Career & Salary

Three crucial factors for a successful career

There are many ways to shape your career successfully. Some people enter quickly into a specific field, for instance decide for a certain study program as a career foundation. Afterwards they start their first job, and maybe change position(s) after some time, because they found out that a new position might be more suitable to their emotional needs, and that they feel more comfortable compared to the old one. These people are mainly driven by their feelings, and job decisions are made accordingly.

Other people have a more strategic approach and decide for a specific study program after having compared different jobs’ advantages, disadvantages and also study options. They do not follow their feelings in the first place, but rather the results of their analysis. They work hard to achieve their initial goals that they have set earlier and not seldom follow a strict career plan.

Both ways can be successful (or not), and there are many other examples of specific circumstances and individual career approaches. Many young people especially in China make decisions because of opportunities they consider being worth to pursue. It is very hard and also not necessary to evaluate which of these approaches are better than others. Because cultures, educational environments, family expectations or influences, personalities, attitudes and personal values are so different. However, there are some crucial characteristics of successful career paths that can be outlined in order to support young people in making better decisions right from the beginning of their professional careers.

Love your job

To be interested in the contents of your job is the best foundation of a happy (working) life and to have a successful career. A substantial part of the day is spend time with working. It would be a huge problem, if this time was not a satisfying and positive time (and for many people this actually is a huge problem). Eight, nine or ten hours pass by quickly if you love what you do. But if you are not satisfied with your work, every minute passes by so slowly, and every day becomes a torture. There is a saying in Germany: “99% of the work is done, if you are interested in it!”

Avoid being a job hopper

A second point to highlight is that the decision to change your job should be made very carefully. Especially in China there are many people who only stay with a company for several months up to one year and then change to another (better paying) company. Those peoples CV looks very scattered with short episodes of work for numerous employers. Such a job hopping behavior – if it continuous over many years – might demonstrate that such a person does not want to commit to any employer. From such a person HR departments usually do not expect a high degree of problem-solving competence or the ability to deal with challenges. Most of companies like to hire people who have already demonstrated loyalty and consistency.

Must have: work-life balance

In addition, a good balance between work and private life seems to be crucial for a consistently successful career. People who for example regularly work overtime in an extreme way are often less productive than people who can organize themselves and their work efficiently. People who often work overtime are also more at risk to get sick or to enter into a state of depression. Another problem is that often private relationships also suffer from this, which can lead to an unstable emotional environment. A good approach is to work with interest and enthusiasm (also from time to time overtime if necessary for a good outcome of a project), but also to pursue private goals including quality time with the partner, the family or in sports or other leisure activities.

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