Powerful Habits To Build Your Career Every Day

When you make your daily to-do list you're choosing your habits. Here's how to make sure they are moving you closer to where you want to be.

Aristotle might as well have been doling out career advice when he said that "we are what we repeatedly do." This aphorism has taken on contemporary resonance in books like Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit. The hope is that if we sculpt our daily to-dos, we sculpt our workdays, and we can sculpt our careers.

But what are we to do every day? Careers expert J.T. O'Donnell recently shared her list. Head over to LinkedIn to check out her full managerial daily doings—we'll discuss the most career-expanding ones below.

"Read something related to my industry"

If you want to develop in-demand skills, you need to know what's being demanded—being informed is part of career planning.

"Send two emails to touch base with old colleagues"

The more connections you have, the more ideas you'll be exposed to. The more new ideas you're exposed to, the better chance you can innovate. So learn to nourish your network.

"Post five valuable pieces of content on all my major social media accounts"

No matter what your Twitter bio says, your personal brand is what people take away from their interactions with you. So don't bombard them with clichés—give them something valuable.

O'Donnell says that while her full list could be much longer, she sticks to the same 10 because she can accomplish them consistently, which is one way of gathering momentum. And if your list unfurls out of your reach, you might want to hack it with the 1-3-5 Rule.

What's most important for you to get done every day? Let us know in the comments.

10 Things To Do Every Workday

[Image: Flickr user Luis Argerich]

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  • Walter Anastazievsky

    Really? I can believe "stay informed and educated about my industry" and "keep in touch with old colleagues," and maybe even "find and share useful information" - the sharing part relating to maintaining visibility on social media. Though that last one seems superfluous unless you're in sales, marketing/PR - or job hunting.

    Now, those things might not sound as zippy as the original list, but a formula that says "2 of this, 5 of that per day" turns it into an activity rather than focusing on the underlying principles. And five "valuable pieces of content?" Either you're spending half your day looking for five actually valuable items, or your posting marginal content in order to make your quota. Judging by the things posted all over social media - I'm guessing most people are opting for the latter.

  • Dana Starr Bowler

    My career will do wise if I keep cheerleading others' smart work. I try to find the cool stuff my network is working on and shamelessly promote it. Cause, dang. They're smart.

  • Theresa Rich

    This Aristotle quote is the one I have written on my office window this week. One of my daily habits is to seek out one person to listen & learn about what they are doing/excited about at work.

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