Updated: Apr 7, 2019
Knowledge is power. Unfortunately, most of the information we hold when we are young is mostly a straight download of parents telling us what to do and not do, especially taking risks. This pattern is inherited from their parents telling them the same statements; a full history of limiting beliefs.
You only have one life and taking risks is your biggest chance to grow as a human being. Maybe you went for a safe job and were happy for a while, but now you are in a position where you need to adapt and re-invent yourself due to life circumstances or by choice. In my personal journey, I happened to be an expat early in life and had the opportunity to learn each time I moved. Below I regrouped a few learnings from the past 20 years, which, hopefully, will have you cut through the chase and make the right decisions.
1. Invest in yourself
After my undergraduate degree, I procrastinated on getting the Masters degree because I did not want to bother. Now looking back, I realize I could have jumped started my career 20 years sooner. Invest in getting the skills you need to move forward otherwise you will plateau in your current situation and only be offered similar positions for many years.
Here are a few links to upgrade your skills in Switzerland:
2. Grow a solid network
20 years ago networking meant going to the Professional Association cocktails once or twice a year. I met great people, but once a year is not enough to build a serious network you will be able to rely on should you lose your job in the next months or years. Build it early and maintain it whilst you work. It is always easier to contact people you know well than trying to meet new people, especially when you are out of a job and need one fast.
3. Develop your presentation skills and image
A few years ago, the videos did not exist on YouTube to show you what a great speaker sounds like on TedEx. Now, with virtual guidance, you can become the speaker of your dreams and ace the interview process with a bit of preparation and confidence building. It would be such a pity to miss your dream job because you did not show enough sales charisma during the process. Dressing for success is also essential. The big differences between a regular employee and a CEO are power dressing and speaking with conviction. Invest in a nice wardrobe and develop your presentation skills and your journey will grow towards new heights.
4. Learn to sell
Jobs are no longer granted for a lifetime. If you do get selected for one, chances are it will be for a short period only. I recommend you learn how to develop multiple streams of income from an early age. I wish I knew this at a younger age. More and more successful business people write books and do trainings on how to start your own freelancing activity or how to become an entrepreneur. I respect all types of businesses and I believe all skills have value and contribute to the growth of a company and a country, but selling is in my view the top skill that will enable you to develop a career anywhere and achieve financial autonomy. Sales skills are not easy to acquire, but well worth the investment. Careers are now short-term, unpredictable and companies cannot have a long term vision nor make promises, but if you can sell, you will always find career solutions.
These four learnings were life changing for me.
What was your biggest learning to date?