5 Career Tips to Make Your Work Life Easier In 2023

Today, I wanted to share 5 career tips to make your work life easier in 2023 and to help you advance in your career. Throughout the last few years, I have seen that when taking the driver’s seat of my own career and also day-to-day work life, I always ended up in a better, more sustainable place.

I’ve been changing my attitude towards work a few times already since starting to work full-time, almost 8 years ago. I’ve been of the opinion that – extreme – hard work is the only way to go, and you should dedicate yourself to your day – and night often – job 150%. Now, I’ve also been of the opinion – for short stints, it’s true – that work should f*** off because life is to be lived. Nowadays though, I am somewhere in between. I guess you can call me a moderate. I value more and more the benefits that a long-term career can bring to one’s life. And not only in terms of money but also in terms of shaping who we are and bringing self-fulfillment to a certain degree. However, I also love my day-to-day life outside of work. I love spending my time on little things that bring me joy – like writing on this blog.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that your work or your career should define who you are. But, I do think it impacts you quite significantly. How much and in which way? Well, that’s entirely up to you. I personally find it beautiful and essential to also have a professional self that gets to acquire expertise in a certain area and bring value to people around me or to an organization, one way or another. In addition to bringing value, I particularly get fulfillment from my relationships at work. The people whose paths I cross and the friendships I build, and that I would otherwise not encounter. But also from helping others whenever I can and even outside of my role, through some form of support, coaching or mentoring. 

But enough with this rant, because what I wanted to share with you, is that with the changes that I went through in terms of my relationship to work at given times, one constant has been the idea of building a work life on my own terms. One that I can manage to my own benefit and get joy out of. And not one where I feel like a slave to the corporate machinery. And yes, it is true that there are plenty of things that you cannot change. However, what’s truer even, is that a lot more things are under your control. Especially those that can define your day-to-day happiness.

With that, I wanted to share 5 career tips to make your work life easier in 2023 and to help you advance in your career. These tips – or principles – have helped me take control of my work life. They helped me have a much better work day-to-day compared to many of my peers. As I often observed, they were often drowning in (meaningless) work, difficult relationships with stakeholders and managers, too much stress, not standing their ground, and so on.

5 Career Tips To Make your Work Life Easier in 2023

The great part about these tips is that they’re more guiding principles. You can apply them regardless of your role or industry. They have a lot to do with how you position yourself. What you focus on at work and how you manage your relationships. So here they are, 5 career tips to make your work life easier in 2023 and to help you advance in your career:

Build your reputation at work

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know this is of utmost importance to me because it has such a big impact on your work life. Building a strong reputation takes a lot of hard work but it also pays off over time and when the time comes, it will allow you to ask for whatever you need: flexibility in your schedule, changing projects, getting more support, etc.. How? Deliver day in and day out, but do so by focusing on high-impact initiatives. Have a voice and an opinion and don’t be afraid to use it; however, beware you need to be strategic about it and not disruptive. Build relationships around you: downward, upward, and laterally; they will be your most valuable asset. This all contributes to your reputation. I also have a dedicated blog post with more tips on how to build a good reputation at work.

Network and make yourself visible

This tip for me is tightly linked with the one above. One of the most important parts of building your reputation and getting ahead at work is to network and make sure you are both seen and heard. And yes, networking also applies within your own company. Build good relationships and work on your visibility. It’s not enough to just do a good job and be quiet about it. You need to make sure that the work you do is seen and appreciated. Speak up whenever you have the chance yet be mindful about it. Connect with all sorts of people across the company, up, down, and across. If you don’t cross paths with that many people, you can also approach people for an informal coffee chat. Most people are happy to connect over coffee. Be there for your colleagues by delivering on time, helping when needed, sharing knowledge, and just being nice.

You don’t have to be an extrovert or a social beast to do this. Being a genuinely good human is usually enough. Remember that everybody is human – including your manager and your CEO – and use that to connect with people. Be kind, nice, helpful, and interested in others (not saying to overdo it or be a doormat) and people will remember this regardless of your job title. As you advance in your role, having a network of people who trust the product of your work will become invaluable. Learn that relationships are your most valuable asset and they need to be actively managed.

Take up internal initiatives to gain visibility

This one for me is an easy way to gain visibility when everything else fails, but not only. It’s especially useful if the projects you work on might not give you enough visibility. Or if your day-to-day work simply does not allow for it. You don’t have to be the brightest star if that’s not what you like, but know that exposure is power. Especially if it’s exposure to the right people. That is why I often strongly advocate for leading an internal initiative whenever you want to make yourself noticed. This will usually get you involved with leadership – either in your own department or organizational level – and that is how you get ahead; by being present in the minds of the right people.

One of the ideas you can try is to come up with a process improvement. Or put together best practices from your own areas of expertise and share that with larger audiences. You can even start with just taking a more active role in moderating team meetings. It depends a little on your team and organization and what exactly you can do. Usually, you should be able to start somewhere, even if small at the start.

Learn to manage feedback

I always say, feedback is a gift, but self-awareness is the key to unlocking it. You cannot treat all feedback the same way. Learn to take the feedback you receive with a grain of salt. You decide what goes in and what goes out. You should be your best judge so work on polishing that self-awareness so you can differentiate the feedback that is worth taking in from the one that needs to be let go of. 

Take in what you will and let go of the rest. I’ve talked about this plenty in the past and you can also have a look at a full blog post on how to handle constructive feedback here. Understanding how to process the feedback you receive is key to your long-term growth.

In essence, know that you have to filter the feedback you receive. Yes, taking in feedback and wanting to improve based on it is good. But, you also have to keep in mind who gave you the feedback and what is their own lens on life and work. Oftentimes, with office politics in place, managers and colleagues can have their own agendas so it’s good to look at things with perspective and a critical eye, and most importantly, a good dose of self-awareness.

Learn to play the office politics game on your own terms

This is another of my favorite topics. It took me a while to learn how I wanted to play into it. However, once I figured it out I haven’t looked back. For me, learning to play the office politics game on your own terms is key to getting ahead. You cannot deny office politics exist and still make it, but you can choose how you want to play the game. I for one, believe that you can do this with integrity, simply by focusing on the impact that you have. Making sure that what you do is seen and valued. I also wrote more about it and shared some tips on how to approach it in this blog post. In the end, the trick for me is to combine your hard work and expertise with building a network that will bring you the exposure you need. People have to know you in order to promote you.

So that’s it, these are the 5 career tips to make your work life easier in 2023 and to help you advance in your career; and btw here’s also an Insta reel with a summary. Being in the driver’s seat of your own career and also day-to-day work life is extremely important. It allows you to have a sustainable day-to-day and to build a work-life that you are proud of. To work on your own terms and fuel your work and career mindset for the road ahead.

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