10 Learnings From a Career Spanning 10 Years

June 23, 2022

A recent survey of successful people was conducted, in which they were asked what they had learned during their career phases. You may be surprised by the answers. Did they say anything about learning advanced software, or perhaps finding a mentor?

No. Character and how to go through life were the most important lessons learned.

My career provided me with a lot more than just a regular paycheck, benefits, and on-the-job training benefiting me with valuable life lessons in the workplace as well. Learning and progressing from these experiences have been valuable for both my personal and professional growth. In this blog, I have outlined my 10 learnings during my 10 years of experience.

Here are my 10 learnings from a career spanning 10 years:

  1. Own up mistakes
  2. Say-Do ratio = 1
  3. Offer credit where it is due
  4. Bring solutions, not problems
  5. Summarize
  6. Follow up
  7. Measure success
  8. Build trust
  9. Find mentors
  10. Provoke feedback

1. Own up mistakes

  • Bad news doesn’t get better with time. 
  • Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t waste time trying to avoid blame.
  • Notify who needs to know immediately, fix it if you can, and move on. 

2. Do what you say (Say-Do ratio = 1)

  • It seems obvious, but most don’t do it. 
  • If you set a deadline or promise to follow up by a certain day — just do it. 
  • If a deadline is at risk, proactively explain why and what you’re doing about it.

3. Offer credit where it is due

  • Nobody succeeds alone. Make sure people know who helped you. 
  • Praise in public, and give feedback in private. 

4. Bring solutions, not problems

  • Nobody wants to discuss what is wrong.
  • They want to know what you’re going to do about it.
  • Never surface an issue without at least 2 to 3 potential solutions. 

5. Summarize

  • End every meeting/interaction by summarizing the decisions that were made and why. 
  • If you can’t succinctly explain what was discussed, you wasted that meeting.

6. Follow up

  • No one is going to help you unless you help yourself. 
  • People forget, people get busy, and people procrastinate. 
  • Follow up to get things done. 

7. Measure success

  • Define what is important. 
  • Revenue. User growth. Traffic. 
  • Then track it. Talk about it at least weekly and monthly, if not daily.

8. Build trust

A team that doesn’t trust is doomed to fail. Build trust by: 

  • Genuinely caring about your team
  • Including people in decision-making
  • Giving people autonomy and ownership
  • Doing what you say

9. Find mentors

  • If you’re relying on one boss to improve your skills, you’re missing out. 
  • Find people that are doing what you want to do and are good at what you’re not. 
  • Learn from them. 

10. Ask for feedback

  • You can’t get better without it.
  • You should be giving and getting real-time feedback from your team.
  • If you’re not, ask for it. And then thank them for it.
  • Feedback is a gift. 

Learning in the flow of work is one of the most effective levers accessible to business leaders today. I’ve been meticulously using these ten lessons as needed, and they’ve empowered me not only professionally but also with personal satisfaction.