If you ever imagine yourself rising as a leader or a customer experience professional, there is a need to carefully consider career tips from already renowned persons in your field of expertise. When dealing with customers, put yourself in their shoes. Career guidance is essential in building your career and giving you direction.
In my leadership Academy for contact center leaders, Call Center Coach, I often give simple advice that you can implement easily on your career journey.
The majority of the contact center leaders and agents are women. Women are said to naturally possess high emotional intelligence, which is critical in any customer service job. This does not mean that if you are a man, you cannot excel as well.
In my Fast leader Show podcast interview with Cheryl China, we explored 9 Pieces of Career Advice Wisdom for Leaders and CX Professionals.
What is important about career tips is that they equip you to invent your specialty.
Pulling Information From The Outside
A career tip that I personally adopted is that information must be pulled from outside your workplace’s four walls. What happens inside is often constrained by all of the internal forces and biases that exist. It’s inherently limited from capturing multiple perspectives, which is required to solve complex problems.
As you learn and advance in your career, you’ll find the more external perspectives are captured, the greater the business outcome.
It would be best if you dedicated time and effort to capturing insights and connecting with people from other organizations, industries, and thought leaders. Networking is key in sourcing information from the outside. Basically, outsourcing of mentors and coaches helps your team be more innovative, productive and broadens their skills as shared by the Havard business review.
Career Tips on Retirement Plan
When you retire from your career, it’s always wise to have a retirement plan. One of the best plans is to leave behind what you learned during your years of service. As a leader, it’s really your duty to leave this legacy. Continue to tell your story so that others can learn and relate. Leave a reputation that people will appreciate.
The 9 Career Tips You Need to Succeed
While there are several career tips that you can find out there, I believe these nine to be the most important to follow. I have also applied these tips throughout my career journey, and they include:
Career Guidance Tip #1: Be Willing To Move Sideways In Your Career
Take different roles in your career. It doesn’t always have to be a step up, but it can still be key to initiating your growth journey. The idea is to move and learn, especially if it is outside of your comfort zone.
Career Guidance Tip #2: Don’t Hesitate To Take Risks
Mark Zuckerberg is known for saying, “the biggest risk is not taking any risk.” From my personal experience, I have realized that most women only feel ready for a job when they know at least 90% about it. On the other hand, men only need to know 10% of the job to feel ready.
Despite being reluctant, women need to take risks and learn during the process. In review, the world belongs to the risk-takers. The most successful people are those that have had the courage to take a risk and see it through.
Career Guidance Tip #3: Don’t Let Perfection Hold You Back
As human beings, we will not always be perfect; hence, don’t let perfection hold you back. Just this week, I learned about a guy that changed his product five different times because he kept finding, what he called, ways to do it better. Eventually, he lost the trust of his people, they left, and he never launched. Refuse to let perfection be your enemy and curse.
Career Guidance Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask The Hard Questions
Questions are a learning tool. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, especially when it’s about your career or money. You might not get the answers that you like or expect, but at least you have asked. Ask and understand why things are done in a certain way. That way, you become better at what you do.
Career Guidance Tip #5: Learn From Your Mistakes But Don’t Wallow In Them
Your mistake should remind you of what not to repeat, but it must not stop you. Some even go ahead to say that mistakes are necessary. When I get dejected, I try to remember people like Thomas A. Edison, inventor of many things, including the light bulb. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just learned 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Find your inspiration to rise up quickly.
Career Guidance Tip #6: Always Represent And Protect Your Brand And Your Reputation
Of the career tips, this is one that I find interesting. Every interaction you have mattered. Take opportunities to claim your value and demonstrate leadership. But don’t mistake this for liking.
You’re better off being consistent and true rather than trying to get people to like you. Those who try to get people to like them are less self-assured and seen as false, which never garners the trust you seek.
Career Guidance Tip #7: Get Career Guidance Through Engaging, Networking, And Building Relationships
One career tip that I have also found useful is engaging, networking, and building relationships. Make an effort to know others. Make an effort to be known.
As a mentor, your duty is to identify potential. When I mentor people, I always strive to challenge my mentee to be a better person in ways that enable them to reach their desired goals. Through mentorship, I get to share my personal experiences that align with theirs. It’s about connecting with them, not learning about me.
According to Forbes, having this guidance and advice allows you to take on career opportunities you otherwise may not have.
Part of my mentoring plan is to teach them how to capture outside perspectives. I allow mentees to attend conferences and learn other tips and advice from different personalities and seek common ground.
If you are allowed to attend conferences, be sure to make the most of them. Focus on who is at the conference just as much as what you learn and connect on LinkedIn with everyone you can.
Coaching is a more formal and more structured approach than mentoring. Coaching is more about helping to bring out what’s inside somebody. This is a key differentiation and distinction.
Coaching should be uncomfortable because you are challenged to grow in ways your fears and biases may be prohibiting. Many people avoid being coached because they don’t like to be uncomfortable, want to avoid conflict, and do not like to be challenged. But we need all of that to grow proactively.
People do not realize that if we do not engage in being coached proactively, that conflict, being uncomfortable, and fears come anyway. But then it’s when we have lost a job, not received a promotion, or been selected for that dream job.
A coach or mentor may appear to play similar roles. Both play the role of nurturing talent and ambition and helping you rise to your full potential. But one will challenge you, and the other will nurture you – you need both.
I was able to see how senior contact center leaders were engaged in mentoring in a surprising way.
When I opened the Call Center Coach Virtual Leadership Academy, which targeted frontline supervisors, I began seeing numerous Vice Presidents and Directors enroll. So I started to ask them why.
What I found was both surprising and refreshing. They felt they needed to refresh their skills. Some had never been on the frontline and yet were assigned to overseeing the contact center. Others were inspired by the need to know what is being learned to inspect what is expected.
Their reasons got me thinking that even if you hold a top position in a career field, you need to keep learning and understand your subordinates’ learning. That’s what coaches and mentors do.
Career Guidance Tip #8: Know That What You Say And Do Matter
Be cautious both in word and in deed. Every conversation you have has effects on your brand. What you say and do can either diminish or enhance your brand and your career. I often find that practicing difficult conversations beforehand helps me to minimize slip-ups. I also learned to knock off on the coffee because too much caffeine makes calm conversation difficult.
Career Guidance Tip #9: Be Kind To Others
Play nice. Do not act like a tyrant. Always be respectful and kind. Do not be a bully. Do not try to step on others to get to where you want. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, executive, or an instrumental team member, science proves that kindness is your competitive advantage. Kindness also benefits you as an individual.
One of the best career tips I have personally learned is that my best ideas have not been my own. They have been handed down and over by special people that have been willing to share their wealth of experiences. Some have been older, some younger, but all have helped me in my own journey.
Here’s your chance to learn.
Watch My interview with Cheryl China On Career Guidance.
- Which of the career tips do you find to be most useful?
- What career tips can you personally recommend?
- What are the benefits of mentorship in relation to career advancement?
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.