When talking about building successful careers, the typical focus can be on how to move ahead of the competition and climb the corporate ladder. But 'career success' can also mean making a difference in people's professional lives and nurturing them to be the best they can be.
However you define a successful career, there are three valuable lessons that I have learnt through my years in the workforce, most recently as Managing Director of TMF Netherlands. I hope these points can help guide you to your own career success.
1. Building a successful career is not something that you do alone – you do it with others.
Contrary to popular belief, achieving personal career success isn't something you do on your own. How you contribute and what your contribution means to your clients, your company, and your colleagues helps put your success into perspective. My greatest successes were never my own, they were the team's. It was the collective that did it. That is why to me, celebrating successes as a team is so important. Embrace teamwork and help others be the best they can be, and you progress together.
2. Building a successful career means hard work from the beginning.
When I began my career, I always tried to challenge myself; go the extra mile, ensure good service while not being subservient to the client. I also took the initiative to learn. I used to ask my colleagues if they could give me their most difficult client files – which of course they gladly did! Those clients gave me a hard time, but they also gave me invaluable problem-solving experience. Within two years I became a Senior Legal Account Officer as I focused on resolving all those issues and created very good relationships with both clients and intermediaries. This resulted in strong business growth. Building a successful career isn't something you begin to do at the mid-point of your journey, it is something you must be disciplined to work hard for from the moment you begin.
3. Building a successful career means striving for work-life balance.
There have been times in my career where I have failed to set boundaries. I spent all my energy on work and piled too much on my plate. It's easy to fall into workaholic habits, especially when you're focused on putting in the hard yards. But the truth is, when you have a good work-life balance, you bring more to the table. Taking a step back helped me regain perspective. I reprioritised activities and established what was most important in my personal life.
A clear mind helps your goals come into sharper focus.
At TMF Netherlands, we offer a dynamic career experience, and support you to achieve your professional goals.
Be part of our ambitious team, apply to our vacancies and begin your global career adventure.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.