Three Ways To Appreciate A Good Leader

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

Most of the time, we do not have the liberty or convenience to choose our bosses. And as sad as it may sound, it seems like great leaders are hard to come by these days. Some superiors can be too tough, which can command obedience but also instills fear. Some are too lenient, which can establish rapport, but then breed underachiever. The search for a good leader can be frustrating, so to realize you are under the wing of someone with commendable management skills can feel like winning a lottery. With all the amazing things good leadership brings, the least you can do is show your appreciation. The following are a few ways to show your dream boss how grateful you are to be under their mentorship:

Do more than required.
For a boss, to see his or her staff religiously doing their duties is already an achievement. But if you wish to further give your leader a reason to do better, you may want to show more effort in the work you do. Going above and beyond will show leaders that the people they manage are worth the effort. Aside from  encouraging leaders to keep doing their job well, you are also empowering the whole team. Choosing excellence over mediocrity surely makes the job of a leader easier. In the end, the ultimate person who benefits from your actions is you.

Organize an appreciation day.
What can you do to increase the tribe of good leaders? Organizing an appreciation day can go a long way. This will be helpful because a leader needs a dose of encouragement and motivation to stay competent as well. It can be as simple as throwing a surprise party or get-together. Team members can do something special, such as prepare the leader’s favorite dish or buy a gift the leader always wanted. It is also a great idea to give thank you messages.

Offer a solution.
Leaders have huge responsibilities on their shoulders, so it is a requirement to be disciplined and persevering. Aside from ensuring the smooth flow in a group, leaders are also tasked with solving any problem a team may encounter. With all the hard work involved, one of the best things a team member can do is ease some of the burdens a leader has to face. Aside from making sure that you do not create any trouble for the leader, you can also think of ways to make things easier for the whole team. If the team has an existing dilemma or problem, you can suggest ways to overcome or solve it. By doing this, your boss will truly be thankful to have you in the team.

To be under a great leader is a wonderful privilege because you will gain valuable skills and at the same time, discover your potential. You can expect an excellent leader to push you to be better, inspire you to grow and achieve more than you think you are capable of.  So, if you know a great leader, do the world a favor by finding ways to express just how much you value their presence.

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Three Ways Great Leaders Rise From Their Mistakes

Leadership comes with great responsibilities. But no one said that the heavy load a leader has to bear requires perfection at all times. On the contrary, the very best of leaders are those that are not afraid to make mistakes. They proceed with caution and minimize errors as much as possible. But they also have a full understanding of the risks involved in their actions. Thus, mistakes do not rattle or take them off guard. They recognize the opportunities that come with every mistake they have made. Great leaders overcome mistakes with ease and can even turn them into opportunities. They can do this by adopting a few key mindsets and principles, which are discussed below.

Accept and react accordingly.

In an organization where leaders refuse to acknowledge errors, problems persist and can ultimately break the team dynamic. That is why wise leaders do not turn a blind eye when something went wrong. Instead, they quickly acknowledge it and are willing to apologize for it if necessary. They are not concerned that these actions willl make them appear weak or incompetent in front of their subordinates. On the contrary, leaders will earn the respect and admiration of their team because admitting mistakes is a decision that takes humility and courage.  

Do not resort to negative behaviors.

As a leader, you are likely wary of making mistakes because they can often lead to negative behavior or situations. Proactive leaders, though, know that negative actions are a waste of time because in the end, they don’t solve anything. It’s important to get to the root of the problem in order to have a clear understanding of how the mistakes happened and how they can be fixed. However, once the scrutiny reveals the names of the people who are responsible or involved with the mishaps, exceptional leaders have the ability to react calmly and constructively.

Great leaders don’t resort to harsh punishments and instead set their attention on the mistakes done and not on the person who did it. Instead of subjecting people to harsh criticisms, they listen in order to learn how the mistake can be fixed or avoided in the future. Criticisms and fault-finding will only damage your team’s morale, which can create more trouble for an organization in the long run.

Focus on lessons and solutions.

Leaders may feel frustrated over a misstep for a while, but it is important not to linger on the mistake and instead look to the bright side. Be aware that mistakes are just a part of the journey and come heavily laden with lessons to learn. Likewise, don’t dwell on negative emotions for too long after a mistake. It is not wise to dwell on bad emotions. Your main concern should be set on how to solve it. Any problem can be fixed, so try to instead plot ways to correct the mistake.  

Do you want an easy way to assess a person’s leadership skills? One way to do it is by observing how they handle mistakes. The mediocre ones may start to panic and end up making decisions that can turn a small mistake into a major problem. On the other hand, great leaders stay cool and collected, giving them presence of mind to turn any mistake to their advantage. So what kind of leader do you want to become?  

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Travel Like a Millennial

Travel has changed. With the increase of technology and a shift in financial habits, the annual summer vacation of time’s past has been replaced. As millennials entered adulthood they rocked the travel industry with their rebellious nature and demand for new options. They slowly changed what it meant to vacation by ditching the kinds of trips that filled their childhood scrapbooks. While there is no right or wrong way to vacation, there are stark contrasts between traditional and modern travel behavior. Here are three ways to travel like a millennial.

Frequent

The newest generation of young adults travels frequently. Just a few decades ago, many travelers planned annual vacations that centered around time-off from school. Holidays, winter, spring and summer breaks have long been the go-to times to explore the world. In recent years, ‘home state explorations’, day trips and staycations have seen an uptick in popularity. Millennials prefer to save money by taking smaller, shorter trips. Doing so also allows them to travel more freely. Without an extensive travel budget to save for or the need to book far in advance, it’s much easier to partake in last minute adventures or even travel when funds are low.  

Travel Companions

Traditionally, vacations were a family event. But with many of today’s young people deciding to marry and have children later in life than their parents, the tide has changed. While millennials do still value traveling with family, they are more willing than past generations to travel alone or with good friends. Friend groups from all walks of life reconnect through annual girls trips, jet out-of-state to celebrate upcoming nuptials or even to meet up with friends they’ve made online. If their friends lack the time or funds, millennials are willing to venture out alone. According to SoloTraveler’s statistics, 96% of people aged 25-34 are likely to travel independently. With overwhelming data like that it’s easy to see why traveling trends have headed in a new direction.

App Dependent

In 2008, technology tycoon Apple launched its App Store to accompany its latest iPhone, changing the world as we knew it. Like almost every other aspect of life, apps quickly began to affect travel. To start, instead of needing to hire a travel agent or pour hours into researching the perfect vacation package, travelers gained the ability to book trips directly from their phones. The introduction of apps also ushered in the popularity of social media. Many millennials spend a significant amount of time scrolling through feeds that are filled with their friends’ and family’s vacation pictures, sparking their desire to take a similar trip of their own. Lastly, apps opened the door to ride sharing services, review sites and coupon applications that make both planning and enjoying vacations (nearly) effortless. Today, travel and technology go hand-in-hand.

It’s no secret that millennials are known for their departure from tradition. They travel alone, use their phones to hunt down deals and are passionate about exploring without restrictions. They love being on the go and documenting every second of their adventures. Millennials have carved their own lane into the travel world and the industry has taken note. Before setting off on your next trip, keep these three millennial travel trends in mind. You just may discover that doing things differently isn’t a bad thing.

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Philanthropy: How to Give a Lot With a Little

The word philanthropy can be an intimidating term for those who feel they don’t have much to offer. But at its purest, philanthropy boils down to “goodwill to fellow members of the human race” (Merriam Webster). We all have the desire to better the world we live in and all it takes is a little effort. Here are three ways to give a lot with a little.

A Little Money

Billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have the type of financial security that allows them to give with wild abandon. We can sometimes feel that our charitable contributions pale in comparison, consequently lowering their impact. But remember, despite the size or amount, all gifts are meaningful when they come from the heart. Even if you don’t have much to spare, something is always better than nothing at all. Here are a few ways to make your dollars count.

Make a Small, One Time Donation

  • Many people choose to donate when and what they can, even if that’s a small amount, one time. Be proud of your desire to give and initiative to act on it. Every gift makes a difference, and any recipient would be honored to accept your act of sacrifice and kindness.

Save Up to Give

  • If your budget is too tight to gift the ideal amount, pick a reoccuring minimal expense you can live without (i.e. coffee, eating out, Netflix) and give it up for a short period of time. Take the money you save and donate it to a cause of your choice.
  • Set aside a few dollars each month, then give the lump sum away for the holidays

A Little Thought

A little thought goes a long way. While financial offerings are often the only type of gift commonly associated with philanthropy, meaningful giving comes in all forms. To start, think of sentimental things people have done for you that made a lasting impression in your life. Make a list of your favorites, then isolate the acts of kindness you deem worthy of replicating.  Below is a list of (non-monetary) gestures to brighten someone’s day.

Make Something

  • Take inventory of your pantry and use ingredients you already have to make a delicious meal or dessert for someone in need
  • Upcycle old articles of clothing to make a fresh, one-of-a-kind outfit to donate to a local charity

Say Something

  • Know of a friend who needs a bit of encouragement? Speak up! A kind word at the right moment can be the ideal gift for someone who is down on their luck
  • If face-to-face interactions make you nervous, share your thoughts in writing. An email, text or handwritten note full of positive sentiments is sure to be received with warm gratitude   

A Little Time

Your time is finite, making it the most precious commodity you own. Unlike money and thought, you cannot earn or create time. Therefore, devoting a few hours to another person’s needs is one of the most selfless donations you can give. Try:

Spending Time with a Stranger

  • You’re sure to find your niche in a place such as a hospice center, the NICU of a hospital, an animal shelter or a food bank.  The investment of your time is an excellent way to show you care, while taking a hands-on approach to transforming lives.

Charles Dickens said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Every effort to improve the happiness, well-being or safety of another is a grand gesture that should be undertaken with pride. You can be the change you wish to see, even if you do so little by little. Keep up the good work.

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5 Things To Remember To Be A Great Adventure Buddy

Going on solo adventures is always a unique experience. But isn’t it more fun and exciting to try something new with others? Before you start searching for great adventure buddies, you might want to ask yourself: Are you the perfect adventure friend others are looking for as well? It is important to take time for self-reflection to see if you’re someone others would like to travel with. Listed below are five things to remember to make sure you fit the role of a great adventure buddy:

Limit complaints and negativity.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free trip, you might as well stay at home. You can always prepare to minimize the inconveniences that travel brings, but people with adventurous spirits don’t let obstacles affect them or their trip in a bad way. Negative behavior can ruin the trip and can affect other people in your troop. Instead, opt to spread good vibes and improve everyone’s mood by staying cheerful and positive. One way to limit negativity is by practicing gratitude. Be thankful for the adventure and the people you are with. Thinking about the opportunity you have on your trip will help you focus on the positive things.

Be respectful.

Diversity may be everywhere but differences won’t be a problem if everyone shows respect to one another. Always remember that respect is a two-way street. If you want to receive respect, accept that the views of others may differ without judgment. You can’t expect others to think or act the same way you do, but you can change the way you react to it. Instead of looking at diversity as a source of conflict, instead, see it as an opportunity for learning. Being exposed to people with different backgrounds can broaden and enlighten your mind.  

Resolve to do more.

For an organized group adventure, participants may be assigned certain responsibilities. While your travel buddies will be grateful for you to do your part, consider going a little above and beyond. Maybe you have extra time and can lend a hand to others. Be a valuable companion by seeking out more ways you can help.

Be a problem solver.

It’s normal to go into an adventure hoping everything will be perfect. But it isn’t always what happens. You may even notice a lot of room for improvement. But being a good adventure buddy means working through it. Instead, think of solutions that you can suggest to the group. If you meet problems with solutions, you can look forward to even better adventures to come. You also make travel a more comfortable and positive experience for the people you are with.

Show independence.

You may be traveling with a group, but you can’t expect your travel buddies to be responsible for you. So in one aspect, it is a good idea to get ready for an adventure as if you are going on a trip alone. This mindset will urge you to familiarize yourself with the area and equip yourself with the necessary items you need for an enjoyable trip. By doing it this way, you avoid being a burden to others. Instead, you become an asset to a group because being prepared will allow you to contribute ideas or offer help to others when needed.

People typically love and crave adventures. Our daily routines provide comfort and stability, but once in a while, we still feel the need to do something out of the ordinary.  As adventures keep the zest in life burning, it is inevitable that we find ourselves wondering — what makes a great adventure? Surely, it is not as simple as blindly plunging into the unknown. It takes great planning, wisdom and courage. Another thing that makes an adventure unforgettable are the people you share the experiences with. But before searching for your perfect travel buddies, start by making sure you are a great one yourself.

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Four Ways To Genuinely Show Empathy In Leadership

Do you want to get a glimpse of the kind of leadership that makes an outstanding organization? You can by simply observing those in leadership roles. In a team headed by a great leader, people do their tasks with passion and commitment. If only all companies were driven by great leaders, the world would be a much better place. Too often we see people expressing discontentment over management styles. In this unfortunate scenario, people tend to be unmotivated and underachieve. This brings to mind the age-old question of what makes a good leader? However, with all the traits that differentiate a great leader from a bad one, empathy is certainly one of them. The ability to put oneself in another’s shoes is surely a trait that all leaders need to learn. In a way, good leadership without empathy seems impossible. The following four pointers will show how you as a leader can show empathy.

Display emotional intelligence.

Empathy is a trait that allows you to relate to the circumstances of others. It requires one to be patient, caring and kind. It is also something that is hard to fake. Leaders who want to show empathy have to start the process within themselves. The first step is to develop positive traits associated with emotional intelligence. Build a character that others would like to emulate and empathy will come naturally.

Truly listen.

It isn’t unusual for people to approach a leader for some wise words or advice. Sometimes the best support a leader can give is simply lending an open ear. Allot time to listen to what people on your team have to say about certain topics, projects or issues. Great leaders don’t just do all the talking. On the contrary, they continually encourage others to share their opinions or ideas.

Learn and understand the work each person on your team does.

Problems are likely to arise on a team where leaders have little to no inkling about the job that each person on the team does. This stresses the importance of having a broad understanding of the work that everyone is doing, even if a certain skill is not part of your expertise. You should take time to understand the skills needed and challenges involved in each project. It can be done by studying the nature of your employee’s job or spending time with team members while they do the task. Aside from making it easier to show practice empathy to others, it can also raise the spirits of team members.

Show your vulnerable side.

It is important for leaders to appear strong. But no one said you can’t show vulnerability. In fact, leaders who are honest about their strengths and weaknesses can help others become more comfortable around them. Leaders who share how they overcome past difficulties with others makes it easy for people to share and bond over their own experiences as well.

Anyone who aspires to be a leader should understand the great challenges that come with the role. In fact, if you would ask someone to write down all the traits and attributes that an excellent leader should have, you may end up with a long, never-ending list. One trait that will always be present? Empathy. To aim to be empathetic is always a great idea; it will make you an exceptional leader and a better person, too.

Brad and Julie DuncanFour Ways To Genuinely Show Empathy In Leadership
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Afraid Of Jet Lag? 4 Tips To Avoid This Travel Worry

Ever had to fly across multiple time zones? Traveling to a place that will require you to reset your clock calendar sounds exciting. But  for many people, it means having to deal with jet lag. Experienced travelers understand how uncomfortable it feels. Suddenly your body’s clock is not in sync with the local timezone. You either want to sleep when the sun is rising or are craving a full meal during ungodly hours of the night.

Jet lag, a momentary disruption of your body clock, is one of the not-so-pleasant side effects of traveling to a different time zone. It is commonly associated with long overseas flights but the phenomena is not exclusive to plane rides. Anyone who travels great distances, even if not by air, can experienced jet lag. Sometimes you don’t even have to cross time zones. A shift in weather or climate can also cause you to experience symptoms of jet lag. Don’t let jet lag discourage you from traveling or allow it to make your trip less enjoyable. Here are four tips that can help you avoid the downsides of jet lag.

Prepare early.

If you follow a strict routine, you may want to adjust your schedule for a few days before the trip. You can set your clock to the time zone of your destination and try to go over your day with this schedule in mind. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to do this drastically. Be sure to gradually adjust your sleeping and eating schedules closer to the timezone of the destination you are visiting. With this practice, your body will have an easier time coping with the changes in timezone.

Check your flight schedule.

Your flight schedule and estimated time of arrival are also factors to consider when booking plane tickets. Traveling to your destination during your usual bed time? Then it is a perfect time to catch up on some much-needed snooze during the flight. It will also be helpful if you choose a flight that will allow you to arrive at your destination during the day rather than at night. Arriving when the sun is out will allow you to take in the sights and inspire you to explore the place right away. The energy of the day will help you shake the jet lag blues out of your system faster.  

Adjust to the new schedule.

Sometimes, traveling means attending an important event that will require you to be at your best. Whether it is for business or a family event like a wedding, in order to make sure you won’t be suffering from jet lag, you may want to arrive a day or two earlier than your special event. This simple tweak in your schedule will give your body time to adjust. If you are not in a rush, it can also be a good idea to choose a flight that has a stop. Direct flights may allow you to reach your destination faster, but staying a few hours in an area where the time zone is the same or closer to where you are going will help get your body in tune with your new schedule. When you reach your destination, start matching your routines to the new time zone right away. This may mean holding off on naps or meal times.

Hop on the plane well-rested.

Most of the time, it all boils down to taking good care of yourself. Beating jet lag requires a sound mind and strong body. If you maintain good health and don’t exhaust yourself, your body is in a much better position to combat anything. Make sure you get enough rest the day before your trip. Traveling can be stressful on its own, so minimize it by making sure that everything is prepared and organized a few days before your flight. Your comfort should also be a top priority, so dress in appropriate travel attire. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout your trip. When you are on long flights, you’re bound to experience dehydration. Bringing a water bottle that you can refill at the airport or on the plane will be helpful.

People who love to travel should be ready to cope with all the quirks that come with it. Luckily most of them, like jet lag, can easily be avoided with a few tips and tricks! So don’t allow travel woes to dim your passion for visiting and exploring faraway places. Follow the above four tips to minimize the effects of jet lag while you travel.

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5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace

People with generous hearts and altruistic spirits are valuable assets to any company they join. Their initiative and willingness to support a worthy cause demonstrates that they are hardworking and action-oriented individuals. These are surely the traits and attitudes companies are always looking for. From this point of view, you can see how any company will benefit from fostering a spirit of giving in the workplace.

This goal can be challenging as activities associated with altruism can be so typical or predictable that they fail to generate much interest. Most of the time charitable programs only include doing community service, pledging donations or running fundraising campaigns. So how can companies encourage employees to actively participate in philanthropic activities? Incorporating creative techniques can greatly help! Listed below are five creative ways to encourage non-profit activities in the workplace.

Make it a competition.

Games are a great way to snap people out of boredom, especially when it comes to philanthropy. Adding an element of competition in your company’s philanthropic event is likely to garner plenty of interest. You can liven up ways to support causes by turning them into a fun contest between different departments in the organization. For example, the team who can generate the most donations will win a big prize. Aside from helping the company raise more money for donations, this strategy will also inspire people to be creative and innovative. It can also strengthen a team and result in better work relationships between employees.

Include loved ones.

Even if they are passionate about helping others, employees will likely say no to an event that will steal precious time away from their loved ones. A company can eliminate this dilemma by allowing their employees to bring family members during a corporate charity event. This way, instead of thinking of ways on how to avoid an office event, people might instead look forward to it. How nice would it feel to do good deeds together with the people closest to you? This technique is a simple way to make the event more exciting, fun and memorable for everyone. Doing this will also show that your company is family oriented and values work-life balance.

Seek the opinions of your employees.

For altruism to pique the interest of more people, you need to come up with innovative ways of doing it. A good way to generate fresh ideas is by running surveys or asking for suggestions from employees themselves. You may be surprised by the ingenious suggestions you will receive. You can even offer a prize for the best idea. Meanwhile, running a survey will help ensure that the charity or cause you choose appeals to most people in the organization.

Focus on skill enhancement or learning.

Philanthropy is a great avenue to showcase one’s skills or talents and even learn new ones. In a workplace setting, the management can organize events that allow employees to share their special talents with those in need. Another approach is by assigning certain individuals to do things for charity that they don’t usually do in their line of work. For example, a computer programmer can be asked to tutor small children or a graphic designer can shop for food items to give away. This approach takes out the notion that altruism is a boring or dull activity. Moreover, presenting charity as a way for your employees to do the things they enjoy such as painting, singing or teaching will entice more people to participate.

Reward and recognize.

Generosity and altruism are positive concepts that most people want to associate themselves with, making philanthropy plenty rewarding on its own. However, it is still important to offer rewards or recognize people’s efforts in altruism. You want to let your employees know that you are noticing their good deeds. A simple reward or recognition will not only further fuel their generous spirit, it will also encourage other people to follow in their footsteps.

Philanthropy offers tons of benefits for both management and employees. It can boost employee morale, improve a company’s reputation and reduce attrition. To reap all of these benefits and more, a company should be ready to try creative ways to incorporate altruism in the workplace.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace
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Are Your Leadership Skills Future-Ready?

Leaders of today are under much greater pressure than ever before. Aside from the usual tasks of overseeing the development of a team and creating strategies to meet a goal, leaders also need to keep up with rapid technological developments. With machines threatening to take over many jobs, advancements such as artificial intelligence and automation pose a potential threat to future leaders. They can’t afford to sit around and wait for the future to unfold. Great leaders prepare for the future by taking steps to further enhance their skills and abilities. The following lists some of the hard and soft skills that will make leaders indispensable even in an ultra-modern world.

Technological Savvy

It is safe to say that now and even into the future, turning away from technology is no longer an option. More than ever, leaders are eager to learn and embrace new technology in order to benefit their team. They eagerly keep track of the latest applications or software that are relevant in their field of work and take steps to understand how they works. Some of the hard skills that experts say will be in-demand in the future include cloud computing, UX design, and mobile application development.

Virtual Management Skills

Technology has made communication and collaboration possible with anyone, anywhere in the world. To take advantage of these benefits, leaders need to know the tools and apps that will help them manage a virtual workplace. They also need to develop the skills that will allow them to deal with a team coming from multicultural backgrounds and industries. As remote jobs become more popular, leaders need to have a more organized and systematic way of leading their teams and executing on business strategy.

Critical & Creative-Thinker

In the future workplace, where analysts are predicting that monotonous and repetitive jobs will be fully automated, a leader should prepare to train and encourage their team members to exercise their creativity. As the world gets increasingly competitive, the ability to think out of the box becomes more necessary. To keep abreast of new developments and stand out from the rest, you cannot afford to stick with the methods and processes that your team is accustomed to. You will lead the growth of the whole team (including yourself) by committing to conceptualizing and trying new innovations.

Leaders of the next generation are strategic thinkers because they think ahead. They do not just settle in following the trend. Instead, they change the rules of the game by presenting fresh ideas. They do not just stay updated with what is the latest, but also predict what will happen next by studying forecasts and insights.

Emotional Intelligence

The onset of a highly sophisticated world can be very stressful and demanding. Leaders need to be able adjust with major changes in the workplace and help their team cope with these changes. This requires a leader that can easily adapt to any situation. They know that there may be times when they need to adjust their leadership style for the betterment of the whole team. They also know how to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. All of these tasks will require leaders to exercise emotional intelligence and develop related skills such as flexibility, empathy, patience and humility.

Great leadership is an endless quest for learning and innovation. Even if you are already on the peak of success, you constantly look for ways to further improve and stay ahead. With a mindset that is geared towards continuous learning, a leader can rise up to any challenge and stay relevant no matter what the future brings.

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Embarking on a New Career Path

Abandoning familiarity is frightening. Fear of the future and work-related anxiety is common, but for many, excitement is also a welcomed side effect. Envisioning the accomplishments to come and the adventure awaiting ahead can be just the motivation you need to spark your career change. Although the process of switching professions will be a challenging endeavor, there are steps you can take to ease your transition. Here are four tips to help you successfully embark on a new career path.

Have Confidence
Naturally, doing something you’ve never done before can breed uncertainty, but in spite of your fears, you must remain confident in yourself. Your new coworkers need to trust in your capabilities and resolve. Setting the tone starts with you. Fight your instinct to feel as if you don’t belong or don’t deserve the job. Own your space. Rest assured that you are there for a reason and have something special to offer your new career field. Hold your head high, even if you have to ‘fake it until you make it’. Soon enough, your confidence will become genuine and reassured.

Find a Mentor
Having an experienced ally makes all the difference. As soon as you can, find a mentor who is willing to help you fill in the gaps. Being the newcomer is difficult. You won’t want to rely on just anybody for support and advice. The best mentors are approachable, available, wise and helpful. Be selective in your choice, then use your resource to help you find your footing. Once you’ve adjusted and mastered your new career, you can pay if forward by mentoring someone else who is new to the field.

Study Hard
Being surrounded by experts and longtime professionals will undoubtedly create the occasional gap in knowledge (or experience). To remedy this you will have to study harder and more often than your counterparts. If you encounter a subject that you haven’t completely mastered or don’t feel fully comfortable with yet, take it upon yourself to put in extra study time when you clock out. Putting in those additional hours of self-initiated study will show your team you are dedicated to pulling your weight despite your inexperience. Fortunately, in due time, you’ll notice the number of topics that require study steadily decreasing.

Remain Open to Feedback
Learning something new comes with making mistakes. While it’s never fun to be informed of your errors, it is a necessary evil when it comes to improving. You can’t control how feedback is given to you, but you can control how you receive it. Remain open to the possibility that you’ll receive constructive criticism, sometimes in moments that you least expect. Do your best to take it in stride. Afterward, you have the freedom to decide what to do with the information you’ve received. Remember you aren’t required to give every opinion legitimacy and you have full discretion over filtering what is worth addressing or ignoring.

Following your dreams and changing your career takes courage, hard work and patience. Enduring the highs and lows of the transition will yield a reward worth seizing. Remember these four tips along your journey and enjoy the success that follows.   

Brad and Julie DuncanEmbarking on a New Career Path
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