How to achieve the career success that you want

by Monika Papadopoulos Published on June 8, 2017

Engineering, medicine, fine arts or finance – plenty of career choices are available. One is required to select the best-suited career option and proceed towards your success. Friends and family can influence your choice of career but when you decide what and who you want to become, success can embrace you with open arms. Money has its own role to play but a career success is mainly defined by your importance in the organization based on your performance and the added value that you bring to that organization. In order to achieve this tangible goal, one will need to take the following steps into consideration:

Steps towards a Successful Career

Self- introspection

Many times you will be forced to choose some career option under tremendous pressure from your family and/or friends. Instead of complaining at a later point of time or playing the blame game, you should take a step back, examine your thoughts and feelings, and try and picture yourself as to where and the type of person you want to be. Why follow the dreams set by someone else? It’s your beloved career and be it a baby step or a giant leap forward, both should be willingly taken by you. This will help to place you on the right path to bring success closer to you.

Hard work

Hard work is the key to success. This proverb is applicable to any profession. Once you have fixed your career path and have started treading in the same confidently, work hard to the maximum possible extent. Prepare your day well ahead and plan each activity smartly so that your hard work pays off at the end. When you are ready to work hard and push your limits, success comes running gleefully towards you.

Goal setting

Any target is achievable when you set goals. These goals should be set for a fixed time frame. This adds clarity to your target and hence your efforts get channelized. You can choose to set short term or long term goals with respect to your career growth. Once your goal is set, you need to timely monitor how far you have progressed towards your goal against the time frame set. You can then evaluate the slippage and this way your success can be measured through goal setting.

Adaptability in work environment

To achieve success in your career, adaptability at work is very important. Whatever is demanded from you, you should be in a position to deliver the same without any time delay. This plays a major role in your success as your superiors will be able to note the versatility and robustness in you as you take up unconventional work which is not listed in the job description. In today’s scenario where every industry is moving towards globalization, adaptability to unfavorable conditions and situations will help drive your success.

Inquisitive attitude

Inquisitiveness does not mean you should be a peeping tom. Inquisitiveness at work refers to the eagerness you display to learn new facets of your job and the organization. As you are exposed to new responsibilities, you should be presented with the ability to outperform your coworkers and emerge successfully. Hence always be inquisitive and intuitive when you are exposed to new work to succeed in your endeavor.

Learning from mistakes

Learning is an art. As you grow in your career, you will need to unlearn many and learn new things. At the beginning of your career, you are gullible and susceptible to make mistakes. However, as you progress through your career, you should learn from those mistakes and evolve into a more responsible and rational person. This helps you to progress at a faster pace. Repentance alone is not the right reaction when you commit a mistake at work. Not repeating the same error(s) is what will make you shine. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Behavioral Courteousness

Politeness and courteousness are important virtues of a successful person. To achieve a successful career you should first be grounded and treat all your peers with respect. Once you establish trust with your colleagues, you can easily take them hand in hand and together you can achieve your goals without major conflict of thoughts.

Slow and steady growth in job profile along with colleague’s goodwill and trust from management, are the biggest catalysts for a successful career. There will for sure be plenty of environmental and emotional roller coaster hurdles in your journey. But the biggest strength of a career-oriented person is that he eyes his goal at all times. If your vigor is high and skills are impeccable, then there is hardly a force that can stop you from scaling heights and to succeed in your career.

Related

Building a successful career is a tremendous personal challenge but is rewarding in so many ways. Achieving career success over a lifetime not only comes with financial benefits, but it can also leave you with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Consider these five career success tips to help you move forward in the working world.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Career success articles use many different angles when providing advice, but they almost always include a variation of the philosopher’s ancient maxim: Know thyself.

Start with a list of the things you do best. It can be a mental list or, even better, write them down to help cement the memory. Perhaps you’re a spreadsheet expert who really knows how to crunch the numbers and make them look pretty. Or your strength might be more in the types of personal connections you make with your fellow workers, helping to build teamwork. Make the list as long and as complete as you can. This is no time to be modest.

Conversely, be honest about weaknesses. Afraid of public speaking? Add it to the list. If new technologies get you flustered, write that down as well.

Advance Your Skills

With your strengths and weaknesses noted, set some personal priorities for advancing your skills. This can mean making your strong suits even stronger. It can also mean building up strengths and skills in areas you consider a weakness.

A stint with Toastmasters might help you overcome that fear of public speaking. Your workplace might offer training in advanced spreadsheet skills and if not, courses are certainly available elsewhere.

You can’t tackle everything at once, of course, which means setting some priorities, and that leads to the next bit of advice.

Understand the Company

Your personal career priorities for self-improvement should jibe with the goals and culture of the firm you work for. If your company is seriously into a six-sigma system of lean optimization, then consider becoming a Kaizen expert. If the CEO just announced a major commitment to improved customer service, then start polishing your CRM skills. And if you have no idea what Lean or Kaizen or CRM means, then it’s time to learn. If they’re important to your company, they should be important to you

Understand Your Boss

Your company’s goals represent the big picture, but on a day-to-day basis, your immediate supervisor is the person you answer to the most. Learn your boss’ objectives and frustrations and find the ways you can best assist him or her in reaching goals and overcoming obstacles.

Some facets of this can seem trivial. If the copy machine is always breaking and you’re the one who knows how to get it going again, your boss will likely take note. However, it’s the major workplace successes that carry the most weight. If the boss is under the gun to finish a major company project by the end of the fiscal year, everything you can do to help bring the project to completion will add to your esteem and help advance your career.

Demonstrate Your Worth

Make sure your contributions are well-known in your immediate work area and, more broadly, throughout your organization. If your group hands out gold medals or some other sort of annual award, lobby to get yourself in the running. Speak up at meetings, even when you’re in the back of the room rather than at the main table.

If your worth is known only to your boss, that can actually hinder your career, as they may value you so much as to not want you to advance into another position. Make yourself known to your boss’ boss, to other senior managers, and even to those outside your organization who may be able to open career doors for you in the future.

How to achieve the career success that you want

Image by Hilary Allison © The Balance 2019

Interested in a new career? People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals or values may have changed; you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.

Before you decide, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options, to decide if your career needs making over, and to choose a career that will be more satisfying for you.

Why People Change Careers

There are many different reasons why people want to change careers. Of course, it’s a personal decision with many factors involved. Joblist’s Midlife Career Crisis survey reports on the top five reasons people change careers:  

  • Better Pay: 47%
  • Too Stressful: 39%
  • Better Work-Life Balance: 37%
  • Wanted a New Challenge: 25%
  • No Longer Passionate About Field: 23%

The Benefits of a Career Change

The Joblist survey reports that most people were happier after they made the change:  

  • Happier: 77%
  • More satisfied: 75%
  • More fulfilled: 69%
  • Less stressed: 65%

In addition, the people who change careers were making more money. Survey respondents who changed careers for better pay earned an additional $10,800 annually compared to their previous positions.

10 Steps to a Successful Career Change

Review these tips for assessing your interests, exploring options, evaluating alternative career paths, and making the move to a new career.

  1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work? While you’re doing this, there are some things you can do at your current job to help you prepare to move on when it’s time for a change.
  2. Assess your interests, values, and skills. Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are free online tools you can use to help assess career alternatives.
  3. Consider alternative careers. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts. If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.
  4. Check out job options. Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.
  5. Get personal. Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews. A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.
  6. Set up a job shadow (or two). Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers. Here’s more information on job shadowing and how it works.
  7. Try it out. Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.
  8. Take a class. Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.
  9. Upgrade your skills. Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can. There are ways you can position yourself for a career change without having to go back to school.
  10. Consider a new job in the same industry. Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a store manager for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry. Or if you are a programmer who doesn’t want to program, consider technical sales or project management.

Write a Career Change Resume and Cover Letter

When you’re ready to start applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to write a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well a resume that is refocus based on your new goals. Here are tips for writing a powerful career change resume and a sample career change cover letter with writing advice.

Success is a concept that is different for every person. Whether it means having a great career, a home or a family, success is something everyone strives to achieve. It makes you feel proud, it gives you excitement and it lets you know you have made an impact in a competitive world.

Success is not something you attain without putting in effort, however. It is a mindset you must adopt to accomplish your goals and grow as a person, and it takes hard work. In this article, we explain what it can mean to be successful and discuss tips to help you in your personal journey for success.

How do you define success?

Before you can define success for yourself, you should make a list of what success looks like to you and your family. Then, follow that up with actionable steps you can take to achieve that success. For example, if your success is having a high-paying career, then potential steps would be to further your education or professional training. Or if you see success in an unfulfilled talent like writing, then potential steps might include implementing daily or weekly writing goals to nurture it.

There is no right or wrong way to be successful, but there are steps you can take to become more successful based on your own definition of the goal.

Tips for how to become successful

Here is a list of 10 tips to help you become successful in your life:

1. Be committed

Through commitment, you can gain motivation to pursue success. You should make a list that includes your goal, your level of commitment to the goal and what you are willing to do to achieve that goal. Staying focused on your plan is crucial. It helps to put aside at least 15 minutes per day to think about your plan and work toward it. This will keep your goal fresh in your mind and allow you to continue focusing on it.

In determining your commitment to your goal, however, it’s important to ensure you have realistic expectations of yourself and the outcome. If your commitment is not paying off after a certain period of time, you should adjust your goal accordingly and revise any necessary steps.

At times it may be helpful to ask a friend or family member for support in helping you stick to your commitments. Having someone to hold you accountable for shortcomings and praise your success can really help you stay committed to your goal.

2. Learn from the journey

Rather than focusing strictly on the results of your accomplishments, take notice of the small steps needed to achieve success. If you allow yourself to enjoy small victories along your journey, reaching your goal will become a new adventure each day and you will be more likely to stay on track. By doing this, you will learn new and exciting things along the way, which can help you grow as a person.

3. Have fun along the way

If the journey to achieve something becomes too tedious, it will be more challenging to succeed. Learning what you are capable of can be fun and exciting, so it is important to keep your goals light and fun in order to have an emotionally-positive experience and keep moving forward without losing perspective.

4. Think positively

Developing a positive mindset is all about trusting yourself and your ability to succeed. It is important to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones in order to motivate yourself to keep trying no matter what challenges come your way.

Think about when babies are learning to walk. They do not stop when they fall. They get back up and keep going until, one day, they are able to move—and soon run—with ease. In your path to become successful, you are likely learning new things and thinking differently than before. Your goals will not happen overnight. They will take practice and discipline to achieve, so it is vital to think about the process positively.

5. Change your perspective

Sometimes along the journey, you have to change your perspective to turn a challenging situation into a better one. When you are having a bad day or week, imagine instead that it is a good day or week. Give yourself the opportunity and the time to think about your situation using only positive language and see how much your day or week changes. Doing this for an extended period of time could change your entire life.

6. Be honest with yourself

If you find your goal is at a standstill, you might need to be honest with yourself about why that is. After you have come to an understanding, try to find a solution to push yourself toward success. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. This might mean an extra set of squats, speaking to a supervisor about a promotion or even signing up for a difficult college class that you hadn’t considered before.

7. Take away distractions

Make a list of things in your life that take up your time or distract you. This could be a phone, a television show or even a person who causes you stress. Shut off your phone and put it in a different room when it is time to focus on your goal. Turn off the television and put the remote across the room. Only keep in contact with the people who make a positive impact on your life. Now is the best time to start changing habits so that you can focus on achieving success without distractions.

8. Count on yourself

You cannot count on others to achieve your goals for you. Your best friend cannot take a class for you. Your mother cannot get you a promotion. Your partner cannot lose extra weight for you. These are all things you must do on your own. It can be beneficial to rely on others for emotional support, but just as you have your needs, your friends and family have their own as well. It is important to hold yourself accountable to achieve your goals and make yourself happy.

9. Keep planning

Stick to a schedule when working on your goals. Give yourself challenges according to your personal calendar, such as “I will run a seven-minute mile by the end of the month,” or “I will save $5,000 by the end of the year.” Even if you do not achieve the goal, you will have your starting point in your calendar and will see progress. If you plan your goals and track them in a calendar, you will always have proof of your progress. Having something tangible is a great motivator to keep working toward success.

10. Avoid getting burned out

It is important to focus on your goal, but do not obsess over it. Keeping your journey productive but also fun will ensure you are motivated without overworking yourself. Sitting around and thinking about your goal all the time can cause you to burn out. Your previously fun goal becomes more like something you have to do than something you want to do. Continue to learn about how much you can grow and achieve to avoid getting burned out.

You owe yourself a career development action plan

How to achieve the career success that you want

Gary Waters / Getty Images

Career management is a must if you expect to gain maximum success and happiness from the hours you invest in work. You are likely going to work 40 hours a week for your entire adult life, and by managing your career effectively, you can make the best of those 40 hours.

Share your goals with your boss and gain a partner who can help you broaden your experience.

Developing your talents and skills will stretch your world and enable more of your unique contribution. This, in turn, can make your career successful.

Opportunities

Many employees have not thought past their current job or the next promotion they’d like to receive. They need to broaden their short-term thinking. As employees are promoted up the organization chart, fewer jobs become available, yet continuing to grow skills and experience should still be a priority for people obtaining value from and adding value to their career.

Multiple ways to experience career growth by investing in your career development and progress are available. Following are examples.

  • Job shadow other employees in your company to learn about different jobs. This can broaden your skills and increase your ability to add value.
  • Explore lateral moves to broaden and deepen your experience. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Being able to handle multiple jobs can add variety to what you do and broaden your skills.
  • Attend classes and training sessions to increase your knowledge. New strategies and technologies relevant to just about every career are being introduced constantly. Stay up to date on your job and industry.
  • Hold book clubs at work to develop knowledge, and share terminology, concepts, and team-building with coworkers.
  • Seek a mentor from a different department that you’d like to explore. Leaning on someone else’s experience is a great way to gain knowledge and introduce yourself to other opportunities.

5 Tips for Career Growth and Development

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, global speaker and corporate strategist on workforce development and leadership topics, and FINRA Arbitrator. recommends five additional career management strategies.

Set goals and create a plan to achieve them.

Could your career development and management use help to gain momentum? People who are the most successful and satisfied in their careers have proactively determined what they want from work.

Develop a timeline, including milestones.

Bringing your boss and their sponsorship and mentoring into the picture will ensure that you have an internal mentor who will help you manage your career.

Utilize company programs.

Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. In others, you will need to informally pursue your career development. Companies with programs generally focus energy on helping employees develop and follow a career path.

Own your career path.

A career path can be discussed at several bi-annual meetings with your boss. Some companies demonstrate a deep commitment to their employees by assisting where possible with resources of time and dollars. However, remember that it is your career path.

Write it down.

Career paths are recommended for the same reason that goals are recommended. They are the written plan that can help each employee take charge of what is most important to his or her fulfillment and success. Without a plan, you can feel rudderless and you have no benchmark against which you can measure your progress.

How to achieve the career success that you want

Pexels: Loe Moshkovska

Article share options

Share this on

Send this by

When you work for yourself, you’re responsible for everything to do with your job, including any plans for career progression.

So what does that look like, and how can you put yourself in the best position to succeed?

First of all, it’s about figuring out what success actually looks like, says Monica Davidson, author of the Australian edition of Freelancing for Dummies, who’s been working for herself for 34 years.

“The answer that I give about progression is quite existential, and that is to think really carefully about what you want,” she says.

“The deeper question is why did you choose freelancing instead of working for somebody else? And if you can stay connected to that answer, then hopefully you can continue to formulate goals that are going to push you and stretch you.”

“The bottom line is, when you freelance you are quite literally your own boss, so it’s good to be a good boss to yourself and set yourself some stretch goals and challenge yourself to ensure you’re happy heading in the direction that you are.”

Are you setting your own goals? Or someone else’s?

It’s all very well to have a north star to shoot for, but achieving thoughtfully considered goals is what’s going to get you there.

“The big vision, the energetic, inspired vision for what you want from your life and where you’re going is really important, but if it’s not broken down into really practical measurable steps then it’s just going to be an overwhelming waste of time,” says Monica.

“It’s really important to try and find that middle ground between keeping yourself on track towards your own goals in really practical ways, and making sure that those goals are things you have a bit of control over, not goals that are set by somebody else or managed by somebody else or rewarded by somebody else.”

Monica began her career as a filmmaker and journalist. In the early stages of her career, her goals were all externally focused.

“It was about the calibre of the work that I was being offered or that I was able to pitch. But after a while that became kind of exhausting because it was always about making other people happy and trying to be something that was going to win the approval of other people,” she says.

“When you’re young and you’ve got lots of energy and a lot of focus, that’s fine, but as you get older and you have other commitments and life happens, it just gets exhausting.

“I soon moved my markers to be more internalised and I think that’s also better for our wellbeing as well — learning something new, or picking up a challenge I’m frightened of and doing it anyway, or bringing something new into my frame of reference.

“It takes a huge amount of practice. It has to be a balance. If you’re only looking for good reviews and happy customers, I think you’ll find it a really debilitating life if you’re going to do it for a long time.”

Job applications are stressful. Sign up to our exclusive Career Glow Up newsletter for practical tips, expert advice and great insights to get you ahead.

Are you and your goals still compatible?

“Plans always change and goals always change,” says Cassie White, a personal trainer and yoga teacher, who’s been thinking about this a lot since she had a baby six months ago.

“I used to think of career progression as earning more money, that earning X-amount means progress and that I’ve made it,” she says.

“To be honest, I’ve been there. For me in my industry, it means completely being owned by your job. And that led to burnout. But I’ve found now that I’ve had a baby, it’s more about my lifestyle and it’s changed my priorities because working like that is not possible anymore.

“I don’t want to work seven days a week.

“There are things that are more important to me now, like being with family, having community and connection, working on something meaningful.”

Make time for the good stuff

How to achieve the career success that you want

Five tips to help you try something new and make it stick.

When’s the best time to think about career progression?

“I always like to think about what’s next in a really deep and meaningful way when I’m the top of the mountain, not when I’m down in the valley,” says Monica.

“The worst time to think about it is when you’re in the doldrums. At that time you just have to put one foot in front of the other.”

Another good time to think about career progression is when you’re starting to feel unchallenged.

Making plans for a pandemic year

How to achieve the career success that you want

I’m still making lists and setting tentative dates. But in terms of calibrating my internal compass for what’s ahead, I’m approaching things a little differently, writes Graham Panther.

How it looks in practice for Monica

For more than 30 years, Monica has been meeting with herself every Monday morning.

“I call it the Monday Morning Meeting, because I’m not very good with names.”

At this meeting, Monica makes a list of all the things she needs to get done in that week and prioritises them in order of importance.

“It’s my way of holding myself to account because I have very practical activities on a weekly basis.”

Then, to have a big picture view of the direction she’s heading, Monica makes time for a business retreat weekend once every quarter.

“That’s when I come up with my vision for what I want to achieve and how I want to push myself for the next three months or six months.”

“And a lot of the time my own goals are based on where I get to have my business retreat, because my very first business retreat was in a caravan park in the middle of winter and my goal after that first business retreat was to never again have to have a business retreat in the middle of winter in a caravan park.”

“A couple of years ago I had my business retreat in New York, so I think I’m doing alright.”

ABC Everyday in your inbox

Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week

How to achieve the career success that you want

Pexels: Loe Moshkovska

Article share options

Share this on

Send this by

When you work for yourself, you’re responsible for everything to do with your job, including any plans for career progression.

So what does that look like, and how can you put yourself in the best position to succeed?

First of all, it’s about figuring out what success actually looks like, says Monica Davidson, author of the Australian edition of Freelancing for Dummies, who’s been working for herself for 34 years.

“The answer that I give about progression is quite existential, and that is to think really carefully about what you want,” she says.

“The deeper question is why did you choose freelancing instead of working for somebody else? And if you can stay connected to that answer, then hopefully you can continue to formulate goals that are going to push you and stretch you.”

“The bottom line is, when you freelance you are quite literally your own boss, so it’s good to be a good boss to yourself and set yourself some stretch goals and challenge yourself to ensure you’re happy heading in the direction that you are.”

Are you setting your own goals? Or someone else’s?

It’s all very well to have a north star to shoot for, but achieving thoughtfully considered goals is what’s going to get you there.

“The big vision, the energetic, inspired vision for what you want from your life and where you’re going is really important, but if it’s not broken down into really practical measurable steps then it’s just going to be an overwhelming waste of time,” says Monica.

“It’s really important to try and find that middle ground between keeping yourself on track towards your own goals in really practical ways, and making sure that those goals are things you have a bit of control over, not goals that are set by somebody else or managed by somebody else or rewarded by somebody else.”

Monica began her career as a filmmaker and journalist. In the early stages of her career, her goals were all externally focused.

“It was about the calibre of the work that I was being offered or that I was able to pitch. But after a while that became kind of exhausting because it was always about making other people happy and trying to be something that was going to win the approval of other people,” she says.

“When you’re young and you’ve got lots of energy and a lot of focus, that’s fine, but as you get older and you have other commitments and life happens, it just gets exhausting.

“I soon moved my markers to be more internalised and I think that’s also better for our wellbeing as well — learning something new, or picking up a challenge I’m frightened of and doing it anyway, or bringing something new into my frame of reference.

“It takes a huge amount of practice. It has to be a balance. If you’re only looking for good reviews and happy customers, I think you’ll find it a really debilitating life if you’re going to do it for a long time.”

Job applications are stressful. Sign up to our exclusive Career Glow Up newsletter for practical tips, expert advice and great insights to get you ahead.

Are you and your goals still compatible?

“Plans always change and goals always change,” says Cassie White, a personal trainer and yoga teacher, who’s been thinking about this a lot since she had a baby six months ago.

“I used to think of career progression as earning more money, that earning X-amount means progress and that I’ve made it,” she says.

“To be honest, I’ve been there. For me in my industry, it means completely being owned by your job. And that led to burnout. But I’ve found now that I’ve had a baby, it’s more about my lifestyle and it’s changed my priorities because working like that is not possible anymore.

“I don’t want to work seven days a week.

“There are things that are more important to me now, like being with family, having community and connection, working on something meaningful.”

Make time for the good stuff

How to achieve the career success that you want

Five tips to help you try something new and make it stick.

When’s the best time to think about career progression?

“I always like to think about what’s next in a really deep and meaningful way when I’m the top of the mountain, not when I’m down in the valley,” says Monica.

“The worst time to think about it is when you’re in the doldrums. At that time you just have to put one foot in front of the other.”

Another good time to think about career progression is when you’re starting to feel unchallenged.

Making plans for a pandemic year

How to achieve the career success that you want

I’m still making lists and setting tentative dates. But in terms of calibrating my internal compass for what’s ahead, I’m approaching things a little differently, writes Graham Panther.

How it looks in practice for Monica

For more than 30 years, Monica has been meeting with herself every Monday morning.

“I call it the Monday Morning Meeting, because I’m not very good with names.”

At this meeting, Monica makes a list of all the things she needs to get done in that week and prioritises them in order of importance.

“It’s my way of holding myself to account because I have very practical activities on a weekly basis.”

Then, to have a big picture view of the direction she’s heading, Monica makes time for a business retreat weekend once every quarter.

“That’s when I come up with my vision for what I want to achieve and how I want to push myself for the next three months or six months.”

“And a lot of the time my own goals are based on where I get to have my business retreat, because my very first business retreat was in a caravan park in the middle of winter and my goal after that first business retreat was to never again have to have a business retreat in the middle of winter in a caravan park.”

“A couple of years ago I had my business retreat in New York, so I think I’m doing alright.”

ABC Everyday in your inbox

Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week

7 Strategies to Build A Successful Career

How to achieve the career success that you want

Having a successful career will offer you a lot of benefits and real profitable opportunities. As we live in a world governed by social status and money, working your way up to the top will definitely improve your quality of life. There are many possible reasons for which an individual would desire success.

I guess one of the reasons is that maybe by being successful in your professional life makes you feel better among other people. It offers you a feeling of security and accomplishment. Many people who went from zero to a successful career have reported that their lives were improved in almost all the aspects.

There are certain habits and activities that successful people from all over the world do. The best way of approaching success is by following and figuring out what are the strategies that professionals use, and model them according to your needs.

The follwoing seven working strategies will give you enough boosts to improve your career.

1. Identify with Your Goals

Before even considering following a career route, you must get to know yourself. A big majority of people go through life by following a well-established pattern. The sad part is, they don’t even like what they do or they just don’t really realize how many other things they could do.

In order to avoid this awful happening, you need to identify what are your biggest rational wishes. Then, start going deeper and make an in-depth introspection in which you should think about the connection between your inner desires and your rational goals.

They have to match. Otherwise, you will not be truly fulfilled with your professional life. Identifying with your goals takes some time and effort, but it is a truly important process in any successful person’s journey.

2. Build a Professional Resume

Your resume is basically your way of saying “I’m good at this, good at that, and I can help by doing this and that”. Well, that is why you should create a professional, neat resume.

By taking care of this aspect, you are making sure that you’ll never be caught off guard. Opportunities are everywhere, and you should always be ready with a quality resume. I believe that letting professionals deal with your resume is a productive choice.

There are some amazing services like Careers Booster or VisualCV that can take care of your problem. They can help you to create a classic or an impressive visual resume.

3. Become Aware of Your Strengths

Awareness is an essential key to personal improvement. By being aware of your inner thoughts, your strengths, your desires, and your disadvantages, you can adapt your life to whatever conditions you’re being put through. You’ll also get many benefits as you can leverage your knowledge and wisdom for the best purposes.

It’s better if you choose your long term profession according to what you know about yourself. Are you a patient person? Would you be able to sit eight to twelve hours in an office working on a computer? Or you’d rather be a football coach because you’re truly passionate about football and you believe you could be an efficient trainer?

No matter your strengths and disadvantages, you should choose a career path that advantages your traits and qualities.

4. Assume Full Responsibility for Your Life

One difference between mediocre and successful professionals: responsibility. Even though you know the concept, you may not apply it every day. Whenever something bad happens, you need to assume it.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, being there, the previous choices you’ve made (like trusting someone), these are still all factors which have been influenced by your thoughts and actions.

Start assuming responsibility for all of your actions and never blame anyone for your mistakes. That’s the worst thing someone can do. Do not take things personally, and be calm.

5. Always Raise Your Standards

Here’s another critical factor which differentiates the successful from the non-successful. Your standards influence the way you think, believe, and behave. If your standards are high, you’ll never be satisfied with less than you can accomplish. People with high standards are most of the times more successful than the average.

Every two or three months take a moment to reflect upon your standards and values. Try to improve them bit by bit up until you realize that you’ve become the best version of yourself.

6. Brand Yourself

Branding is very important nowadays. Big companies are spending hundreds of millions in order to establish themselves as the “big dogs” in the marketplace. It is an old business strategy used by almost every professional company. Your branding is your image in the marketplace.

Professional employees should brand their names and services and constantly improve it. You can do that by starting a blog, creating a professional social media profile, or simply by providing awesome services.

7. Network — A LOT

Networking is all about opportunities and connections. When you meet new people, you basically get a chance to use their skills to your advantage. Of course, you must also give back something: your services, your knowledge, your money. Successful people always network and create those life-lasting profitable relationships.

Start by creating social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. These three specific networks are the best choices when it comes to this type of activity. You’ll find lots of opportunities and career choices along the way.

LinkedIn, for example, is filled with business professionals that are branding their companies and also networking in the same time. Twitter is also very used in these matters, and Facebook. Facebook is good for everything, including networking.

Conclusion

Building a successful career takes time, effort, and patience. If you’re willing to sacrifice some free time and you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone, you will succeed. It’s not that hard, honestly. It just takes courage and commitment to follow everything that you’ve targeted.

Eva Wislow is a career coach and professional writer from Pittsburgh. She is a regular contributor on several well-known recruiting and careers resources. Eva enjoys helping people challenge themselves and achieve their career goals.

How to achieve the career success that you want

Pexels: Loe Moshkovska

Article share options

Share this on

Send this by

When you work for yourself, you’re responsible for everything to do with your job, including any plans for career progression.

So what does that look like, and how can you put yourself in the best position to succeed?

First of all, it’s about figuring out what success actually looks like, says Monica Davidson, author of the Australian edition of Freelancing for Dummies, who’s been working for herself for 34 years.

“The answer that I give about progression is quite existential, and that is to think really carefully about what you want,” she says.

“The deeper question is why did you choose freelancing instead of working for somebody else? And if you can stay connected to that answer, then hopefully you can continue to formulate goals that are going to push you and stretch you.”

“The bottom line is, when you freelance you are quite literally your own boss, so it’s good to be a good boss to yourself and set yourself some stretch goals and challenge yourself to ensure you’re happy heading in the direction that you are.”

Are you setting your own goals? Or someone else’s?

It’s all very well to have a north star to shoot for, but achieving thoughtfully considered goals is what’s going to get you there.

“The big vision, the energetic, inspired vision for what you want from your life and where you’re going is really important, but if it’s not broken down into really practical measurable steps then it’s just going to be an overwhelming waste of time,” says Monica.

“It’s really important to try and find that middle ground between keeping yourself on track towards your own goals in really practical ways, and making sure that those goals are things you have a bit of control over, not goals that are set by somebody else or managed by somebody else or rewarded by somebody else.”

Monica began her career as a filmmaker and journalist. In the early stages of her career, her goals were all externally focused.

“It was about the calibre of the work that I was being offered or that I was able to pitch. But after a while that became kind of exhausting because it was always about making other people happy and trying to be something that was going to win the approval of other people,” she says.

“When you’re young and you’ve got lots of energy and a lot of focus, that’s fine, but as you get older and you have other commitments and life happens, it just gets exhausting.

“I soon moved my markers to be more internalised and I think that’s also better for our wellbeing as well — learning something new, or picking up a challenge I’m frightened of and doing it anyway, or bringing something new into my frame of reference.

“It takes a huge amount of practice. It has to be a balance. If you’re only looking for good reviews and happy customers, I think you’ll find it a really debilitating life if you’re going to do it for a long time.”

Job applications are stressful. Sign up to our exclusive Career Glow Up newsletter for practical tips, expert advice and great insights to get you ahead.

Are you and your goals still compatible?

“Plans always change and goals always change,” says Cassie White, a personal trainer and yoga teacher, who’s been thinking about this a lot since she had a baby six months ago.

“I used to think of career progression as earning more money, that earning X-amount means progress and that I’ve made it,” she says.

“To be honest, I’ve been there. For me in my industry, it means completely being owned by your job. And that led to burnout. But I’ve found now that I’ve had a baby, it’s more about my lifestyle and it’s changed my priorities because working like that is not possible anymore.

“I don’t want to work seven days a week.

“There are things that are more important to me now, like being with family, having community and connection, working on something meaningful.”

Make time for the good stuff

How to achieve the career success that you want

Five tips to help you try something new and make it stick.

When’s the best time to think about career progression?

“I always like to think about what’s next in a really deep and meaningful way when I’m the top of the mountain, not when I’m down in the valley,” says Monica.

“The worst time to think about it is when you’re in the doldrums. At that time you just have to put one foot in front of the other.”

Another good time to think about career progression is when you’re starting to feel unchallenged.

Making plans for a pandemic year

How to achieve the career success that you want

I’m still making lists and setting tentative dates. But in terms of calibrating my internal compass for what’s ahead, I’m approaching things a little differently, writes Graham Panther.

How it looks in practice for Monica

For more than 30 years, Monica has been meeting with herself every Monday morning.

“I call it the Monday Morning Meeting, because I’m not very good with names.”

At this meeting, Monica makes a list of all the things she needs to get done in that week and prioritises them in order of importance.

“It’s my way of holding myself to account because I have very practical activities on a weekly basis.”

Then, to have a big picture view of the direction she’s heading, Monica makes time for a business retreat weekend once every quarter.

“That’s when I come up with my vision for what I want to achieve and how I want to push myself for the next three months or six months.”

“And a lot of the time my own goals are based on where I get to have my business retreat, because my very first business retreat was in a caravan park in the middle of winter and my goal after that first business retreat was to never again have to have a business retreat in the middle of winter in a caravan park.”

“A couple of years ago I had my business retreat in New York, so I think I’m doing alright.”

ABC Everyday in your inbox

Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week