For a lot of young adults, their current job is a mere stepping stone to the career of their dreams, which is why they display different attitudes towards it.
Some may not take their role very seriously because it’s not really what they want to do. They may think that putting in an “okay” performance each day is enough. Their focus is likely to be on setting themselves up financially.
Meanwhile, others make sure to milk the experience, knowing that whatever the nature of their initial occupation may be, there are valuable lessons to learn, enriching situations to experience, and amazing people to connect with.
Between these two common approaches or attitudes towards one’s present job, the latter is smarter and can help a person reap fantastic benefits, particularly in preparing them for their true career. By taking such an approach, they will be able to thrive and get an even better understanding of the future they are working for.
Therefore, if you are paving the way for yourself to find what career you genuinely want to pursue, taking your present job seriously is crucial. Doing so will place you in the best position for success in your future endeavours.
To make this decision work more to your advantage, here are six other things that you can do.
1. Cultivate the best work habits.
Doing this will create a solid foundation for accomplishing personal goals and the projects entrusted to you. Furthermore, good work habits will help you build an excellent professional reputation, so you can nurture beneficial relationships and net in better and more opportunities.
And as you cultivate good work habits, you’ll gain an understanding of how you work best, which is a lesson that will serve you throughout your life, whatever you may be doing.
2. Ask questions that will help you grow.
Some common observations about employees who are not serious about their job are that they are not engaged and do not ask questions to help them comprehend the requirements of their tasks well. However, if you view your current workplace as a learning ground that will groom you for your future career, then aim to feed your curiosity and probe into your industry’s processes and technicalities.
Ask meaningful questions, especially in aspects of the work where your services are not yet required but are directly connected to what you do. This will help you understand the flow in your workplace and the value of your output. Additionally, this can work favourably for you because you’ll be perceived as eager and passionate.
3. Find a mentor.
In your current job, the best mentors are usually older professionals or seniors in the company that you can go to for advice and help. They make fantastic go-to resources for your professional growth because they offer lessons learned from their own experiences. More importantly, these mentors in the company are not in competition with you. Therefore, they’ll usually have your best interest at heart.
However, if you can’t find personalities within your organisation that can take on this influential role (after all, they have other responsibilities to take care of), it’s worth turning to a certified professional career coach.
For one, this person will dedicate adequate time to helping you grow. You are not just someone whom they will squeeze into their busy schedule. What’s more, they already have an effective course for you to follow. Therefore, the help they provide covers all the bases for your career aspirations. And lastly, they are individuals who can fully assess your capabilities and weaknesses, as well as address all these appropriately to support you in your career journey.
4. Do not be afraid to ask for meaningful work and projects that you know you are good at or will be a good learning experience for you.
Whatever your specific position at work may be, your job is not just to do the assigned tasks; it is equally important to continue learning. So, every time you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands because it has become easy for you to go about your usual responsibilities, express your desire to do other tasks, particularly those that interest you.
You may be deemed pushy by other people, but in any job (especially an entry-level one), you really should voice out your ideas, express your curiosity, and take calculated risks responsibly. Doing these will open doors to further learning, and you can establish a closer working relationship with your superiors and make them aware of what you are truly capable of.
5. Take advantage of the learning programmes offered by your company.
Business organisations typically offer seminars and training on anything that they know can improve the way employees work. Try not to miss any of these because there’s always something to pick up from them.
For example, if your company is providing talent management training and development, see if you can participate. This is a wonderful chance for you to learn how to gain insight into the professional value of other people. There are many lessons to pick up from the programme if you have plans to become a business owner or entrepreneur in the future.
6. Be grateful.
Reminding yourself that your current job is a reliable source of income that enables you to live more comfortably is essential. This alone can push you to be the best version of yourself because you want to protect your income until you are ready to proactively pursue your real professional goal.
This may seem a little cheesy, but appreciate what you have at the moment. It’s quite likely that you won’t get to where you need to be without passing through this period in your life.
Your Present Job Greatly Matters
At the end of the day, the job that you now have may not exactly be a source of great joy and genuine professional fulfilment, like a true career, would be. Still, this job holds and delivers incredible value, so do not take it for granted. Instead, take pride in it and make it work optimally in preparing you for your professional goals.
Leila Rezaiguia is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kompass Consultancy, an innovative global talent management consultancy headquartered in Dubai and with offices in Abu Dhabi and Sydney, that specialises in enabling individuals, organisations and educational institutions to achieve performance excellence and career success. Leila is a multi-lingual (English, Arabic, and French) PCC Coach, Mentor Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, and Business Mentor who is passionate about coaching, women in leadership, talent management, and organisational development.