Five fundamentals of career success

Ready to create a successful career?

No matter what industry you work in or what role you do, there are a few essential rules to follow in order to guarantee career success – from setting yourself a clear ambition to being your own leader. 

Here are five fundamentals of career success, courtesy of James Reed’s brand new book, Life’s Work: 12 Proven Ways to Fast Track Your Career


Be ambitious 

Top-line tactic: Have BIG ideas. 

The first step to creating a career you love is to simply want to. 

No matter where you work or what you do, having an ambition – big or small – is what will allow you to really go places. 

To figure out yours, ask yourself, where do you see yourself in the future? And what do you plan to give and receive throughout your career? 

Whilst the concept of ‘ambition’ sometimes has bad press, it isn’t actually as negative and grasping as people might think; especially not if it’s used in the right way. So what’s the best way to harness it? 

Trade with the most precious resource any organisation can have – ideas. The more ideas you have and the better you implement them, the more ambitious you can afford to be.  


Be a powerhouse of positivity 

Top-line tactic: Rise to challenges (even if it scares you). 

Positivity is powerful.

And there are plenty of studies to prove it. The more meaningful you believe your work to be, and the more positively you view it, the better you’ll feel – both mentally and physically. 

Once you embrace positive thinking, you’ll start to notice the many opportunities that are surrounding you every day. 

For example, not only do you have the opportunity to learn almost anything you can think of through a multitude of platforms, you may also be able to achieve more than you think you can. You just have to rise to the challenge. 

Be spirited. Be brave. And stop doubting yourself. It’ll be worth it. 

How to: Have a positive attitude at work


Understand yourself and your organisation 

Top-line tactic: Figure out what you have to offer your organisation (and what they have to offer you). 

Let’s face it, taking a job at an organisation is a bit like entering into a long-term relationship. You have to know yourself and them in order for it to work. 

Firstly, think about your strengths. Whether you’re aware of them or not, everybody has them. They range from what you know (e.g. being good at maths or art), to the personal attributes you have (e.g. integrity, curiosity etc.) 

Once you’ve pinpointed these, you’ll be able to figure out what you can offer an organisation, and ultimately widen the amount of opportunities available to you. 

But it’s not just about you. It’s also about the company you work for/are looking to work for. 

There’s no point in being clear in what you have to offer if you know nothing about the place you work. So before you apply for a job or attend an interview, always do your research to ensure it’s the right place for you. 

How to: Research a company before you apply


Know your support network

Top-line tactic: Look hard. There may be more than you realise. 

When it comes to your career, you can’t do it alone. 

So who’s helping you move forward and who’s holding you back? Your answers might make you reevaluate who you spend time with, and whose company you actively seek out. 

Obvious support systems include family and friends, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is. 

Whether it’s from clubs you’ve joined, your hobbies, activities you’ve taken part in, the places you’ve studied, or the jobs you’ve done – you’ll have gained all kinds of support and advice throughout your life. 

Once you take the time to think about each and every aspect of support, you’ll be able to gain the most you possibly can from your experiences. Not to mention identify the people who best help you succeed. 

Likewise, you can limit your interactions with the people who hold you back. 


Lead yourself 

Top-line tactic: Be self-centred. 

Your goals may not involve leading others. But they should always involve leading yourself. 

If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to set yourself clear career goals, and more importantly, you’ll be too lost to fulfil them. 

So how can you become your own leader? Unsurprisingly, it starts with you. Who else is going to make sure that you wake up every morning? Self-reliance, self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-awareness are all vital traits for self-leadership. 

Not only should you focus on organising yourself and making proactive decisions, you should also ensure you’re not settling for second best. 

This will help you discover what you need to do to get the career you want. 

How to: Stay motivated at work


Ready to fast-track your career? 

By the time you retire, you’ll have spent a third of your life at work. That’s far too long to spend in a job you hate. 

To find out how to challenge your thinking, approach the world differently, and ultimately get ahead at work – buy James Reed’s brand new book, Life’s Work: 12 Proven Ways to Fast Track Your Career.

Because it’s never too late to create a career you love.



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