Friday, April 27, 2018

35 Things to Do for Your Career by 35

In the past two weeks I've landed on a new resource that I'm finding helpful in my leadership development work: The Muse. As Fast Company magazine states, "The Muse has become the definitive career resource for the under-35 set (60% of its more than 5 million monthly users are between 18 and 35) by focusing on work culture and hiring in a digital age."

They posted an article recently that definitely got my mind working as I scanned over their list of 35 Things to Do for Your Career by 35. Some of them are a bit much (#2. "Know Your Superpower" *eyeroll*) and feel like they were added to puff up the list. But many of them are rock-solid and I'd endorse them heartily.

Here are my Top 7 from the list:
  • 4. Learn How to Delegate. One of the many things I work through with new managers is to understand that their job focus is shifting from tasks to people. Many new managers just try to work harder than everyone on their team and think they drag them along in their wake. Instead, they need to manage others in doing all the tasks by delegating efficiently and consistently.
  • 6. Do Something You’re Really, Really Proud Of. As the articles describes it, "Whether or not it’s something you’ll be known for forever, something you get paid for doing, or even something you really want to do with your life, make sure you have something on your resume that, deep down, you’re really proud of." I'm thankful for several things I've gotten to do over my life, and have seen some have deep impact. For example, back in 1999, I listened to two students who wanted our youth group to start getting involved with the local Rescue Mission. We pulled it together, and after many stops and starts, learned how to build significant connection with folks living on the streets. Not only is this involvement still happening, but I was able to get another entire school involved after learning how to best do it. I think there has been great mutual benefit (certainly the students learned A TON) from this relationship-building and service.
  • 9. Do Something That Really Scares You. Too often we live within self-imposed limits that really deprive us of deep lessons to be learned. For me, at age 31 I stepped away from very familiar ground with students who looked like me and waded into the lives of gang members. I got completely schooled! But it took me on a trajectory I'm still riding, and am so thankful for it.
  • 10. Get Comfortable With Getting Feedback. Definitely not easy!! We all prefer pats on the back. But real feedback always makes me better. I just need to grow up and realize I will never be perfect.
  • 20. Know How to Manage Up. This is something I always work on with clients. The article sums it up well: "In fact, being able to manage up—or, communicate with your boss and advocate for what you need to do your job best—is a crucial job skill." I could spend a separate blog post on this one, and may just have to at some point. We all need to learn how to speak up for how we are being assessed and led. But it's a fine art that requires thoughtful and strategic effort.
  • 23. Find a To-Do List System That Works for You. All I can say here is YES!!!!! I probably work on this more consistently with clients than anything else. It requires ongoing attention almost every day, but it is SO worth it. It also leads to my last favorite on this list...
  • 26. Know How to Manage Stress. I didn't start thinking about this until 6 years after I graduated from college, when I basically crashed from overwork and burnout. Stress management is absolutely crucial to living a meaningful and sustainable life. And everyone does it differently. I love helping people figure this one out.
For those north of 35 years old, which ones are your favorites? For everyone in the thick of building your 35, which ones are kicking your butt? Where do you need help?

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