The Road to Success: Tips from Trade Me’s Exec Team – Part 2

We asked our Trade Me executive team to share with us their most inspiring words of wisdom about their career journeys.

This is the second instalment of our two-part series.

Part 2

How personal growth can further your career

A healthy work-life balance is undeniably important to a successful career, but your job and your personal growth – otherwise known as life experience – are rarely mutually exclusive.

It’s a fact that a large percentage of our lives are spent at work, so the experiences we have there will naturally impact over time, whether we notice it or not.

For careers that require people management skills, leadership and other human traits, development of personality-based skills become particularly important. However, personal growth can also include widening your knowledge, seeking new experiences and taking risks.

Our Trade Me executives give us their expert opinions.

CCO1553 Exec Quotes For Twitter FA Trent

It stands to reason that if you’re not feeling great, then you probably can’t make those around you, including the workplace, feel great either. So how do you manage yourself so you can interact positively and empathetically with others, both as a leader and as a colleague?

  • Identify what triggers your behaviour at work, be it positive or negative, and what triggers others’ behaviour towards you. Gathering feedback may be of use.

  • Practise emotional intelligence and learn how your personal impulses or emotional responses can impact on your work.

  • Listen carefully to what others are telling you and respond in a considered manner.

CCO1553 Exec Quotes For Twitter FA Nigeljeffries

Sun Tzu was a Chinese General who lived around 500BC and who had a knack for great planning or, in his case, war strategising.

While we’re not suggesting you head to the battlefield for your next career move – unless that’s in your five year plan – more take heed of Sun Tzu’s advice that can be applied to any workplace or job search, including:

  • Making a commitment to your ultimate career goal, which includes maintaining a positive, adaptable attitude when things aren’t going quite as you want them to.

  • Conducting in-depth research into the role and company you want to work for, so you know exactly what it takes to be noticed by them.

  • Being honest and disciplined, yet smart, and applying effective strategies to your job search.

CCO1553 Exec Quotes For Twitter FA Caroline

If you’re feeling dissatisfied in your job, or you feel like your career has plateaued, then moving to a similar job in a different office probably won’t help. After all, boredom is not generally a career or life goal for most. So how do you reach outside your comfortable-but-unchallenging cubicle for a little burst of career path adrenaline?

  • Look very carefully at your skill set and find out what other potential career paths it may apply to. This could mean gathering your confidence and diving into a completely different industry, or a new area of the one you’re already in.

  • Send your CV to a company you love, even if they aren’t currently hiring.  Not all companies advertise openings and it can get you noticed before roles open up.

  • Try getting out of your comfort zone in your personal life – be it running a marathon, public speaking or learning to fly. Your new-found confidence may be just what you need to spur you on in your professional life.

CCO1553 Exec Quotes For Twitter FA Annie

  • Take charge of your own personal development by selecting courses, coaching and/or mentoring that help you work towards your end career goals. Look for opportunities to shadow someone you admire within your business.

  • Apply for industry awards or scholarships that would be both a learning and self-promotion exercise, should you be successful.

  • Keep an eye on the job market to see what specific skills employers in your field are looking for. You may need to upskill to stay in line with those requirements.

  • Look for development opportunities beyond your current role, either at work or through webinars, online forums or charity work. For instance, seeking experience in people management, strategic and operational activities could set you up for future management roles.

  • Keep your manager and any interested colleagues in the loop, being seen to be actively seeking professional development could trigger a promotion or newly developed role to fit your new learnings.

Part 1 of this series is on Working smart - check it out!