Every person will face numerous challenges during his or her professional career. You could either see these challenges as hurdles to conquer – or problems to shy away from. Deciding to work through these challenges, rather than backing away from them out of fear, will help you meet your personal and financial goals. Here are four of the biggest professional challenges every man should accept:
Networking With Others in Your Industry
Networking requires stepping out of your professional circle in order to expand it. That often requires stepping outside of your comfort zone as well, as you interact with new people. This can be intimidating, especially if you’re networking with people you have great respect for. However, pushing through your nerves can lead to lasting friendships, a deeper understanding of your industry, and exciting job opportunities.
Remember that you have nothing to lose by reaching out to people you admire in your field. If you’re lucky, you’ll hit it off, but if not, you’re no worse than you were before you started. If you do score a meeting with someone in your industry, remember that it is your common ground. People also love talking about themselves, so ask plenty of questions and learn from their answers. Once you start networking, you’ll wonder why you were so scared.
Direct Selling to Customers
Stepping into a sales role is a challenge that fills many professionals with dread. Putting yourself in front of customers through cold calling or face-to-face meetings carries a high risk of rejection that can be frightening. However, there are plenty of reasons to step up to this professional challenge.
Direct selling to customers provides valuable business experience. You’ll improve your people skills through communicating with new clients every day. Your problem-solving abilities will also become sharper as you learn how to provide solutions that meet customers’ needs. You’re also likely to become more persuasive, a skill which will take you far in any business role.
Then there’s the extra income to consider. Direct selling jobs like working for Amway, on Forbes list of America’s largest private companies, reward contractors for the sales they make. When you sell directly to customers, the more you sell, the more you earn. The financial compensation for your success can be much more motivating than a pat on the back from a boss.
Asking for a Promotion
After years spent excelling in your job, thoughts of a promotion are likely to pass through your mind. You have two choices: sit around and hope your boss decides you’re worthy or ask for what you want. The second choice is much scarier, but also more likely to get results.
Asking for a promotion is one of the most important things you can do for your professional life. Preparation should help keep your nerves at bay. Knowing your specific accomplishments and how they’ve impacted the company will help you plead your case. Simply doing your job isn’t enough. Have examples of ways you’ve exceeded expectations, so your boss can feel confident you’re ready for a new challenge.
Few bosses will flatly reject your request. Even if the answer is not “yes,” it’s likely to be “not right now.” Did your boss say you need more education or experience? Then gain some extra qualifications or start volunteering for project management roles. If it’s just a matter of timing, make sure you revisit the matter down the track.
Working for a Start-Up
There’s one very good reason to be afraid of working for a start-up company. According to Fortune, nine out of ten of these new firms fail. If yours goes under, you won’t get the redundancy payout you would if you lost your job at a larger firm. However, you’ll come out the other side with more skills and knowledge. As start-ups have smaller workforces, you’ll enjoy more responsibility and diversity in your job than you would in a more established company. This also makes working for a start-up arguably more satisfying.
And who’s to say your start-up firm will fail? Do some research to find a company with the right product, timing, team, and finances, and there’s a chance you could work for the next Pandora or MapMyFitness.
These career challenges can be scary, but if you embrace them rather than feeling afraid, you’re sure to reap the professional and personal rewards.