Are you stuck in a career rut? Have you started to dread going to work? You aren’t alone. In 2017, Gallup reported that only 30% of American employees feel engaged at work.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s time to take back your power.
1. Empower yourself in every area of your life
You can’t hope to be the best version of yourself at work unless you strive for excellence in your:
- Love life
- Social life and social skills
- Education and general personal development
They are all closely interlinked. Neglect them at your peril.
For instance, if you neglect your health by eating a rubbish diet, your mind won’t be at its sharpest.
2. Start dressing the part
It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Wrong. If you want others to take you seriously, you need to learn the basics of taste and style.
For example, do you know how to match your ties, pick out colors that suit you, and choose the right shoes for any occasion? If not, now’s the time to do your research. Buy a few style magazines, check out outfits on social media, and ask your female friends for guidance. Girlfriends are usually happy to help too.
3. Connect with men who have already made it
You need to surround yourself with positive, proactive people that can guide and uplift you when things get tough.
When you start looking, these men are everywhere. Best of all, lots of them are happy to advise and mentor others.
- Asking your boss whether they can connect you with a mentor at work
- Joining a local networking group for people in your field
- Joining an online mastermind group for men who take their success seriously
- Reaching out to men who inspire you and asking them for advice
- Attending conferences and trade shows, armed with a list of influencers you want to meet
4. Hone your communication skills
You can have the best ideas in the world, but no one will listen unless you communicate them with confidence.
Consider this your communication skills checklist:
- Improve your speaking voice
- Learn how to make small talk
- Learn how to resolve disputes at work quickly and discreetly
- Master putting together and delivering powerful presentations
- Learn how to chair a meeting or steer a discussion group
- Understand what your body language says about you, and adjust it accordingly
- Know the difference between being assertive, passive, and aggressive
5. Master positive self-talk
Your self-image plays a huge role in your career success. It’s all well and good being able to communicate with others, but secret self-doubt or even self-hatred quickly turns into self-sabotage.
You must become your own source of inspiration, not your own bully. Think about the negative beliefs and statements that stop you reaching your full potential. Challenge them directly. Do this every day until you notice real change.
Negative self-talk: “I could never start my own business.”
Helpful self-talk: “I can start my own business if I take it a step at a time.”
Negative self-talk: “I am awful at presentations.”
Helpful self-talk: “I’m working on my communication skills and growing in confidence.”
Keep your self-talk positive but realistic. Check in throughout the day to make sure you aren’t putting yourself down.
6. Always get ready to embrace the next opportunity
The era of the “job for life” is over. Men now have 10-15 jobs over the course of their working lives.
You need to be prepared for your next move. Whether by chance or by choice, most of us will find ourselves switching jobs with little notice at some point.
Update your CV every few months. You never know when you might need it. Keep on top of your social media profiles, and make sure your skills and endorsements accurately represent your skill set. Not a talented wordsmith? No problem. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to get help with your writing.
7. Follow your own dreams, and stop caring what other people think of you
We get a lot of messages about how we “should” work and what we “should” aspire to do.
These messages come from:
- Our family
- Our friends
- Our colleagues
- Our bosses
- The media
We’re told to go to college, get a nice stable job, be compliant, work hard, and labor for years in the hope of landing a promotion.
Some of this is awesome advice. A good work ethic will serve you well. College is still a solid basis for a decent career.
The problem is that we are encouraged to play it safe, which doesn’t make for an exciting, satisfying life. If you want to start your own business, shoot for a promotion, or retrain in a new field, be prepared for resistance.
Not everyone wants you to challenge their worldview. Some people will resent your courage. To reach your full potential, you need to stop caring so much about what they think. Start hanging out with people who encourage you. Learn to be your own cheerleader.
8. Stop being a such a nice guy
You won’t be surprised to learn that conscientious and extroverted men earn more than lazy introverts. In other words, taking care over your work and building relationships with others will boost your career.
But here’s another interesting fact: Disagreeableness is positively correlated with a man’s earning power. This effect kicks in once you hit 30, and is particularly noticeable between 40 and 60.
Going along with the crowd and letting others walk all over you will do you no favors. Keep the faith. Believe in yourself, and the rest will follow.
BIO: Daniela is a freelancer and blogger who loves helping readers of all ages build their dream careers. Having previously worked as an executive coach and HR specialist, she now combines her professional knowledge and writing skills to help you climb the career ladder. When she isn’t working as a writer and editor at Rated By Students, she can be found kayaking, brushing up on her Photoshop skills, and keeping up to date with all the latest advancements in organizational psychology and leadership.