• Chris M Wilson

How to Succeed in your Career

Succeeding in any given career will take patience and sacrifice. I have been working since I was 14 years old. I have had many jobs since then and have worked in all over Canada. I now have a successful career in aviation as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

I have worked for over 8 different companies. It has been a very up and down roller coaster ride throughout my experience over the past 11 years. Due to the nature of the aviation business in Canada (very up and down season to season) I have gotten laid off from almost every single company I have ever worked for. This led to a lot of struggle financially, emotionally, and made it hard to gain traction early on.

I am happy to say that within all this struggle over many years of scraping by and working my butt off it has started to pay off greatly over the last few years or so. Within this post I hope to shed some light on how to succeed in your career through my own past.

Show up on Time

Showing up on time cannot be understated. It always seems to amaze me how many people who have a career show up late everyday. Sometimes things get in the way whether it’s traffic, your alarm not going off or whatever else, but these are all still poor excuses. Take responsibility yourself for being on time. The reality is there is no one else to blame but yourself and if you don’t understand that you will have a tough time showing up on time in general.

Showing up on time also doesn’t mean to show up at 9:00 a.m. for your 9:00 a.m. shift. It means showing up at 8:45 a.m. to get organized and ready to work starting at or before 9:00 a.m. Someone will take notice eventually and will be happy they can count on you.

If you find yourself dragging behind each morning getting to work, simply wake-up earlier. Start your day 30 minutes early if that is what it takes. You need to develop the good habit of leaving early and arriving early every single day. If you are used to showing up late you will most likely continue that negative trend. It will take some time for your body to adjust to your new schedule but it is absolutely necessary if you want to succeed in your career.

One final point I want to make is also to not be in a huge rush to leave at the end of the day. Watching the seconds on your watch count down until 5:30 p.m. while you peel out of the parking lot headed for home. I have found myself guilty of this at many different jobs over the years. When we are off the clock we want to go and do our own thing which is totally understandable. Although if you relax and don’t worry about leaving at that exact time each day and leave maybe 5 or 10 minutes later it will be noticed.

I do not believe in working all day and night for 12-14 hours to prove your worth. But if you start your day earlier, show up to work early and leave just after your shift you will be well on your way to creating a good name for yourself wherever you go. Sometimes we may be looked upon to do bigger shifts due to the nature of the job, but it should not be everyday.

Learn Everyday

Have you ever worked with someone who literally claims to know everything in existence? I have worked with many; they are hard to get along with and aren’t interested in learning other methods which may even be more efficient.

Know it all’s have a hard time in the workplace for many reasons, one of which is people get frustrated and tired with what and how they say things. If you are willing to accept that you don’t know everything and are open to learning each and everyday you will likely succeed much sooner.

When we are kids we are constantly interested and learning new things everyday. We are like sponges because we want to understand words, what certain things are and how they work. We accept that we have much to learn and are happy to listen (sometimes) to what others teach and tell us.

If you can get back into this head space of being open to learning new ways, new ideas, and more information from others you will eventually master your given career. There is always someone out there who knows more than you. It should not be a competition of who knows more but a journey where you are willing to listen to increase your knowledge and proficiency. Learn everyday in your workplace whether it’s reading books, articles, magazines, listening from others who are more experienced than you, or researching on your own.

Check your Attitude

Your attitude can be a real deal breaker in your career. If you are constantly negative or someone who just gets people on their nerves for fun, you are going to have a tough time ahead. Whether or not you have the skills to do a given task or not your attitude can be a determining factor in getting that promotion or staying at the bottom.

I would much rather work with and help someone with less experience but a positive attitude, who listens and wants to learn any new task. If someone has a ton of experience but a bad attitude towards everyone and everything it can be extremely difficult to get them to change their ways for the better.

A positive attitude is extremely important in life and in your career. It will be one of the main determining factors to the projection of where your headed in my opinion. Check your attitude before starting any job and ensure you are treating everyone how you want to be treated.

Constructive criticism from others such as your manager or boss can help aid you as well. Sometimes we may not even know we are expressing a negative attitude. If we communicate with our co-workers and constantly get feedback it can help us all improve and become all around better workers.

Relocate if need be

If you are not willing to do whatever it takes to create a solid foundation of knowledge and experience early on in your career it can affect you for many years. When you first start out in any field you need to go where the work is and where you can gain top notch experience.

This is very apparent in the aviation industry as many jobs are often remote and require people to move or fly into work. When I was going to school, I told myself I will move wherever the best opportunity arises and won’t look back. I was willing to leave and create the foundation of my career for the better.

A lot of jobs can pay more in different locations and have better perks. As far as this post goes this is for someone looking to build a strong career over years. It’s not meant for someone with a lot of experience already.

There can be a lot of competition in certain locations which can work against you when you have little to offer in terms of knowledge and skills. Moving early on can help you gain what you need to be able to move where you want to go later in your career.

Now with all the experience and knowledge I’ve gained over the past decade I’m happy to say I can live wherever I want. I tour for work, meaning I fly out to a different location to work for a set period then fly home for time off. Once you get to a certain level in any career path you will have more leverage in many areas than you had before.

Work Hard

Nobody likes working with slackers…. It’s that simple. I’m sure we’ve all had our moments, I definitely have. We need to show our bosses why we deserve to be there and that we want it more than the other guy/girl. We need to work hard each and everyday because if you won’t they may find someone that will.

When you work hard you tend to gain more skills and knowledge at a faster rate. You will be looked at as the hard-working responsible employee. People will know they can count on you to get any job done. This is great peace of mind for the owners or managers as it takes stress and worry off them.

By working hard, you are taking initiative and action showing that you can take on even more responsibilities in the future. This can lead to higher income, more flexibility in your schedule and even promotions down the road.

It will take time, but if you can consistently work hard and show your worth, you will be looked up to and someday be a leader.

Be Patient

Building a solid career is a marathon not a sprint. If you follow the steps, I’ve pointed out to develop you and your career it will most definitely pay off.

Doing something you love can help you with a deeper why to do all these things well each day rather than something you dread. It can take a lifetime to work up to become a big time CEO of a fortune 500 company. If that’s what you want, I believe it is possible. You must be patient and be in it for the long run and continue to get back up when you get knocked down.

It takes 10 000 hours to master a task, whether that is playing the guitar, a sport, a career, or anything else. If you follow these steps and put in the time, energy, and effort I am sure you will elevate your career to extreme levels. Thanks for reading my post!

Chris Wilson