If you want to understand how to build a successful career, you’ll love this article. You do your best at work, but do not you think that’s enough? You’re right! To achieve professional success, you need more than simply being good at what you do!
It is also important to know your own talents, to be capable to build your own brand, to make new contacts (networks), and most significantly, to know your goals. Simply swim with the current. If you want to breathe new energy into your work and get started, now is the time to approach it in a conscious and planned way. Recognize the 8 critical success factors and take the helm of your career!
How to Build a Successful Career:
1. Know where you’re going
The very first thing you need to know is where you want to go. But that’s not enough. You still need to know why. Why is this important to you? And you can feel it with your whole being. Only a powerful inner belief in what you want and why it is crucial will offer you energy for action and help you take advantage of opportunities, choose worthy projects that will help you develop, do something important for yourself and for others.
When you know where you want to go, it is easier for you to choose a professional experience that brings you closer to there. You develop in a planned and purposeful way. You engage in what helps you grow and, as far as possible, filter out projects that don’t enrich you in the desired way.
But remember, not at all costs. You need to know what is important to you and maintain a balance in life, a balance between work and private life. See your professional development in the larger context of your whole life, family, kids, passions. Remember that a fulfilled life isn’t just success at work. Look, above all, not in whether something pays off for you, but whether it is worth it.
Questions that will help you define your professional goals:
- How do you want to develop? What do you want to be? What is your vision of yourself in 5-10 years?
- What do you believe in or support strongly? Why is this important to you?
- If you infected others with just one idea, what would it be? What do you want to do to encourage others with all of your heart?
2. Tell others that you’re an amazing employee
Your boss may not tell you what you need to develop to promote, but you must be sure of what is anticipated of you, because only in this way can you consciously work towards achieving the desired results. The people in the company need to know that you’re good at what you do. You must show them this in a skilful and unobtrusive way, without boasting, showing them.
Present the results. The same way you do PR for a company or product, the same way you should take care of your own PR and be your best advocate. For this you need an sufficient sense of self-worth, knowledge of yourself and your talents. If you do not believe in yourself, who will?
Build your own brand:
- List your professional qualities, talents and strengths. Ask 3 colleagues for feedback on what makes you stand out, what makes you good. Increase your professional self-awareness.
- Present your work regularly – spend at least part of your working time building your own brand, or getting it on display! Let these not be empty words, but behind every PR activity there should be reliable work and measurable results, which you can be pleased with.
- Recognize the expectations your boss has of you and of somebody in a higher position and begin fulfilling them before you even begin negotiating a promotion.
3. Build relationships with others
The third important thing is networking. Meet people and build relationships. Not only within the company, but also with people from your industry who work for companies similar to yours. Known in the market. Your sincerity, authenticity and openness are important here. In a thoughtful and conscious way, discuss your dreams, your assets and your will to grow.
Sometimes one such conversation at the right moment can provide you with a valuable career opportunity. When you want to change your job, department or position, it is too late to network. Get up first.
What can relationships do for you? They help to get informal knowledge about what is occurring in the company, what is occurring in the market. The smartest thing you can achieve is when someone else becomes your spokesperson and speaks positively about what you do, who you are. Make sure you are recognized by the right people on whom your career depends. Not just your boss! Any support will go a long way towards promotion, and friendly support from colleagues or other team managers can be invaluable for convincing your boss of the choices you are making.
Make people in your neighborhood think “This person is the right choice” when they hear about your promotion. ask for help if you need it. Ask for support, recommendations. Don’t wait for somebody to guess that you want them to support you, nobody reads other people’s minds. Say clearly what you want, what you need, what you are asking for. This is the quality of life of the victors.
Set yourself a network destination:
“This week I will make sure you have relationships with the following people:…”.
(eg you may want to know the head of the department you wish to apply for from your current position or the person laying off the position you wish to take, etc.);
“Actions I will be taking in the coming months to cultivate a business relationship: ….”
(eg you could e-mail your network of contacts about your participation in a trade conference asking if you would meet there – by the way, you’ll come across as someone who is at all times concerned about your professional development and encouraging others).
4. Be proactive
Don’t wait for somebody to see you, otherwise you could wait eternally. Discover your talents, strengths and skills before yourself and others. Test yourself in action.
- Decide what you want and can do now (for example, show your boss that you can work very well together or prepare a presentation for a meeting and show yourself as someone who inspires others, gets involved in new projects in the company and shows the organization talent, etc.).
- Write down what you want to attain and plan the implementation of those actions.
- Dare to take risks: do what you set out to do.
- Ask for support, advice, and suggestions from other experienced people who have done what you want to do.
- Learn from your own experience, correct deficiencies.
- Assess your commitment after the action is taken and plan the next steps.
5. Be open to your boss and associates
Allow yourself to be judged and be open to feedback from your superiors and colleagues. That’s what happened, that is the reality of the company. The more open you are to feedback, the more you can improve. However, do not treat the feedback as a truth being told about you.
Take from the feedback what will help you improve. And do not complain about your boss! Many of us make the error of trying to fight our boss rather than trying to… understand him. If you want to be judged by others, start by paying attention to the strengths, goals, needs, and desires of your boss and associates.
- Ask your boss about your strengths and greatest areas of improvement, what you need to work on to develop in the direction you desire.
- Ask your colleagues for feedback: what made them enjoy working with you and what caused complaints, understatements, difficulties.
- After the feedback meeting, decide what you want to do with it and plan time for improvement, e.g. go to trainings, workshops, use coaching.
6. Brave and responsible
Don’t be afraid of challenges. If you want to be promoted, if you’re or want to be in a managerial job, do not be afraid to take responsibility, take risks, take advantage of opportunities to showcase your ideas. Don’t think you do not have something interesting to say.
So the sixth important thing is to have the courage to influence others, to behave like a manager, a boss. Show that you can count on you. Get out of the comfort zone. Don’t fall into the trap of your internal critic telling you “you’re not fit, you can’t do it”. Want to be capable to do it! If you care about something, you can achieve it too.
Don’t overthink what your head is telling you, just plan smart actions, look for opportunities and act despite fear!
Answer important questions:
- What are your chances now?
- What would you do if you were not afraid?
- If there was no risk of failure and you knew that everything would work out, what would you do differently now?
7. Find a mentor.
The seventh important thing is finding a mentor. A supportive mentor is a priceless treasure. Someone who knows you’ll see your talent. He will share his knowledge and suggest how to avoid coral reefs and go out into the wide waters. Don’t let yourself be persuaded that people do not want to share their knowledge. They want. This is real happiness for many people.
Find a mentor you communicate well with, someone who does something you want to do. Set up a meeting and convince him to tutor you. The effect can be spectacular!
- Who would you like to see as your mentor? What would you like to learn from this person?
- What can you offer this person in return? Feel his perspective – why would he want to teach you? Be prepared to convince the person to be yours.
- Who do you want to be for and can you be a mentor?
8. Take care of others
And last but not least, support others in their endeavours. Be kind to people, be positive. Everyone’s back. Don’t hinder your development opportunities when there aren’t any current promotion possibilities. Your development is not only about climbing the ladder, but also about acquiring new skills, proving yourself in new fields, trying new things.
It can be level development or participation in a new project that will bring you satisfaction. You have the helm of your career at all times. Be aware of this, go where you need to go, experience unforgettable adventures and get satisfaction from the fascinating things that I’m sure you’ll achieve.
Thank you for reading this article on how to build a successful career and I actually hope you take my advice into action. I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.