5 Career “Super Foods”

As you can probably tell from reading my blog, I love lists. Top 10 These. Absolute 5 Thats. Well, I recently came across a fantastic list of 10 Everyday Super Foods, described by WebMD as “multitaskers,” such as nuts, blueberries and salmon, that are packed with multiple nutrients to help you stay healthy, promote wellness and weight control and taste good, too.This got me thinking: What are the “Everyday Super Foods” for career success? What people, practices, tools and habits give you the biggest bang for your buck? Here is my list, and I hope you’ll share more “Career Super Foods” in the Comments.1. Daily Goals. We often talk about annual goals or life goals, but successful people set — and achieve — small goals all the time (we sometimes call them priorities or to-do lists). Especially when you have a big goal — such as getting a new job, writing a book or launching a business — set small, daily goals that will keep you moving forward. Big goals are important, but small goals get the job done.2. News. One of the most popular tips in my book, Getting from College to Career, is to read a newspaper every single day. Whether you read the headlines on your laptop, your phone, in an e-newsletter or a printed copy of the paper, it’s crucial that you keep up with world news, national news and the news of the particular industry you want to join. We live in the Information Age, so the most informed people are the ones who are most likely to succeed.

3. Coffee. While the actual caffeinated stuff helps a lot of people achieve their career goals, what I mean here is getting together with people for coffee — also known as networking. When it comes to moving your career forward, the more people you have genuine relationships with (hence the importance of meeting in person), the more opportunities you’ll be exposed to.

4. Mentors. Mentors are people you can turn to with questions large and small about your career. They are people who have “been there, done that” and are willing to share their wisdom to help your career grow. To receive the maximum benefit from a mentor, be sure to set up regular meetings (once a month is a good start) in person, by phone or on Skype, and bring specific topics or challenges you’d like to discuss for each session.

5. Responsiveness. With the amount of e-mails, LinkedIn requests, Twitter direct messages, voice mails, text messages and IMs we all receive, it can be hard to get back to people in a timely way. But those who are responsive — especially to important requests and time-sensitive opportunities — really stand out from the crowd. If you are actively job hunting, responsiveness is even more important. More than a few jobs have gone to the first person to apply.

What other Career Super Foods do you recommend? Please share in the Comments!

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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