10 Things You Should Know To Boost Your Career
Hi, I'm Nicholas, the founder and podcast host of Ekho Academy. We share with you tools and strategies to improve your career.
When I started recording the podcast, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it as much as listening to other podcasts.
As it turned out I prefer it quite a lot more.
I suppose Tim Ferriss had a point when he said to interview people who have the answer to your burning questions.
So now that I've successfully completed a mini-milestone of 10 episodes, I'd like to share with you one key point I've learned from each episode that'll boost your career.
Some you might already know.
Others may be a revelation.
Either way, I'm confident you'll take away something from this post.
Here they are in order of episodes.
EP1: Job interviews: Focus on the similarities and sell the differences
There is so much you can learn about interviewing well.
Every job has its specific requirements. And every interviewer has his/her own interviewing style.
But all things equal, and you're pressed for time, just remember this...
When it comes to the job you're applying for, focus on the similarities and sell your differences.
Make sure you iterate the similarities in your experience and the requirements of the job.
And whatever difference in skill in relation to the job, figure out and explain why it's a plus to the role and the company.
So whenever you're struggling during an interview, just bring it back to this core principle.
You can listen to the full episode on
EP2: The 5 key elements to eliminate fatigue at work
It's easy to get lost in the science of eliminating fatigue or preventing burnout due to the demands of work.
So here are 5 elements that help you feel fresh and energised daily.
- 4Environmental toxins
I won't go into detail because my guest, Alexander Mearns, shares with us a clear way to think about each of them in relation to your individual make up.
So I would highly recommend listening to this episode if you're constantly finding yourself feeling fatigued and/or burned out.
What I will share with you are the 3 things Alex suggested to get started.
Firstly, eat breakfast. And if you are eating breakfast, try to get it as healthy as possible.
Personally, this suggestion has been very valuable for me.
I never used to eat breakfast because eating early in the morning wasn't something I was used to since I was in school.
What I didn't realise was that without breakfast,
- 1I was not as energetic as I could be until lunch, and
- 2I would overeat at lunch because I was so hungry, which made me lethargic in the afternoon.
Eating a good breakfast, allowed me to function better throughout the day. And this small change has impacted me greatly.
Secondly, sleep. The moment you come home from work, keep your lights as dim as possible. You want to simulate an environment that prepares you for sleep.
Bright lights suppresses melatonin. Whereas darkness increases your melatonin, which causes you to feel sleepy.
Thirdly, get more movement in your life. If you have enough time, do more walking.
And if you're pressed for time, find practical solutions.
Get off the bus one stop earlier or take the stairs up to your apartment.
We have more power than we think. And this particular episode really helped me implement practical strategies that helped make me feel more energised.
EP3: A simple way to accumulate meaningful experiences
This interview with Allison Carr highlighted something I think most of us would have glossed over.
My final question to her was,
"what would the Allison of today advice the Allison of 23 year's old when she was moving to a new country".
Allison's answer stopped me in my tracks because it turned the question on its head.
She mentioned that she has bigger fears now then when she was 23 year's old.
As you become more senior in your career the failures seem more catastrophic. And as a result, you take less risks.
But in hindsight, it was the fearlessness that allowed Allison to accumulate the experiences she needed to get to where she is today.
So never shy away from taking the risks that excite you as much as it frightens you.
Listen to Allison's enlightening interview on
EP4: A 5-minute practice to destress at work
In this episode, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) coach, Erin Lee shared with me a simple 5-minute exercise to help us destress by being more mindful.
Get a cup of coffee, tea, or water. The goal is to pay attention to this cup using all 5 senses.
For the full instructions, which starts at minute 32, check out the episode on
EP5: Why being rejected from a job is not personal
This episode hit home for me.
Searching for a job, especially while unemployed, was a really stressful and scary experience for me.
As a result, I took every rejection personally.
Both Fay & Emily reminded me of three important points.
- 1It's easier to land a job through networking then direct applications on job portals.
- 2If you've been passed over for a job, it's not personal. They just found someone more suitable. It's literally a numbers game.
- 3Politely accept the rejection. Your interviewer may like you enough to suggest another role or recommend you for a job at a different company.
But I'd love to hear your thoughts on these points because I've had a few disagreements over it.
Regardless, this episode is a must listen.
We all go through job hunting phases. So it's better to be prepared when it arrives.
Listen to the episode on
EP6: The formula for a good client relationship
Client relationships are not always easy.
Humans are complicated creatures that don't always react to the same thing in the same way.
But my friend Shi Yun simplified the key to having a good client relationship into a formula:
(Respect + Trust) x Time
Like any relationship, if there isn't a basic level of respect, it means that one party feels they are of a higher standing.
Similarly, if there is no trust, it means that you've either been misled before or you don't think that the person matches up to your requirements.
Both are a recipe for disaster.
However, what makes or breaks the relationship is how respect and trust changes, for better or worse, over time.
It's a powerful formula.
And it's worth remembering if you want to develop a good (client) relationship.
Listen to the full episode on
EP7: Success is not only about performance, it's about recovery
It's not everyday I get the chance to interview an Olympic level track & field coach. So it was a privilege to pick Troy Engle's brain on what it took to reach peak performance.
Troy made a point that really stood out.
He said the resources are out there for you to perform at your peak.
However, to consistently perform at your peak requires a very disciplined recovery regime.
Energy is finite.
So you have to recharge your batteries as much as you use them. If not you're never going to be consistent, which is the key to success.
This episode was very enlightening as it provided an insight into how top performers reach their best at the right time.
Listen to the episode on
EP8: The formula for fulfilment
The beauty of great teachers is that they can simplify a complex issue so anyone can understand it. Susan de Silva, who is an executive coach, is no different.
My favourite lesson from her was the formula for fulfilment.
Being = Doing
Being refers to who you are and the values you hold.
Doing refers to your day to day actions.
If your actions don't map to who you are, there can be no fulfilment.
So keep track of this every day. It'll keep you on the right path.
Listen to the full episode on
EP9: A simple trick to ace your next networking event
Justin suggested we see small talk for what it is - a way to find people you can connect with.
So before your next networking session, make sure you
Listen to the full episode on
EP10: The 3Cs of personal growth - Create, Collaborate, Connect
Deborah is the CEO of an Ed Tech company. So it was really insightful to learn how her clients work with her to enable learning within an organization.
But the most powerful point Deborah brought up was the 3Cs of personal growth - create, collaborate, connect.
Create. The best way to grow in your career is to constantly find opportunities to create. Create new systems and processes, products and services, or opportunities for innovation.
When it comes to your career, you are "judged" on the value you can create. So never miss an opportunity to do so.
Collaborate. There is a ceiling to personal growth if you're doing it on your own. So always take the opportunity to collaborate with others so you can exponentially increase your rate of progress.
Connect. What is life without personal connection? Furthermore, what is a career without a strong network? You are the company you keep. So keep the right company.
If you're interested in learning how to learn from the best people in your company, listen to the episode on
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