How To Have a Winning Career

December 13, 2014 | Elle

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For some people, their goal is to graduate, get a good job that is in line with their values and goals, and stay there until they retire. The assumption then was that a job is a career, but that is no longer the case. In fact, a job is just a job and all jobs are temporary. Workopolis reports that 51% of people registered with them changed jobs approximately every two years and only 30% of people held the same job for more than four years. Furthermore, most people - 75% to be exact - worked in multiple fields, each one vastly different from the other. Here's some food for thought:

1. Jobs don't matter. Careers do. And a career is made up of many jobs, some are great; others suck. Learn what you can from each one, try new responsibilities (create them if they don't come knocking on your door), and move on once you determine that you cannot contribute anymore to that job.

2. Don't work for money. Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, suggested that young people who can't find a job should temporarily work for free. A piece of advice coming from the most unlikely source! Whether you're trying to break into a new industry or a competitive field, you have to really demonstrate your skills, passion and resourcefulness. So if money isn't the real currency of your career, what is? Your skills, experiences, professional reputation, network of contacts and accomplishments - anything that will set you apart - this is what you should fill your career bank with.

3. What am I going to do next? - the operative word being 'next', as in 'What skills can I acquire next, what can I take on next to add accomplishments to my resume, what will my next career move be.' Rather than waiting for that definitive career move, take on whatever reasonable jobs are available. Volunteer for projects that other people don't want. Create projects to boost your organization. Be flexible and indispensible. Don't complain - look through your front windshield rather than in the rearview mirror!

All the best in building your career currency - may your bank overflow!

  The Wall Street Journal: Guide to Building Your Career   Reaching Your Development Goals