10 Career Rules to Live By

John Krautzel
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Modern professionals enjoy a remarkable level of career flexibility. Unlike previous generations, today's professionals find it is increasingly easier to break traditional standards to forge a unique path. By following time-tested career rules that apply to every industry, you can pave the way for a profitable and enjoyable professional journey.

Become Your Best Advocate

In the professional world, it doesn't pay to wait for someone else to promote your work — you need to do it yourself. Let your boss know about your accomplishments, add updates to your LinkedIn profile and don't be shy about going after promotions.

Be a Team Player

Show your dedication to your company by supporting the team. After all, no one is an island, and a successful business requires a group effort. Offer support to other team members, get your work in on time and respect the strengths of others. Share information whenever possible instead of keeping it to yourself to gain the upper hand.

Create an Elevator Pitch

Throughout your career, you will encounter the question, "What do you do?" Be prepared with a one-sentence elevator pitch that explains your responsibilities and communicates your enthusiasm for the work. By following this career rule, you'll be prepared to use the pitch at job interviews, networking events and standard business interactions.

Say Yes Whenever Possible

Taking on new roles and responsibilities is an effective way to get ahead in your career. By leaving yourself open to each opportunity, you can discover new paths and passions.

Know When to Say No

As you move up in your career, it is crucial to learn how to say "no" to requests that you simply can't accommodate. Of all of the most important career rules, this one will save you from burnout and prevent you from becoming the office doormat.

Invest in Your Own Development

Don't wait for your employer to suggest professional development possibilities — seek out your own educational opportunities. Take evening classes to build new skills, teach yourself a new software package or request to work on unfamiliar projects.

Be Reliable

Any time you make a promise or a commitment, stick to it. People who are true to their word quickly establish positive reputations with supervisors and colleagues. Maintaining reliability is one of the most valuable career rules; when people know that you can be trusted, they're more likely to come to you with exciting opportunities.

Find a Balance

One of the most important career rules is to maintain a work-life balance. Realize early on that work is not everything. Jobs end, and a satisfying personal life is crucial to your happiness.

Exceed Expectations

Exceed expectations at every turn of your career. Deliver more than your boss asks for, provide extra value for clients and go above and beyond to help a colleague. In doing so, you'll establish yourself as an invaluable asset.

Build Your Brand

In the age of the Internet, an online presence is crucial for modern professionals. Control your image by building a strong online brand that gives a clear picture of who you are as a professional.

Sticking to these tried-and-true career rules can help you avoid many of the obstacles that damage and delay careers. By remaining accountable to yourself and to others, you can create a satisfying professional path.


Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jamie - maybe in your case you should be looking for a part-time position that you can work from home. Blogging, typing, virtual assistant - something along those lines. That will get you used to being in the "workforce" again. Once you have grown stronger, you can venture on to work outside of the home. Just my suggestion. Maybe others have a better suggestion.

  • Jamie G.
    Jamie G.

    I know and I hate that about having to re begin in the work force. Several years ago I was in a tragic car accident and broke my 3rd thru 6th vertebrae and dislocated my spinal cord. I'm told I have to start back slow. Any Suggestions?

  • Jannel B.
    Jannel B.

    Great article thank you for sharing😃

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