Act like you have the job you want. What does that even mean? I’m sure most of us have seen the myriad articles on LinkedIn, professional blogs, and other social platforms that give us the same advice: wake up at 5am for optimal productivity, work hard to get promoted, dress a certain way to give off an impression of success. However, whether these things truly help further one’s career, oftentimes, these tips don’t fully uncover what it means to be successful at its core – an adjective that arguably describes any organization’s CEO.
So, how can we most efficiently emulate an organization’s – and some of the world’s – most successful players? What are tangible ways by which someone can live their life, exude happiness, and feel effective in their professional lives?
Without further ado, here are 3 ways we can all emulate CEOs and be genuine about it:
- If you’re going to wake up early (or late), drink a full glass of water, take a deep breath, and then, begin your day.
I would be shocked if anyone reading this article has never come across the most typical piece of advice: to wake up at ungodly early hours and be productive while others are still asleep. While this arguably sets some apart from their competition, waking up early can have a much greater purpose: personal health and well-being. Waking up early means more time to spend with yourself – who wouldn’t want that?
The moment we can switch off the competitive mindset that most people often characterize as “executive” and instead develop one of self-love and care, then that is the moment that will bring each of us one step closer to true personal success.
So rather than get up and be exhausted for the sake of bragging to your colleagues about how little sleep you need, do something productive with that time: meditate, read a newspaper, start a new book, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, journal, spend time with your loved ones, and most importantly, spend time with yourself.
“I think therefore I am.” No, I am therefore I live.
- Develop close relationships with not only those you strive to be like, but also those that look up to you.
“As our own light shines, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” – Maya Angelou
We’ve all received those pesky LinkedIn requests from people that we don’t know and don’t have anything in common with – or so we assume. Conversely, I would be surprised to meet someone that has not sent a risky connection request or introduction email to someone that inspires them.
Rather than inherit a mindset that views building connections with strangers as a hassle – a burden on our already busy lives to appear successful – we all can inspire those around us that might need uplifting and advice. We should feel empowered to ask those we emulate for the same.
More connections don’t always mean more opportunities to educate and learn from those people. A more saturated feed doesn’t always translate directly into a more knowledgeable person. However, building relationships with those in your field – no matter their rank or title – can have ample benefits for all parties involved and your life.
Stay committed to learning about and growing relationships with those people that make you feel encouraged to be your best self. This might be an intern or freelancer you work with on a by-need basis, a friend that is doing well and happy in their career, or a thought leader in the industry that strengthens your passion for the work you’re doing.
- Some of your strongest networking connections may already be in your contacts.
As part of an exercise for my job, I was tasked with creating a list of 25 people that I have built relationships with over the course of this year. When I started in my role and was told of this project, to be honest I felt overwhelmed. Did I want to take time out of my already busy schedule to pay for someone’s coffee, ask them a million questions about their ‘career journey’, and then go on my merry way? Or conversely, did I want to sit in a stuffy room after work talking to strangers about the newest trends in the industry? That would be a no and no.
So, when I sat down to think about this list, I thought of possibly including connections that I have made throughout my life. I thought of classmates and sorority sisters and co-workers and friends from high school; when I began writing the list of my professional connections, I reached my goal of 25 in a matter of minutes. What was more important, however, was that I was thinking of people I hadn’t thought of in years – and I did what I had to do: reach out and re-connect.
I learned that one of my best friends from high school, who I had lost touch with over the years, was traveling the world before applying to nursing school. I grabbed coffee with a peer from a Facebook group that had recently shared about how much she loved her job and told me reasons why that was so. I took a phone call from a connection at a summer internship I had years back, who updated me on the status of the organization and department that I had once been so familiar with.
Take time to build your list of connections. The people who have the power and ability to build you up and mold you into the best version of yourself may be right under your nose – or in your contacts as “Josh Chemistry Class.”
Let’s bring life back into the work-life balance.
*Disclaimer: I am no expert in this topic. I am merely a perceptive young professional with high hopes and dreams for her future, who simultaneously believes that we have become oversaturated with advice for normal living and working styles. I believe it’s time to bring life back into the work-life balance.