CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR. 10, 2014
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How to Ensure Career Success

A career success story is like the perfect recipe of a tantalizing meal. Flawless instructions regarding preparation of particular delicacies often look amazingly intricate and effective. On first impression, the 'perfect' recipes make chefs look like geniuses because from the look of things, they figured out everything by themselves in perfect fashion. However, what we fail to realize is that experiments were done, mistakes were made and ideas were considered prior to the success story. Similarly, career success stories that we come across everyday seem like a rosy, one day affair. However, achieving career success isn't a walk in the park. Hardships, distractions, discouragements and other rough tides steer our career boats away from their proper course once in a while. But a career success story could be within your grasp if you follow these tips.

#1 Have a list of your Career Objectives

Many careerists unfortunately solely focus on the paycheck thus drift through their careers without having any objectives that go beyond remuneration benefits. Key career objectives should revolve around learning new skills and gaining meaningful connections. The distractions of material gain have the potential of significantly stagnating your career advancement process and consequently making your career success story a mere pipe dream.

#2 Do a monthly Career Performance Assessment 

This is where you list down the milestones that you achieved and the setbacks you experienced along the way. Did the milestones upgrade your career reputation and propel your career progress? Did the setbacks distract you from your career objectives or did they show you how to do things differently? Because you realize that without this assessment, you are set to repeat the same mistakes over and over again expecting different results thus leading to career frustration.

#3 Have a Mentor/ Career Advisor

We all need advice in whatever career phase we are currently positioned. And the best people to give us advice are those who have been there and seen it all. Our mentors help us avoid many foolish mistakes we may fall prey to in our struggle for career success. 

#4 Engage in Social Media Forums

Want to be identified as a problem solver from a global perspective? Then social media is the key. This often misused avenue can be a stepping stone for you to establish yourself as a personal brand in a certain career niche. You'll interact with like-minded individuals that you can impact with solutions. And as we all know, solutions often lead to recommendations disguised as testimonials thus propelling our pace towards career success.

#5 Attend Career Oriented Workshops and Seminars

Social Media is not enough. It's wise to get on the ground and engage with careerists in your locality. Plus, the impression you make in such meetings might land you a bigger job and escalate your social status to a whole new level. This of course cannot be achieved without networking with people. As the saying goes, no man is an island.

#6 Get Innovative

Remember that small notebook you recently put under your bed? Then about it's time you befriended it by feeding ideas into it. That's because ideas have the bad habit of coming when you least expect them and who knows, the solution to your company's current predicament might be an idea you scribbled down a year ago.

#7 Connect with Major Industry Players

If you want to be prominent in your career circle, then you've got to learn how the game is played at the top. That's why you need to get accustomed to the unfamiliar ground at the top and connect with key players. The more you engage with them, the more you'll be recommended for the big league jobs that come up once in a while and your days of endless interviews will be long gone.

#8 Join Career Advancement Organizations

Many careerists get taken advantage of in their workplaces because they don't know their rights. However, career advancement organizations inform their members of their rights in order to help them identify violations contravening their contracts. As I said earlier, career progress isn't a walk in the park and I can assure you that not every employer has your best interests at heart. The last thing you want is endless court battles distracting you from your career success objectives.

#9 Start/Join a Cause

Voluntary services will definitely look good on your resume. Causes are meant to make us realize that without community, there is no business. It's therefore important to give back to society by being involved in charity events. Plus, you gain in terms of holistic values such as compassion, generosity, tolerance, humility and so forth. Values that you'll need to strengthen you when tides get rough in your quest for career success.

#10 Deliver more than is expected of you

This is where we differentiate between record breakers and record maintainers. The only way you'll get exceptional career results is to offer extraordinary performance in the workplace. The more your superiors and workmates talk about you, the more you are being subliminally recommended for better career postings. Yes, even your enemies may talk behind your back, but as someone once told me, envy is a form of praise.

#11 Mentor a Protégé

Holding a junior position shouldn't be an excuse for not mentoring someone. Though you may not feel worthy of being a mentor, you never know how highly your protégé holds you in esteem. The seeds of career nurturing were planted in you by your mentors. Now it's about time you gave fruit and mentored someone in return.

#12 Join Work Exchange Programs

This is where international exposure comes into serious consideration. What do you stand to gain from working in different cities or countries for that matter? Maybe a third language or a cultural experience that helps you adjust conveniently to different geographical locations. Plus, you get to play on a different level considering how better your resume gets with varying geographical, cultural and social political situations. The sky is the limit.

Muhammad Ali once said that a man who views the world today as he viewed it 10 years ago has wasted 10yrs of his life. Similarly, we've got so many people who are stuck in dead end careers that involve passing time till retirement comes. Such monotonous drifting cannot qualify as career success because humanity is addicted to progress. It is therefore essential to differentiate between career progress and career stagnation so as to achieve career success in life. 

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