Career success…the never-ending journey towards a fulfilling life. The truth is that every ambitious individual longs for career achievement and recognition. But what sets exceptional professionals apart? Is it their skills and special talents or the university they attended? The answer is simple: those who succeed do so because they have a strong desire to achieve their dreams even when life is desperately trying to get in their way.
While there are different definitions and stages to career success, there are some pre-defined ways that can help you prepare for it. With the right attitude and the necessary tools to unlock your potential, you too can create the foundations of success.
To help you out, this article presents the ten most important secrets to achieving career success. But since you don’t want everyone to know, you might want to keep these to yourself:
#1 Positive Attitude
In order to understand the power of positivity and how important it is to your career, you need to first think about how negativity works. The reason your negative thoughts are so destructive is because they create limitations and constraints to what you can achieve. Positive thinking, however, is the very first step towards success. At least that is what experts say. According to Rhonda Byrne, author of the book The Secret, a positive thought is hundreds of times more powerful than a negative one. As such you should take advantage of cultivating positive emotions because happy people tend to perform better while being more motivated and effective.
#2 Goal Setting
As Bruce Lee once said, “a goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at”. Deadlines have and always will be part of our lives – and not just in the workplace. Sometimes these are necessary to help you get things done that will allow you to grow in the future. In order to develop your career, you have to be motivated enough to keep going while setting clear and realistic goals. Not only will these give you more focus and clarity but also drive you forward.
One of the greatest things you can do in life is help other people. But how can you do that if you are not prepared to see what they see and experience what they feel? Successful entrepreneurs practice mindfulness to be able to engage with other people more effectively showing more compassion and empathy. Apart from that mindfulness adds to their self-development, allowing them to identify opportunities easily, to be more resilient and self-disciplined.
#4 Hard Work
Josh Bersin believes a successful career begins with hard work. He supports that ‘hard work beats talent’ because it’s just not enough to be talented if you don’t put much effort into becoming better. No matter how educated you are if you aren’t willing to challenge or push yourself to your limits success won’t come easily.
One of the most important assets to becoming successful is believing in yourself. That’s because a lack of self-worth can have devastating effects on your career and life in general. Apart from not being able to enjoy life to the fullest, it’s also possible that you get perceived as less competent by your managers and as such miss out on important career opportunities. According to The Telegraph a 2012 study, those who appear to be more confident achieve a higher social status than their peers and get more respect from others. So, unless you believe in yourself, you can’t expect others to.
#6 Healthy Habits
There has been much talk about how good habits can help you become more successful. Looking into the lifestyle of many famous entrepreneurs, you can learn their own rituals for success. Some healthy habits you can adopt include getting up early, exercising every day, reading or simply surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
#7 A Supportive Spouse
Although this might come as a surprise, having a conscientious spouse by your side is more beneficial to your career than you might think. Research suggests, that not only is your career success determined by your own personality but also by your partner’s. This has a lot to do with contributing to social responsibly such as household duties, paying the bills as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle and habits. Apart from that, a spouse can help you reduce stress in an attempt to achieve a better work-life balance.
Did you know that 80% of today’s jobs are landed through referrals? This proves just how powerful having a big circle of contacts can be. For the sake of your career, you need to be able to create and maintain a strong network that can help you develop professionally. Networking should help you strengthen your relationships with important people e.g. employers or other professionals in your field, who can provide you with the best advice and support as well as access to new opportunities.
Rome wasn’t built in a day so it might be years until you manage to reach the top. In order to achieve your goals, Yishan Wong on Forbes, suggests that you need to “be persistent like a bear”. This metaphor works quite well considering that a hungry, highly determined bear would do anything to get its prey whereas a lazy human wouldn’t try as hard and eventually give up.
#10 Personal Branding
In order to be successful, you have to be able to promote an enthusiastic, energetic and positive image around your name. Investing in your personal brand can help you create a professional profile that allows you to be seen by others as a well-respected and admirable individual. Look at Steve Jobs for example and how he successfully managed to associate his work with his name. Once you manage to do half of what he did, you will attract an immense following from people who will get interested in your work.
As Jordi Alemany suggests, if you manage to apply the 60-30-10 rule to your life, you may find that aiming for success isn’t as difficult as it sounds. This refers to a simple strategy where you network, promote your brand and then work. The numbers represent the amount of effort you need to put in these three elements respectively beginning with 60% networking, 30% in your personal brand and 10% into work. Yes, apparently it can be that easy!
So, success isn’t just showing up and working hard. The secrets to conquering career success are far more complex though they can be made easy through effective planning. What you need is a combination of these ten elements to make sure you have a bright career future.
So, what are your thoughts on career success? Do you know of any other secrets to becoming successful?