Eight Habits to Drive Your Emerging Career
As a recruiter, I work with highly motivated, successful and coveted professionals – job seekers and hiring managers alike. I’ve noticed the best and most sought-after individuals share similar qualities and work habits that have propelled them professionally. If you are laying the foundation for your career, think about adopting these eight habits to help position you for success.
1. Have a Focus
Staying focused isn't always easy; we are constantly faced with distractions that take us away from the task-at-hand. To be more efficient and productive, it's important to keep your eyes on the target. Whether you’re writing a report for your supervisor, learning new sourcing techniques or improving your day-to-day systems, set quantitative, smaller goals that will build to the end result. If you pace yourself and stay focused, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals.
2. Plan Your Day
Be strategic with how you attack your day. Consider what needs to be done throughout the day and order each task by priority. Planning will keep you on course to get your work done, and it’s important to arrange your projects so you can tackle them accordingly. It’s also helpful to schedule down time in your calendar for unforeseen issues that may derail your schedule. Take advantage of your evenings to prepare a to-do list for the following day.
3. Be Persistent
Many people make the mistake of giving up at the first major setback. As a recruiter, I face challenges each day, whether it involves conflicting interview schedules or an unanswered phone call. Set the expectation there will always be setbacks and low points and commit to dealing with them as they come. It’s simple – being persistent will help you achieve success.
4. Showcase Your Strengths
Nobody is perfect; we all have flaws. The key is to concentrate on your strengths, not your weaknesses. If you are the type of person who can light up a room, make sure you interact with others face-to-face. If you are a genius with numbers but are a mediocre writer, volunteer for projects that will allow you to use math. By showcasing your best abilities, you will make yourself more efficient and productive, and more valuable to your employer.
5. Continue To Learn
Success comes faster to those who are active learners. It is important to absorb as much information as possible and to openly expand your knowledge base. If you don't know something, connect with the people who do. As someone who works in technology staffing, I find learning is crucial to success because technology is continuously changing. I am always looking for opportunities to learn more about the latest technologies on the market.
6. Expand Your Network
Networking 101 - “It's not what you know, it's who you know." Networking is a crucial component to building your personal brand and allows you to connect with new people and opportunities. Networking events like Meetups and social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to grow your network and leverage new relationships. Forward thinking recruiters use networking to open doors to new relationships that might not have been attained through an email or a phone call.
7. Treat Others As You'd Like To Be Treated
As a recruiter, like in many professions, I’ve learned the value of the Golden Rule. Be amicable with as many people as possible, as relationship building is essential. The person you disregard today could be someone worth connecting with tomorrow. You don't need to be best friends with everyone, but it's important to always be respectful and kind. The better you treat others, the better they will treat you.
8. Expect The Unexpected
Recruiters are continually faced with the unexpected. Missed interviews, lost resumes and budget cuts do happen. Things don’t always go the way you plan. Stay nimble and have a Plan B. Even if things are going smoothly, prepare yourself for drawbacks. If you have a contingency plan in place, you will be able to manage unexpected challenges and come out successfully.
As you begin your career, consider the professional you want to become. Incorporating these strategies into your everyday work life may be challenging at first, but over time, they will become habit. By adopting these habits early on in your career, you can better position yourself for both short and long term success.