other night and was talking about office politics with one of my cousins. This cousin is a successful software executive who has a chemistry degree and years of experience working oin almost every aspect of the software business.

Our conversation about office politics turned into one about business philosophy. He explained to me that he was very fortunate to have started with his company years ago when it was growing and there was opportunity for a young go-getter fresh out of university. When he was in an entry level position, he went out of his way to find ways to help his team, boss and company do better. He took on extra work, corrected inefficiencies in the company’s processes and always took the time to help his boss out.

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30 Day Challenge Update

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A few months ago, I decided to make a commitment to myself to start a new 30 day challenge every 30 days to begin tackling my goals. My first 30 day challenge of blogging every day was really successful.

My second 30 day challenge was a bit of a bust. Partly because I lost track of what my 30 day challenge was (I tried to do two at once) and also because I got a bit lazy. The two 30 day challenges I was trying to implement was to start watching a TED Talk every day and to meditate for 20 minutes each day.

I’ve realized that in order to make a 30 day challenge work, you really need to focus on one new habit. So, my one habit that I’m going to be working on for the next 28 days (I started two days ago) is to bring back writing “Morning Pages” which are part of the Artist’s Way Course. I’ve talked about the Artist’s way a lot in my posts because it has been one of the most valuable personal development activities I’ve ever done.

In terms of my failed 30 day challenges (TED Talks and Daily Meditation), I’m going to still work on making these regular habits but I’m going try to bring them back one at at time starting next month.

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