I have been fortunate to enjoy a career in business for more than ten years now, and my work with highly-renowned business professionals around the globe has given me a wide range of experiences and taught me a lot. Here are ten of the simplest and most effective ways to guarantee yourself a successful career.
10 Simple Rules for Guaranteed Success in Your Career
Rule 1 – It’s Your Career!
Firstly, you are in control of your career, and nobody else. Think about what you want to achieve and look around at what options and entry routes are open to you, and what you’ll need to do to get from where you are to where you want to be. Make a plan about how you are going to bridge that gap and put it into action – simple as that! Your career can follow whatever path you wish, provided you make good decisions that are in the interest of your ambitions. Do this consistently.
Rule 2 – Be Very Clear on Why You Got Hired
Every job is, in the simplest of terms, a problem that needs solving, regardless of your field. Do you feel as qualified to solve these problems as your employer thinks you are? Try considering what would go wrong if you weren’t doing your job to a good standard, or doing it at all. This will give you a good indication of how well you are solving the problem that you were employed to solve.
Rule 3 – Respect the Performance Management Process – Don’t Fight It
Whatever your field or business, your employer will have ways of assessing your contribution and appropriate ways for rewarding you for your work. Usually, bigger organizations will do this in a more formal fashion than their smaller counterparts. Coming to terms with this assessment, understanding and respecting it is very important. Become familiar with how your performance is examined and find ways for it to work for you. Fighting it will only cost you financially.
Rule 4 – There Are Others That Matter, Besides Your Line Manager
The chances of your work impacting only your manager are slim – more than likely, your contribution will touch people throughout the company, who you should think of as key stakeholders, such as your manager’s boss, their peers and key figures in finance, HR and IT. They will remember and respect you for taking the time to know and cater to their requirements.
Rule 5 – Do More Than Your Role Requires… And Then Some
Remember Rule Two – you are a problem solver. If you want to progress yourself in your career, you must solve one problem, and then move on to a bigger and more challenging one. The quickest way to a promotion is to always aim for more significant problems to solve and carry on in an upward direction.
Rule 6 – Seize Opportunities to Reinvent Yourself
The occasional self-reinvention can be very beneficial and re-establish you as a high performer within your organization. Such opportunities are abundant when starting out in a new role or receiving a poor performance assessment; use these opportunities to start over and set some goals that will put you back on top. Make sure to adhere to Rules One to Five when doing this, and you will not escape your boss’s notice.
Rule 7 – Don’t Do It Alone
Not a single successful person has gotten where they are entirely alone. There is nothing wrong with seeking the advice and guidance of those who inspire you. Look out for suitable mentors who can help you in the direction of success.
Rule 8 – Become an Excellent Communicator
The further up the ladder you get, the more essential decent people and communication skills are, so invest time and effort in these skills. If you are not particularly confident, seek out a coach or course that can help you improve. It is near impossible to be a leader without speaking in public, so learn to present in an impactful and succinct way.
Rule 9 – Master The Art of Networking
Networking is central to being in a senior position, so dedicate some time to meeting and communicating with relevant people. Look out for opportunities to network and do what is necessary to maintain these relationships and keep them strong. Expanding and sustaining your network does take time and effort, but it needn’t be out of your way; although in-person is good, you can always reach people by phone or online.
Rule 10 – Execute Like a True Professional
Finally, and probably most importantly, you must be a professional. This means dedicating time and energy to managing yourself like you would others. If you are struggling to find time for everything, approach it from a managerial perspective, solve that problem, and hold yourself to your solution. You may have to make sacrifices or spend more time doing things that you don’t find enjoyable, but if you commit yourself to making your career a successful one, be strict and get it done. It is completely possible.
- 10 Simple Rules for Guaranteed Success in Your Career - February 4, 2017