Reginald Jackson, Sr. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Joyful Satisfaction Coaching, LLC (www.jscoaching.net) . He primarily works with business leaders and business owners who have a desire elevate their business and their career. Working in these areas can uncover key components and behaviors that drive his clients toward achieving their goals of finding their passion, while becoming stronger and more engaged leaders.
Having served more than 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, Reginald Jackson led and trained hundreds of Marines. This was the foundation of his leadership experience and has proven to be the driving force behind his ability to inspire those around him. Transforming that passion into coaching was a logical progression. Reginald has also served as a Support Coach and Mentor Coach for an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited coach training program (Accomplishment Coaching). You can follow Reginald Jackson on Twitter @OverYourHorizon.
In this article I would like to share the Top 10 Career Lessons that Reginald Jackson learnt in his career.
Reginald Jackson: My Top 10 Career Lessons
# 1 – Set boundaries
Just like the walls of your home, or your personal space, set boundaries. They exist as a way of identifying what belongs to you. Be prepared for resistance; it’s actually confusion. Years ago, I had a job where my boss didn’t understand what my boundaries were because I wasn’t clear! It caused me a lot of grief because I didn’t initially set the expectation until after she was already comfortable with the boundaries she had set for me. That was a hard but valuable lesson.
# 2 – It’s your job to create the relationship with your boss
Contrary to popular belief, your boss doesn’t need to get to know you (first). Start the conversation so you can become aware of their boundaries. Find out their likes/dislikes and make yourself available as a member of the team. This isn’t in opposition to the comment above; it’s actually in conjunction with. In all actuality, if you have an interview with your potential boss, that’s where the conversation/relationship begins. On the job, become more familiar with expectations. If possible, pay attention to what’s in their office. What’s on the desk, wall, or bookcase? These items can be great conversation starters and shows interest. You’d be surprised at what you can learn.
# 3 – It’s not always about you
There’s a difference between taking things literally and taking things personally. The conspiracy theorist expends a lot of unnecessary energy piecing together stories that probably don’t exist. Often times we create stories based on our own insecurities. Separating fact from interpretation is a great place to start.
# 4 – Listen first
The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” That’s more than true. What’s equally important is to listen for understanding as opposed to listening to respond. When we do the latter, we miss very important pieces of information. This calls for you to be fully present when communicating with others. I noticed a huge difference in my conversations with others when I focused more on what they were saying; not what I was planning to say. Oddly enough, people can actually tell when you’re really listening to what they have to say.
# 5 – No one’s going to teach it to you – you have to learn it
Take initiative to seek training and/or learning your way around. Depending on the organization, training may be available in some capacity. Additional training or education also makes you more valuable. This can be especially beneficial when promotion opportunities arise. It can also be to your advantage once you decide to move on. However, also be aware of any stipulations that require you to remain employed for a certain period of time after acquiring company funded training. In specialty areas, there may be a clause in the training agreement to reimburse the organization if you depart prior to the probation period.
# 6 – Always keep track of new skills (keep your resume up to date)
The longer you stay with an organization, the more comfortable you may get. Depending on your field, continuing education may be necessary. Regardless, an accurate, up to date account of your skills, training, and education makes for a handy reference. It also makes you appreciate your accomplishments.
# 7 – Know what’s in the employee handbook
It’s been said reading is fundamental. That’s more than true when you consider organizational policies and procedures. Most companies have documentation provided by the HR department that explains benefits, leave, and a host of other topics. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the contents. Being aware is much better than being surprised. Knowing your rights is always helpful, and can be crucial in the event you find yourself in a situation where you have to file a grievance or something similar. You never want this to be the case, however it’s to your benefit to become familiar with the process.
# 8 – Work to live, not live to work
Much has been written on this subject. Suffice it to say, your vocation as your occupation is a wonderful thing. We spend most of our day at work. Try considering your workplace as an atmosphere of satisfaction and accomplishment. What would it take to see it that way? Sometimes it’s really all in how you look at it. Often people look so forward to the weekend or some other event, they have no idea what happened during the week. Since everything we do is a choice, making the choice to transform your workplace is completely within your control.
# 9 – Network, network, network
It IS all in who you know. Becoming part of a community can be worth its weight in gold. Although there are professional social media sites, such as LinkedIn and the like, actually meeting people is an even more powerful way to expand your network. Developing a network that has a mix of occupations and interests also makes your life much richer. Professional AND personal contacts will create an organic web of individuals who can become incredible resources.
# 10 – Follow your passion
Confucius said, “Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Loosely translated, provided you enjoy what you do, it may not necessarily be considered as “work.” That’s not to say things don’t take effort or concentration, but if it’s a labor of love, at least you can find fulfillment in it. You may have heard it’s more important to enjoy the journey. There’s definitely some truth to that. Something else to consider is how you actually feel about the work you do. What is it teaching you about yourself or about life? Everything happens for a reason and has a purpose. Are you living your purpose? If you’re not sure, perhaps working with a coach can help. You only have one life; live it to the fullest.
What was your biggest takeaway today from Reginald Jackson’s career lessons? Which lesson are you most excited to use in your own career? I would appreciate it if you could leave a comment and/or vote for the article. If you know anyone who could benefit from this article, make sure you share it. You will be helping them out and me too! Thanks!
Author: Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin Schroeck-Singh is a trilingual Career Optimizer at www.Careerheads.com. She has an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and gained 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Her passion lies in creating multilingual, high-quality content in career matters, giving highly engaging public speeches and helping job seekers to optimize their career by providing professional coaching. She is the author of several ebooks, among them “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview” (http://careerheads.com/product/ebook-44-tips-for-a-successful-video-interview/). She has written several career and business articles for international HR and Marketing companies. Her favourite motto is “Learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime!” Follow her on Twitter @CareerHeads.