From zero SEO knowledge to a content director. Here are 10 career growth lessons πŸ‘‡

Find humor in situations. Why so serious? There are so many reasons to laugh in the day to day. Being able to see the fun side of work not only makes you more pleasant to be around, but you enjoy your day more as well. – Michaela Mendes

10 years ago, I started freelance writing with zero marketing or SEO knowledge. Last year, I was promoted to Content Director and 10x’ed my income from year 1. Here are 10 career growth lessons I learned over the past decade πŸ‘‡
1/ Always do what you say you will do. Following through/being consistent sounds simple. It’s a lot harder to actually do. By committing to this, you maintain a realistic outlook on what’s possible given the resources and time you have. It keeps you grounded and sets you apart.
2/ Be a human first. Give yourself permission to care. You spend a lot of time with your co-workers. When you’re genuine and you bring love and compassion into the environment, it makes a world of difference.
3/ Solve problems instead of checking boxes. Everyone loves a list with every item crossed off and done. But your career changes when you stop seeing “stuff to do” and start seeing “business problems to solve.” Make your contribution about impact, not about volume of activity.
4/ Know what you want. People want to help, from your boss to your mentors. But they can’t unless you know what you’re aiming for. If you just want MORE (fill in the blank – influence, money, etc.) but don’t know what you actually want to DO…they can’t!
5/ Find humor in situations. Why so serious? There are so many reasons to laugh in the day to day. Being able to see the fun side of work not only makes you more pleasant to be around, but you enjoy your day more as well.
6/ Don’t avoid hard conversations. They don’t go away. Delaying them just makes them harder. Say what you need to say. It’s ok to be nervous, fearful, and anxious when confrontation is at hand. But none of those feelings mean you should NOT have the conversation. Do it anyway.
7/ When you’re a manager, you should listen twice as much as you talk. Just. Shut. Up. (Good Management 101) Yes, I’ve learned this the hard way. If you’re doing all the talking in your 1-1 with your direct report, it’s time to hit the pause button and start asking questions.
8/ Pause, reflect, reset. Regularly. Write a weekly recap of what you accomplished, what you learned, what you want to focus on next week. When I started doing this on Friday afternoons, Monday morning was exciting – not dreaded. Pick a cadence that works for you.
9/ Care less about your title, and more about your quality of life. I’ve chased promotions without thinking about what it meant for my daily life. Think about what you love doing first, then consider title. Advancement for advancement’s sake only leads to unfulfillment.
10/ Know the power of focus. The second you start to feel unsure of yourself, the imposter syndrome creeps in, or you’re just scattered, book 3 hours of time on your calendar. Shut off your phone, and silence notifications. Then do what you do best. Focus fixes everything.
BONUS tip: It’s okay to make a mistake. It’s not okay to never make a decision out of fear of being wrong. …that’s it! My top lessons from 10 years of making lots of mistakes and figuring it out as I go. πŸ™
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