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Get off to a successful start with the ABCs of career – Part 3
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Get off to a successful start with the ABCs of career – Part 3

Kinga Bartczak

Welcome to the third and last part of my personal career ABCs. In the first two parts, you learned a lot from A for authenticity to I for inspiration and from J for job change to R for space. Now get more exciting tips on how to shape your personal career path. 

S – Failure

Forget about your childhood nursery with all the rules and guidelines that say you have to successfully finish everything you started. Remember one thing: Failure is part of a successful career! Just take a look at famous careers. Their path is usually not marked by a straightforward curriculum vitae, but by upheavals, exits and failures. And what comes out of it? Something bigger and better. We humans are the only ones who can learn from your mistakes through reflection and thus develop further.

T – ability to work in a team

Demonstrating the ability to work in a team does not mean that you must never again complete a project alone or give up the solitary work in the office that you may prefer. The important thing in team play is to test your tolerance for other opinions and attitudes. They also get the opportunity to close their own knowledge gaps through the know-how of others and to develop themselves further. Even if it is sometimes chaotic and teamwork is often tiring, stay positive and grow through the team, beyond yourself.

Career ABC - Ability to work in a team

U – Judgment

Good judgment becomes more important as you take on more responsibilities in your job. Get help with this! It is not always advisable to make all decisions with yourself. Why not ask a professional expert or an older colleague who has more experience for advice? Many leaders have particular difficulty with this point. The consequences of every decision are sometimes not immediately foreseeable, and some people still rack their brains over the consequences, even after work. Why not ask a good coach or a business consultant? Of course, at the first moment this means an additional financial expense, but the result is usually positive. This allows you to approach decisions with greater conviction and confidence, rather than always having to question your judgment. In addition to professional help, it does not hurt to work with lists (pro/con) or to use the famous “sleep on it” method. Listen to your gut feeling and follow it, because your hesitation is mostly just a result of your insecurity and you will get rid of this more easily if you learn to trust your own judgment better.

V – Vision

Having a vision in life will be a great support for you. It’s not just about the vision of having a family, a nice house or a good job, but something concrete. With each professional step, try to imagine the domino effect it will have on your further career and form your personal life vision from it. By the way, restrictions have no place in this area. A vision thrives on possibilities and dynamic change, not obstacles. Do not think about the imaginary doors which close behind you. Focus much more on the many new opportunities which are opening up for you.

W – Further development

Professional development is very important for newcomers to the profession, active professionals, as well as those re-entering the profession, and should not be neglected under any circumstances. Take advantage of any educational bonuses and vouchers that are made available to you. Even one-day coaching can be useful for personal development. Language courses in conjunction with a language study trip are also a good way of gaining further qualifications. You can even apply for special educational leave for this purpose. The important thing here is: don’t stand still, because everyone around you is continuing to educate and qualify themselves, and you should seize the opportunity to always expand your horizons.

X – make xe

A simple but almost magical formula that will make you feel great at the end of a long day at work. Always put a red “x” behind every task you have completed or every milestone you have completed in your life that marks another turning point for you. Believe me: banish all short- as well as longer-term goals and tasks on paper and read them to yourself again loud and clear. You’ll find that any task suddenly doesn’t seem so far away or too big when you’re written down. Don’t mentally check off your tasks, but make a clear and big “X” next to each milestone you achieve in your life. The liberating effect of such a list is ultimately much greater than a brief mental recognition that something has been accomplished.

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YOLO is short for the phrase “you only live once”, which means: you only have one life – so don’t waste it through fears, negative thoughts, anger or jealousy. Other than war, violence, death and disease (which is far enough), there is really nothing to be afraid of, especially in the professional world.  No one wants to stay in a bad job, earn little money or even become unemployed, but sometimes you have to go unconventional ways to find the right path. As you have already read on the subject of failure, lateral thinking or even changing jobs, there is only one thing missing in your life to break out of your comfort zone: Courage. Courage to change, courage to make a radical break, courage to dare something new. You will quickly realize: As long as you are healthy and have loving people around you, a low-paying job or a temporary period of unemployment will not harm you. Show greatness and overcome your pride. Enter new areas of work, even if that means having to “dig in” again as an intern at first. Sometimes we have no choice in the blows of fate that befall us, but we always have a choice in how we deal with them.

Z – Time management

Career ABC - Time ManagementMy last tip within my personal career ABC is on the subject of time. Time management at work is indispensable and an integral part within project work. However, it is particularly important to me to also draw your attention to consciously taking time for your work and acknowledging that some things also take a certain amount of time. Our world is becoming increasingly fast-paced and sometimes you get the impression that after a certain age, tolerance for job changes, further training or language trips becomes increasingly lower. Do not let this worry you. Look around for Role Models in your area and let them inspire you! You never stop learning in life, even if it slows down a bit as you get older. If you want to start another job at 50, your new employer can only benefit from your years of work and life experience. In a world that seems to be spinning faster, don’t stand still. Think about it calmly. Wish, hope, and doubt, because that is part of being human, as long as you choose to act in the end.


Have you ever worked with a visualization of your career path and if so, how did you design it? How would you design your personal career ABC? At what point would you have additions?

About the author

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Kinga Bartczak advises, coaches and writes on female empowerment, new work culture, organizational development, systemic coaching and personal branding. She is also the managing director of UnternehmerRebellen GmbH and publisher of the FemalExperts magazine .

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