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Career advice with Celia Dorr

Katie Leask

October 22, 2021 | 3 min read

Celia Dorr, Contentsquare’s Chief People Officer, shares her best advice for building a happy and successful career. From being protective of your energy to the importance of teamwork, here are five top tips for ensuring ultimate career satisfaction.

1. Prioritize yourself every day

Celia’s first piece of advice is to remember that you’re the most important person in your life, so how you talk about and treat yourself matters. The saying goes that you can’t fill someone else’s cup if your own is empty, so your relationship with yourself is one of the most important things to cultivate.

“Get to know yourself and be kind to yourself first. That’s how you’ll be able to be good to others and do things in alignment with who you are without being influenced,” Celia says.

And this counts just as much in your personal life as it does in your career, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure you’re looking after yourself every day. Whether that’s exercising regularly, eating healthily, or high-fiving yourself in the mirror every morning, regular habits of self-care will help you thrive in your career and beyond.

 

2. Be protective of your energy

There are only so many hours in the day, which means being purposeful about how you spend your time is a must. “Focus your time and energy on what matters the most,” says Celia. “This can be life and career projects, but it’s also people.” 

The relationships you have at work (and outside it) have the power to influence and shape your daily life, so practice being as mindful as you can about who you allow into your space. Obviously, you can’t always pick and choose who you work with and it’s likely we all have certain colleagues whose energy doesn’t quite align with our own, but we can certainly take steps towards creating better situations for ourselves.

Whether it’s taking 15 minutes each day to have a coffee with a supportive colleague, politely but firmly setting boundaries about your working hours, or preparing a strict meeting agenda for a colleague who has a tendency to go off-topic, by protecting your energy you’ll avoid feelings of burnout.

 

3. Don’t become reward-obsessed

“If you’re only working for the reward, you’re not going to do a good job. But if you’re doing a good job, the reward will come,” advises Celia.

Often in life, we can become obsessed with the end goal; the promotion, the finalization of a big project, the yearly bonus. But if we’re only working for the reward, the output can become sidelined. 

That’s why it’s important to find a career you enjoy—the more you love what you do, the better your mindset and output will be. And with a positive working environment and dedication, the rewards will come anyway. (And if they don’t, it might be time to think about raising your voice or moving on). 

 

4. Cultivate an open-minded attitude

As humans, it’s common to resist change, especially when the alternative can be daunting or entirely unknown. But if you truly want to grow, it’s important to be as open-minded as you can. 

While a complete career change or taking on a new project might seem scary, it could also be one of the best decisions you ever make. And if it doesn’t work out? Then at least you learned something.

“Be open to new opportunities,” says Celia. “See things as chances, not risks!”. When you retrain your mind to see each scary situation as an opportunity for learning and development, you’ll be amazed at the doors that can open up to you. “You have to learn to fail, or you’ll fail to learn anything!” Celia adds.

So for the next few months, every time you think “this is a risk and I might fail”, try and replace the voice in your head with “this is an incredible opportunity to learn something new”. And see what happens.

 

5. Teamwork makes the dream work

Building a team of people around you who believe in what you’re doing and are great at what they do is Celia’s last piece of advice. As she puts it: “You’re only as good as your team.” And that’s why it’s so important to build a diverse, enthusiastic, and supportive team. 

The more different voices and experiences you can draw inspiration from, the more inclusive and creative you’ll be—a truly diverse team is where the real magic happens. 

And it’s just as important to check in on your team regularly, too. When your colleagues feel listened to, supported, and celebrated they’ll lift you (and everyone else) up and create a beautiful working environment. 

That’s why being a good manager is just as much about leadership as it is about delivering against targets, so make sure you save time each week to check in on your team and those around you. Listen to their feedback and give them a safe space, free of judgment, where they can be open and honest with you.