You finish work at 6 pm, go to bed at 12 midnight.
Within these six hours, how do you spend them?
In fact, the activities you do between 6 am and 12 midnight, the importance of it is beyond your imagination.
Too many people believe that, your career is determined by the 8 hours of hard work and effort you put at work, and your future and career progression depend on the boss and the company.
But the reality is that for most people, this thing, you are on your own…..
“Cultivation”, it’s forever dependent by yourself.
If you found yourself not progressing in life, you cannot blame and put the responsibility on your company for not grooming you.
1. What you do every night is important
My major in college was marketing, but I expect to become a designer.
So I practiced day and night, picking up some freelance work to improve my design skills.
It took me a long time.
When I became a boss, I no longer need to involve myself in design work, so I went back to the Marketing field.
Every day, when my children are sleeping, I began learning to gain more knowledge, this again took me a long time,
But I begin to realise my returns.
If I rely on my working hours to gain skills, then I will never have become a creative director and a product manager, or like today, teaching MBA students on Marketing.
What I rely on, is myself giving myself “lessons”.
And the most successful people I knew, walked the same path as I am.
I have a friend who is a History graduate, but he is interested in technical sales.
In the day, he does telemarketing, at night he learns how to code,
Finally, he became the vice president of sales in a startup company.
Now, he’s a CTO.
I have another friend, he received a degree in political science.
But he’s very interested in entrepreneurship.
He learnt a lot of knowledge on how to start up a company, eventually, he founded a company and sold it.
Now he has reaped the rewards.
For them, what they do between 6 pm till 12 midnight, is what determined their future.
Clearly, we need to balance life and work.
If you have a wife and children, every night, you have to stay with them.
Even if you are single, you also need a reasonable allocation of time to go to the gym, to meet with friends, or be alone to meditate and so on.
Of course, watching movies, playing games is good.
But there are things you do not need to do.
For example, watching the new season of a Netflix drama, 14 hours per week watching television (This is the average amount of time watching television).
The time spent playing the game Candy Crush. Or spending time stalking your high school alumni on Facebook, it does not seem to be good.
So what should you do?
2. Read more, anything will do!
My college mentor was born in Alabama, a poor African family.
He was admitted to West Point Military Academy, and he became the first person in the family to go college.
Before going to Havard for his MBA, he’s a trained officer.
When I met him, he has already developed his career in the city of Colorado Springs.
I asked him, what’s his biggest success?
He replied, because he kept the habit of reading, and he never stopped.
He believed that if you want to get what you want in life, knowledge is the key.
He often asked his interviewees what book are they reading now, the excellent ones can give an answer immediately.
Reading can give you a good headstart, this is often what your peers cannot obtain.
Compared to others, you are more likely to know other industries strategies and tactics, and that may be helpful to your company.
You can transfer your knowledge within the organization, create new possibilities for your company.
Moreover, your conversation topics will become more interesting.
Anthony Robbins said:
“If you spend one hour a day to learn about a topic, a year later, in this regard, the knowledge you gain will be more than 99.999% of the world’s people.”
Even if you have 30 minutes every night, each week you can easily read a book.
You may not be an expert, but I promise, you’ll know more than what your peers know.
3. Do some projects
You can apply the knowledge learnt to real work scenario, this is only an ideal state.
If your company did not give you this opportunity, create opportunities for yourself.
You can do some volunteer projects. They can bring you fame.
Working with a team, you’ll understand how things work.
In the practical application of the industry, and how it ultimately affect actual customers.
You’ll learn how to perform the task and meet deadlines, and get feedbacks on what you are doing, and benefit from it.
When you are not strong enough, these experience may not have any value to you.
But you are still a novice, these experiences are far more valuable than the miserable pay you are getting.
If you can really convince others of your pockets of fruits of labour,
Then go try it. But do not let these private jobs affect your work.
4. Actively build your connections
In your career path, a strong network of connections will make everything accelerate.
If you have not set up your own personal connections, you’ll need to divide a portion of your time to do this.
A strong network of relationships, can enable you:
contact smart friends, and learn their opinions
get information and knowledge that are difficult to obtain
help the company look for more potential partners
or income generating opportunities
Go get to know your work colleague or boss…..
If you are an entrepreneur, your network connections will be your early customers, your staffs are a source of capital rather than go home, or going to a bar, you should find some inner circles.
There are many small groups which are highly relevant to your career.
You should try to integrate into these circles.
Every week, you can drink coffee together with new friends, go drinking or have breakfast.
You can also look into everyone’s career developments on LinkedIn.
And establish a network with mentors in those professional industries.
They may be your next job employer, who knows?
Your connections will be your most powerful asset in the workplace.
Since you have time to watch “The Voice of China”,
you have time to build a social network.
5. The CHANGE of your LIFE starts TONIGHT
6 pm to 12 am, you go home, though physically and mentally tired, you are free to do anything and do not have to take orders from others.
During this time, you can switch off like switching off your computer at your workplace, switch off your brain.
But you can also do something, make you smarter, stronger, have a wider network of people.
From the start tonight, take an hour a day to do these things, I guarantee that after a year, your career, and life will change.
Written by Kalyana Sundaram