How These 4 Simple Statements Can Transform Your Career!

Let’s face it, our careers can be a little complicated at times. It’s easy to caught up in the office drama and negativity that surrounds you. I bet you wish at times you could hit the mute button and blissfully go on with your work without having to hear from any of your colleagues. I hate to be the one to burst your bubble but there’s no mute button. And what’s more, your colleagues aren’t going away. What I can offer you is four simple principles which can really transform your career. The Four Agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz is one of the most profound books you’ll ever read. I know that’s a big statement but these agreements can allow you to have a more meaningful career. They are such simple statements which serve as the foundation to a successful career.

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

If you say you are going to do something, then follow through with this. This simple step builds credibility and respect with your boss, colleagues and other managers in the organisation. It can lead to you being given more responsibility or projects because you can be counted on to deliver all the time.     

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2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

This sounds so simple, yet for most of us (especially those of us who are sensitive beings) this isn’t easy. You bring your whole self to work and that means if there are other issues or challenges going on in your life, it’s natural that they will spill over into your work life. Anyone who says you should leave your personal life at home, isn’t really being honest with themself. Add to all of that the individual intricacies of our uniqueness and there’s beautiful little combustion of emotions that could explode at any time.

When you spend so much time at work, it’s easy for little things to get to us. Let’s face it, we all like to know we’re doing a good job. So some harsh words from your boss, not receiving an invite to lunch with your colleagues or being left out of the office gossip can really get to us. That’s why this agreement is so important. Often what other people say and do is really about them. It’s nothing to do with you. Remember you can’t control what others say or do, you can only control your actions and words. When you don’t take anything personally, you will find yourself feeling very free and liberated.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

Don Miguel says, “whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems”. There it is, in black and white. Making assumptions can often lead to more drama and making a situation bigger than it needs to be. Unless you actually know what is going on, you’re creating a story in your mind and believing that story. This is highlighted in any relationship across work, personal life and friendships. We often need to justify why someone did or didn’t do something and so we make assumptions. Never assume. You will only create more emotional suffering for yourself. Dig deep and find the courage to ask questions. Clarify a situation before you go on a tangent which can be far from the truth.

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4. Always Do Your Best

This probably isn’t new to you. You’ve heard it before. Throughout your childhood, this phrase was often used by your parents. Doing your best will often vary depending on how you feel, your energy levels and where you are in your career. It’s not always possible to give 100% each and every single day. This agreement doesn’t mean giving 100% every single day, some days your best will only be 60%. If you push yourself to always give 100%, you will exhaust yourself and ending giving far less. Remember in any given day you are dealing with lots of different things from emotions to   situations. Knowing you have done your best can bring huge contentment to your life. It’s also about enjoying your work and career so that doing your best doesn’t feel like a chore. So whatever task you are given at work, just do your best no matter how big or small it is. 

There it is. Four simple statements that can transform your career and life. Write them down and put them somewhere you will see them every day. Continually remind yourself of these until they are embedded in your conscious.

Have you read The Four Agreements? How have these helped in your career or life?

5 Tips To Ace That Job Interview!

I love a good movie. One of my favourites is The Devil Wears Prada. I love following the story of Anne Hathaway’s character Andy and her time working for one of the largest fashion magazines. Although she certainly got off to a rocky start. Remember Andy’s interview with Miranda Priestly? It’s fair to say she certainly didn’t make the best first impression. She hadn’t heard of the magazine and didn’t know who Miranda was. Let’s also not sugar-coat the fact she didn’t have impeccable fashion sense. Nevertheless, lucky for her she ended up landing the job and the rest is history.

Whilst Andy’s interview wasn’t the best start, there is a few things you can do to ensure your interview goes smoothly. You’ve sent off your resume and based on your experience and education, you’ve secured an interview. Yay!! The interview is really your time to shine. It’s not every day that you go for a job interview, so you need to take some time and plan for a successful outcome. To avoid making a first impression like Andy, here’s 5 tips to ensure you ace the interview and land yourself that job.

  1. Presentation

Let’s face the facts! People make a judgement about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. First impressions count and this is especially important when you are at a job interview. Whilst it’s unrealistic to think you can control what other people think of you, however you can make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Dress to impress! I know there are plenty of workplaces that encourage casual dress, but the interview isn’t the time to show your casual wardrobe. Leave the jeans at home and put on some smart corporate attire. Ensuring you are dressed professionally for the interview sends a positive message about you.

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2. Be on time

Being on time is basic courtesy and says a lot about you. It goes without saying but ensure you know where you are going. Take some time to know your route. Will you be travelling via public transport or driving? Traffic can be chaotic and there can be unexpected delays with public transport so it’s best to build in some contingency time to avoid extra stress. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early. There are times when sh*t happens and you are delayed due to circumstances beyond your control. Be sure you have a contact number in case you are running late and phone to let the interviewer know you’ve been delayed. Whilst being late for your interview isn’t ideal, your potential new boss will be understanding if you’ve called ahead to let them know.

3. Research the company

With so much online these days, there is really no excuse for not conducting research into the organisation. In most interviews, you will be asked what you know about the organisation. At a minimum you should know what your company does and be able to confidently answer this question. What are their values or mission? Spend some time on the organisations website to learn as much as you can about them as your knowledge will be tested.

With the professional networking site of LinkedIn, it’s also a good idea to review the profiles of your interviewers. It helps you to understand their background and also to know how long they have worked for the organisation.  

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4. Engage with your interviewers

From the moment you meet your interviewers, make eye contact with each person and address each person by name. Similarly, when you answer a question talk directly to all interviewers, regardless of who is asking you the questions or who is more senior. I’ve interviewed many people in my career and it always amazes me how many people only talk to the person who will be their boss. It’s important to engage with each interviewer as each person who is part of the interview will be asked their opinion about you. I’ve often placed more importance on what my team members or peers think of the candidate, so don’t think that your new boss is the only decision maker. Connect with each person in that interview!

5. Ask questions

Always, always, have a few questions to ask. An interview is a two-way street, so asking questions is important for you to clarify something, understand more about the organisation, the job or environment you will be working in. Try to have at least three questions ready. These could be about the culture of the organisation, your potential boss’s management style or key objectives to focus on in your first three months.

Taking the time to plan and prepare for your interview helps set you up for success. These simple tips will help you put your best foot forward in your next job interview and secure your next role!

Click here to download The Interview Preparation Guide