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Challenging yourself to achieve career progression

It's very easy to get stuck in a rut at work and feel you need a new challenge to progress your career

One man did exactly this, leaving everything behind to take on a mission to launch 12 internet startup businesses in the space of 12 months. Here we look at what Pieter Levels, a 28-year-old Dutch designer and computer programmer, decided to do and how you can make changes in your own career that could yield the same sort of satisfaction.

More and more people are trying to make money from the internet, some more legitimately than others. These digital entrepreneurs need to be able to run their businesses as cost efficiently as possible, which is why Pieter Levels decided to become a ‘digital nomad’. This involved leaving behind his job, home and belongings, travelling the world and working from co-working spaces and internet cafes.

This approach led to criticism from some quarters that he was living and working in the places where it was cheapest to do so and was not really giving anything back. To add to this challenge, he decided to try to launch 12 online startups in 12 months, although these are generally considered ‘minimal viable products’ – ideas that have been developed into simple prototypes to try to gauge whether there is an interest. There has been interest in a couple of his ideas, but Levels is still looking to find something bigger and better that will have a global impact.

If you need to give your career a boost, there are several ways to go about it. Assuming you are in the right career, make sure that your current employer is the right one for you. Do they think the way you do and have the same values, ethics and beliefs?

If the answer is ‘not really’, perhaps it is time to look for a different employer – one that shares your outlook. If you are in a career that is suited to self-employment, as in the case of Pieter Levels, this employer could well be you!

Whatever career you are in and whoever you are employed by, commitment is vital and employers need to feel that you have ‘bought into’ the organisation. Bringing energy and your own style of organisation to an employer are also vital if you want your career to succeed. This applies whether you are employed or self-employed.

While we might not all be able to leave everything behind for a nomadic existence developing new technology-based businesses, there are some changes that we can implement that will help us to feel re-energised about our careers and make us realise that being organised and committed are important traits if we want to succeed.

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