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The Secret to Climbing up The Career Ladder.

Source: Corbis Images.
Source: Corbis Images.

Actually, there is no ladder. But there are real answers to those lingering questions on your mind about getting and staying on top of your game. According to Jenny Blake, the author of  Life After School : The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want, in an interview with Brazen Careerist, these are the ways you can set yourself apart in  your career.

1. Your career is neither a ladder nor a pyramid. One of the troubling metaphors in our quest for success, is the idea that we’re climbing a ladder or building a pyramid, and at one point we will reach the top. But, Jenny said, we will never cease to set goals and set out new plans to go even further. Moreover, your career is not a linear experience. Instead, “think of your career like an iPhone,” said Jenny, “and every experience or job you have is like an application you download to it.” In this scenario, it’s OK to make lateral moves — and lots of them — to continue acquiring new and diverse experiences (or “apps”) that interest you.

2. You don’t always need a “five-year plan.” Jenny mentioned that one of her biggest pet peeves is being asked “So where do you see yourself in 5 years?” She said she’d rather not know, and just follow the opportunities as they come. According to TJ, a Brazen community member who attended the webinar, it was reassuring to think that “You don’t have to see the top of the stairs, that it’s best to just look at the next step or two,” that way taking on a big project or goal won’t seem so overwhelming.

3. Your job cannot be your sole-source of life worth. Just like you can’t derive all your self-worth from your partner in a relationship, trying to define your life by your career is just as problematic. Especially when you’re just starting out, it will be hard to gain much satisfaction from sorting mail or answering your bosses phone calls. Instead Jenny advised, think about your first jobs in terms of the skills you’re acquiring that will become the basis for succeeding in later roles. “For instance, making sales calls might be teaching you good communication skills,” said Jenny.

4. Find a “side-hustle.” If you’re not feeling completely fulfilled by your day job (a tall order in itself) — that’s okay! If you aren’t yet ready to make a major change or if it’s just not giving you all the skills you want, Jenny suggested a “side-hustle” may be for you. “A side hustle is anything you are doing outside of your full-time job (you know…the one that pays the bills), and often involves an entrepreneurial enterprise of some sort,” according to Jenny. Tracy Brisson, founder and CEO of The Opportunities Project and a life-coach in New York City agreed. “Jenny’s advice is about building your skills so you increase your control over your professional journey.” However, Brisson continued, “That advice is important whether you decide to start a side-hustle or not.”. Brazen community member and fellow side-hustler Mike Bruny also agreed: “You don’t have to choose a 9-5 or a business. You can do both (9-5 and a business).”

5. Lean on your support network. Parents, siblings, friends… these are the people you should look to for help – when you are in a fix or simply need to take a next step. Never work with the assumption your ideas would be thrown out the window, if anything; these are the people you need to brush an idea with.

Read also: Ask Yourself These Three Questions to Really Find a Job You Like.

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Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!

WRITTEN BY
Nathan Jeffery
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