Career tips: Keep calm and have a successful career

Everybody knows one. Well-balanced and successful, and calm yet clear in their statements and actions: these super achievers often pop up in the working world. Read our top 10 tips to find out what we can learn from these multitalented people, and why they achieve more both in work and at home.

Career tips: Keep calm and have a successful career


1. The early bird catches the worm
Scientific research has found that the human body is most effective in the first few hours after getting up. A good level of fitness, wakefulness, quick reaction times and efficiency create the ideal conditions for a productive start to the day. Make good use of morning hours to get those tasks that require the most concentration out of the way.
2. Stay focused
That much-quoted adage, ‘Carpe Diem’ (‘seize the day’), only works when you learn to tune out external influences and distractions that stop you from getting priority tasks done. In addition, regularly try to optimise your working conditions, by occasionally working from a home office that’s been specially adapted to meet your needs.
3. Make the best use of your time
Stay realistic when you plan your time, because only then are time plans actually time savers. When you make to-do lists, keep in mind that the routine tasks and little jobs are often particularly time-intensive. Also, keep your working desk organised so that you can work effectively.
4. Act, don’t react
In general, it’s important for both your work and private life that you are aware of and can express what you want and don’t want. Be aware of your boundaries in terms of time and your own capabilities, but don’t underestimate yourself. Make decisions based on your personal resources and wishes, because that’s the only way to lead your life proactively, instead of just reacting to external influences.
5. Celebrate successes
Actively enjoy the moment after you’ve signed off a project or finished a task and before you tackle the next challenge. Give yourself a suitable reward, like a fun activity or something special that you’ve had your eye on, but wouldn’t usually have bought. A perceived sense of achievement helps you to tackle the next topic with confidence, motivation and maximum concentration.
6. Seek personal satisfaction
A good work-life balance relies on 4 main elements: 1. a fulfilling work life, 2. bodily exertion through sport, healthy eating and periods of relaxation, 3. keeping up social contacts and 4. personal fulfilment. The last element is particularly important!
7. Get to know yourself
Be your own biggest observer and ask yourself regularly why you react the way you do in certain life or work situations. Accept that you do have personal limitations, and that you occasionally may not be able to take on everything that’s asked of you. Being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses helps you to develop further and know yourself better.
8. Switch off properly
It’s very important that our bodies can relax at the end of the working day. Learn how to switch off properly and forget any tasks or challenges that may be causing you problems at work. When you continue to focus on work problems outside the office, the body reacts by producing stress hormones, as if it were still at work. Generally, the better your ability to switch off and separate work from home, the better your work will be.
9. Plan in time buffers
A full schedule masks potential additional causes of stress. Plan sufficient time buffers into your day so you can take time for things like spontaneous visits from friends. Also, be sure to make use of scheduled break times to do absolutely nothing.
10. Learn from others
Learn from the successes and mistakes of others instead of comparing yourself with them. Focus on your personal goals and think who or what could help you to achieve them. Do you need advice from a more experienced colleague? Listen to them, then use their expertise to help you move forward.
Are you looking for a varied and exciting job? Engel & Völkers offers ideal working conditions. Apply today via our Careers site.

Engel & Völkers

Shop 21 The Emporium Centre Sandown Road
7441 Sunningdale, Cape Town
South Africa
+27(0)21 554 2942

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