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I have only been working professionally for ten years, so that doesn’t make me an expert on dishing on advice on how to grow your career, but it does make me an expert on what I have been doing with my career in the last 10 years.

I wanted to share with you the top 5 most comfortable things to start doing to enhance your career.

Number 1: Public Speaking

Practice public speaking. Earlier in my career, I remember participating in a sales pitch contest and coming in almost last place. I was shaking and couldn’t look at the audience, just praying that it would be over before it started. What I realized after this is if I wanted a successful career in sales, I would need to know how to speak in front of people confidently.

When I was working for a previous employer, I decided to sign up for Toastmasters. I hated it for about six months because I was a nervous wreck. Once a week, when I knew I had to practice speaking for an hour. What I realized is that we are all people, and I was sitting in a room full of supportive people. It is all about practicing and understanding the feedback to get better.

Now I haven’t been back to toastmasters in awhile, so I practice by making Youtube videos about these topics! Trust me, it’s not easy! If you don’t practice and receive continuous feedback you will never get better.

Number 2: Track your Goals

Use a task manager for your personal development. At the start of a new fiscal year, I create a Trello board of all the things that I would like to work on this year. This way, I can keep tabs on my results and ensure to keep promises to myself. No one in this industry is going to chase you to be accountable. The positive thing about keeping tabs on yourself is that when the time comes for you to ask for a raise from your boss, you will have a full list of your successes over the last year.

Number 3: Audio Books

Subscribe to an Audiobook provider. I can not speak on behalf of other platforms. However, I am an Amazon subscriber; I tend to stick to the same platforms. This subscription is a one-credit once a month, that is good for one audiobook. I tend to pick an audiobook that will cost more than 16 dollars, so I get my money worth. I am not very good at listening to Audiobooks and working at the same time. For constant travellers, this is a great thing to listen to in the car when heading to a customer site or to drive home from work. Due to Covid-19, a lot of us are working from home, in this case, I listen after work.

If you want my list of books, let me know, and I can make another post about it!

Number 4: Be Modest

I remember working with a colleague when I was 23, and he was very good at this job. It seemed almost effortless. He would crush his target quarter after quarter, and the only reason you knew was that the manager would go through the numbers weekly. It was so attractive to look at someone that knew they were only as good as their last deal. Today the people I meet that are the most successful in their careers are because they live with this quote drilled in their brain.

“I am only as good as my last deal, last service, last performance.”

Number 5: Hire a Coach/Therapist

If you are over the age of 50, you most likely are cringing at this comment. When I used to tell people I go to therapy once a week, they thought I was crazy. Well if you have areas in your life that need improving a business coach or therapist could be your answer. I hired one about three years ago and it has completely changed my mental health.

So many of us face different challenges in the workplace; for example, working on projects, having an outside led to an inside relationship in sales or dealing with a difficult manager or a large quota. Most of these difficulties all come down to our emotions. When I talk to my therapist about business challenges, she helps me see it from other perspectives or helps me come up with different solutions.

These are a few things that I started doing for a while now, and I am curious to hear of the things that have helped you grow your career. I wouldn’t suggest starting all these at the same time, try to pick one goal to focus on at a time and master attending or doing the things that can help you get there. Sometimes if you look at the top of the mountain, the first step will look to big. Just take that first step!

– Jessica Pettigrew