Often taking on a career adventure can require a leap of faith. While every situation will not always ask that you act outside your comfort zone, there are times that you should. Doing so will force you to get uncomfortable, and that is how you learn and grow. Here are 11 career leaps and adventures to try at least once during your working career.
1. Work in a different country
Work in country that is very different to your own. Apply for a working holiday visa, or try do a job placement swap if your company has offices in another country. It will open your eyes to a whole new culture, language, and work practice. As an “outsider” you will realize how hard it is to learn new rules and office etiquette. It will also teach you that there is more than one way to approach and solve problems.
2. Ask for a raise, even when your company isn’t giving any this year
This type of conversation isn’t only about your financial compensation, it is about ensuring your company understands the value you bring to the table. Requesting a raise at a company during a wage-freeze is going to be difficult, but just because a company has said they won’t be giving raises doesn’t mean that they don’t potentially have budget set aside to reward top employees. You may not receive a raise right away, and that’s okay. This is also a great opportunity to discuss tasks and set the goals you need to achieve in order to qualify for a raise down the road. Anyone who advises you otherwise is giving you bad career advice.
3. Execute a stealth job search while you are still working full time
This is an absolutely necessary career skill everybody needs nowadays! It is critical that you are able to devote time to your job search while maintaining your regular office hours and work load. You want to be able to apply for jobs the second they are posted online, so you can beat the competition.
4. Work for free in an internship position that gives you an advantage
When you have recently graduated it is very hard to think about working for free. But if it means an internship with a prestigious company where you will learn a great deal, then it is incredibly beneficial. Three months of on-the-job training will set you above your peers, and you never know what kind of important projects you may have a chance to work on.
5. Get a business card and start a side project
Starting your own business will develop your entrepreneurial abilities, and side projects are the perfect opportunity to learn and expand your skills. You may find that what you have learned enhances your current role, and takes you in a direction that would previously been unavailable to you. Or you may find that your side project grows into your next career. Any side project benefits both yourself and your company – and will remind them how much value you provide!
6. Quit a new job right away when you realise you made a mistake accepting
Though rare, there may be times where you realize quite quickly that you’ve made a mistake accepting a position. There may even be an occasion where you realise this within hours of your first day. Sometimes the information gained during interviews doesn’t give a full picture of what the job will actually entail. Sticking it out for a year in a job that makes you feel hopeless and frustrated can hurt you so much more than a month of unemployment can. If this happens, you should be honest with your hiring manager and hand in your resignation straight away. Know that sometimes you need to walk away.
7. If you are insulted or demeaned in a job interview, get up and leave
First of all, you need to remember that interviews go both ways. Even though you are being interviewed for the job, you are also interviewing the company to see if they will offer you everything you are looking for in your next job. If the interviewer starts insulting or demeaning you when they are on their “best behaviour”, how will they treat you day to day? Get up and leave. You are not paid to be there and can leave whenever you want. This company will not be the cultural fit you are looking for.
8. Get out of your own way and try something impossible
Every career has something all employees deem impossible. If everyone already believes it can’t be done, then why not give it a try? Since nobody expects anyone to even try, the bar is pretty low. Any success you have will prove that no obstacle can ever defeat you, no matter how impossible. This will be instrumental in helping your determination mindset as your career grows.
9. Take a risk and seize an opportunity
We don’t live in the same world our parents did. The age of “one job for life” has gone the way of the dinosaurs for most people. Today, companies are constantly changing and evolving as their business goals change. Think about companies you would love to work for, and opportunities you want to try. Now go for them! If you are unable to get out of your comfort zone to grow your career, you run the risk of being left behind.
10. Negotiate your starting salary by asking for a significant amount more
We all know to never accept a company’s first offer, and yet so few of us negotiate our wage when starting a new job. It shows that you have done your research and understand your worth in the market you are in. If you are not able to get the wage you are looking for, follow up with a honest discussion asking what you will need to do in your role to get there, and when you can discuss your wage again. If you are going to negotiate, it should be worth the effort.
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