Confident Leader

9 things you shouldn’t sacrifice for your career

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A sacrifice is something you’re willing to give up for something else—usually for the improvement of one or the other but sometimes to the detriment of yourself. This is the case with wanting to get ahead with your career and business…there are sacrifices that have to be made (you’ll find 9 of those here). But sometimes there are things you shouldn’t have to sacrifice. Even for the most successful career or business..

So in balancing the scales between your career and what you’re willing to give up for it, you need to weigh up your priorities very carefully, and decide whether or not what you might sacrifice is worth giving up for your career.

1. Your family (and friends)

Your friends and family are important and, at the end of the day, they’re the ones who will always be there for you. *Cue Friends theme song* That’s why no career or business is worth your family and friends not being there with you to enjoy it.

So, no matter what your job is or where it takes you, don’t forget them. Stay in touch, talk and see them as often as possible.

2. Your identity

While your work may be important to you and be part of your identity, it’s not your entire identity. That’s where your hobbies and social life come into play because they’re the things that also make you… you.

So always know and remember who you are. And if you need reminding, talk to your friends and family. They’ll help remind you.

3. Your backbone

No matter what your position or role is or how much coworkers higher up than you may dislike you, never lose your backbone or shy away from letting them know poor treatment of you—and others— is not alright. Stand up and speak up.

But standing up to them doesn’t have to be—and shouldn’t be—a showdown screaming match in the work place or parking lot. Instead, try having a normal conversation with them, perhaps with a mediator if the situation calls for it, to discuss their behavior and treatment of you and others and how it makes you feel.

4. Your soul

If you sacrifice your soul to find success, then it won’t be worth much. Honest success does not come at the cost of who you are and actually comes after years of hard work, taking chances and working your way up the ladder. Your soul is the very essence of who you are.

5. Your self-respect

Doing things that feel wrong to you is a great way to lose your self-respect and is something that you shouldn’t sacrifice for your career. Doing so because you think it’s expected of you is not a good career move because it won’t be what you expect from yourself — and is an unreasonable and unfair expectation for anyone to have of you.

6. Your purpose

When you decide what career you want to pursue and you start working in that profession or launch that business—and even when you’re trying to decide what you should do—keep in mind what your purpose is in life, and in why you’re choosing that path.

This is not to say that you may not become disenchanted down the line and wonder if you should keep pursuing this path or wonder if you should change it.

But if and when this happens, remind yourself of why you chose it and you’ll either become reinvigorated and keep going ,or realize that something has changed that makes you need to stop doing it.

7. Your integrity

Your standards of integrity are the things that help keep your principles and values in place and are your metaphorical ‘swim between the flags’ boundaries that remind you of the lines you won’t cross for any reason.

8. Your health and well-being

No matter how busy things get at work or how much take-out you eat during late work nights, don’t forget that you have to look after your health and well-being. And while you may have health/life insurance and health and dental cover, you’re the only one who’s really in charge of your health.

9. Your legacy

At the end of your career, what do you want your legacy to be and how do you want to be remembered? Is it that you had a sensible career that never really amounted to anything? That you were a kind and fair, but tough human being and boss/co-worker that achieved everything you set your mind to? Or that you sold out everything you ever believed in and screwed over everyone who crossed your path?

Everything you do now, or have done previously, can be a strong indicator of what you’ll do in the future and how you’ll be remembered by friends, family, co-workers, employees and the public.

And while you may say now that you “don’t care or put stock in reputation”—others do and it’s probably them who will decide how you’ll be remembered, if you don’t.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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