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This week’s topic is a little out there, but stick with me. Once again, my thoughts on this topic are fully summed up in my book, The Proactive Professional. So below, I provide a short excerpt:
Building Career Karma
I strongly believe in the concept of karma, the Buddhist belief that your actions in this life will come back to you in the next. Only, I don’t think karma waits for reincarnation. I think your actions come back to you in this life, especially when it comes to your career.
The word “karma” comes from a Sanskrit word which means “action, effect, fate.” Seems like a logical progression. If you’re going to be proactive, you want to think about the actions you’re taking, the effects you’re creating, and the fate you’re setting yourself up for.
The choices we make come back to us like boomerangs in very real and tangible ways. It’s not by power of some mystical force; it’s just the way the world works. Building Career Karma means recognizing this truth and doing your best to create a positive future by living a positive present.
The working world is a small place. Every day, people move around and get promoted. You never know when you’re going to bump into someone you worked with years ago. Your co-worker today could be your boss next year.
The simple lesson? Be a nice person. Present yourself professionally to everyone. Always be polite, show respect and act with integrity. That colleague who irritates you today could be your best client tomorrow. You just never know.
Also recommended: How to Respectful at Work: My 4 Essential Rules
Your reputation follows you everywhere. It can be your strongest asset or your biggest liability. Once you’ve become known for being untrustworthy, dishonest or unethical, the word will spread far and wide. Remember that work is not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to make others “lose” in order for you to “win.”
Finally, keep in mind that the concept of Career Karma isn’t about doing nice things for others with the expectation of getting something in return. It’s about creating a professional life you can be proud of. The rewards will naturally follow if your heart is in the right place.
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