tips for career success

In today’s competitive world career success means different things for different people. 

What is Career Success?

Career success is not just accomplishments, awards or big sounding positions. Career success is not limited to certain standards set by society such as professional qualifications, certificates, positions/titles etc.

The best definition we found of career success is from Terina Allen, a Forbes contributor, strategist and executive coach. According to Terina, career success is a combination of achieving a reasonable level of financial stability while doing work you enjoy and find fulfilling. 

So with the above definition clearly people who have achieved significant financial success in their careers but unhappy, worn out or lacking happiness have not achieved career success.

On the other hand if you love your job/career but find yourself struggling financially then you cannot claim career success.

It is safe to say that much fewer people attain true career success where the key factors – financial success/stability, fulfilment, sense of doing something worthwhile etc are present in adequate measure.

So how does one approach the process to achieving career success?


(1) Choose Your Career/Job Wisely


From a general perspective 

One of the biggest factors to determine how much you succeed is in the choice of career you make. Choosing a career that aligns closer/better with your personal strengths and skills increase the chances of getting to the top in that career. 

To choose the best career that presents better chances at true success you will have to answer questions such as 

  • Do you want a career that involves relating with lots of people or would you rather a career that minimises that?
  • Do you want a career that takes you around the world with frequent travel or not?
  • Etc

You have to choose a career that aligns well with your personality, interests and skills. 

So what other things can help you succeed faster in your career?


(2) Set Realistic Goals and Your Own Measure of Success


In almost every aspect of your career you can and should set realistic goals. Goals keep you looking forward to something, they help measure your progress. Never make the mistake of benchmarking your success with other people. Set your own goals and determine for yourself how you will measure success

Align your goals with that of your organisation/employer/team and make adjustments as you go.


(3) Commit to Life Long Learning


Almost every career undergoes continuous changes (the magnitude may differ from one to the other). To become really successful is to always be in touch with new realities, changes and improvements in your career field. 

Learn all you can (from books, courses, other experts etc) and evolve. This makes it easier for you to keep up with any changes and remain relevant. This is key to maintaining and improving the level of success you achieve.


(4) Improve Your Leadership Skills


Characteristics like integrity, cooperation, good communication etc are skills/qualities that will position you for leadership in your career.

One of the signs of growth in your career is that you will have people looking up to you within and outside your organisation. Improving your leadership skills will position you for even more career success.


(5) Balance your personal life and work


Stress can be one of the limiting issues in your career. You want to create a healthy balance between your work/career and other aspects of your life. This is especially important if you are in a job that involves working remotely or from home.

Develop and maintain interests out of and not related to your work. Do not neglect family and friends.


(6) Master Time Management


Most successful people have got a hand on how they manage their time. Time is one of the most finite resources humans have. Using it wisely is very important if you are to succeed.

There is no one cap fits all advice when it comes to time management but here are a few;

  • Prioritise tasks so you do the most important, impactful ones first or when your energy is at the highest
  • Apply the Pareto principle and allocate more of your time to activities/tasks that impact more of the outcome or results.
  • Learn to say no. Saying no to unimportant things, requests that will distract you or work that will not add much value to your goals will free yo up to work on the things that truly matter.


(7) Ask for Help


When you need help don’t hesitate to ask. Seek help and advice from your bosses, superiors, experts in your industry or anyone who is in a position to help. 

Everyone who succeeded got their fair measure of help from other people. Cultivate a quality circle of people you can rely on for help, advice and guidance as you move up the ladder.


(8) Establish a Strong Work Ethic


In most careers you will need to put in the work to get close to succeeding. You must be willing to work hard and put in the time and effort that is needed. 

A strong work ethic increases your chances of succeeding in whatever career you choose.


(9) Stay Positive


A positive mindset is one consistently present factor in most successful people. Along with self belief, positive thinking will improve your mood, help your self belief which is needed to take on even bigger tasks, solve problems and accomplish worthwhile things.


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