A meaningful career doesn’t happen to you; you proactively create it through your intentional choices and actions.
Here are seven ways to build an exciting and fulfilling career.
1. Be curious
When you’re curious, you’re open. Open to exploring new ideas, experiences, and possibilities. Open to meeting new people and learning new things. Open to leaving behind outdated mindsets and limiting beliefs to make room for your highest and best self. And it’s that openness—that curiosity—that fuels career growth.
2. Don’t go it alone
At its core, business is about relationships. No matter your job function or title, to succeed, you must interact with others. This includes your boss and colleagues and your customers and partners, so focus on cultivating relationships over transactions to build trust and connection.
And remember to enlist the help of coaches, mentors, and trusted advisors. Those who are where you’d like to be and have done what you need to do to get there can offer the most relevant and meaningful counsel on your professional journey.
3. Be willing to fail
Failure and success aren’t mutually exclusive; they’re connected. Leaders use failure as fuel, maintaining grit and perseverance to keep going. By reframing failure as an ingredient of success, you’ll adjust your mindset to a more positive one where you see failure as a necessity.
Consider, too, that making mistakes helps you learn. Your ability to adapt to failures is vital; a “failure” is only a mistake if you fail to learn.
4. Think non-linear
Lose the notion that there’s only one road to greatness. Veering off the predictable path means you willingly seek complementary education, skills, and experiences that enrich your journey, add to your professional story, and help differentiate you from your peers.
5. Check your mindset and perspective
Your perspective is the lens through which you view yourself, your career, and the world. Perspective, coupled with your mindset, affect the story you tell yourself and others and impacts your potential. In addition, it influences your behavior, thoughts, and opinions and how (or if) you believe you can make an impact.
When we’re pessimistic, we tend to adopt a victim mentality, and all that negativity affects our attitude in harmful ways. We also tend to judge others and make up our minds before listening and learning about alternatives. However, those who choose optimism tend to be curious and tolerant of new ideas and people and are less likely to be thrown off course because of an unexpected setback. Their openness builds trust naturally, which allows them to connect with others more easily.
Similarly, if you’re stuck in a fixed mindset, you believe your intelligence or talent is set in stone. Worse, you’re likely allowing fear to creep in and make you feel that what you’re doing doesn’t matter. But switching to a growth mindset means you believe you can — and will — improve and see every opportunity as a chance to grow and learn.
6. Move outside your comfort zone
If you keep doing the same things, you’ll never grow. Get over your fear and jump out of your comfort zone. When you challenge yourself to try something that scares you—leading a pitch to a new client, presenting your department’s quarterly objectives, or asking your boss for more responsibility—you’ll move beyond words to action.
And when you successfully master that challenge, you’ll have newfound confidence. You’ll gain positive attention for your fearlessness and initiative. And your decision to take a leap of faith can be the catalyst for further growth.
7. Invest in yourself
You’ll never regret investing in yourself. Your ability to adapt and learn is essential to the survival and growth of your career, so make a conscious effort to add to your skillset by reading books, watching educational videos, and listening to informative podcasts. Seek out new ideas, information, and perspectives, even (and especially) if they differ from your own. Aim to be a lifelong learner, and you’ll up your knowledge base—and value.
This article has been reprinted with permission from Amy Blaschka´s Forbes page.