Success doesn’t come easy to a young professional these days.
Fewer opportunities. More intense competition for the few jobs that exist.
These actions will increase your chances of having a rewarding and successful career.
Forget about your education
Put your academic pedigree aside. Your credentials won’t help because most people vying for new roles also have a healthy education portfolio.
Yes, you need a strong educational background to play the career game but winning takes much more. Turn down the volume on your degree — what you know — and turn up the volume on your the practical accomplishments — what you’ve actually delivered. This focus approach will put you ahead of others who will continue to rely on their MBA to get them ahead (and it won’t).
Find a “done it” mentor
Discover a mentor who has actually done something to guide you. There are many potential mentors out there but choose one who has demonstrated practical success in execution and implementation.
Success is a function of delivering results not achieving excellence in pondering over possibilities. Seek guidance from people who excel in getting stuff done in the real world complicated with uncertainty and unpredictability.
Follow the strategy
Get intimate with the strategy of the organization you work for. You will draw attention from the career decision makers if you are delivering on projects that directly relate to strategy. Know how your company intends to compete at a detailed granular level, and determine what your specific role is to make a noticeable contribution.
Do three things
Focus your energy on the critical few things that matter to advancing the strategy of your organization. Organizations can lure you into chasing many things that can be unproductive. Don’t get sucked in. Prioritize a handful of things to achieve and resist the temptations to wander.
Separate yourself from the crowd
Be clear on who you are and how you are different from the crowd around you. The world is full of people who “look the same”; you need to find a way to break away from this commonness and be distinguished.
Develop your personal brand that defines your uniqueness and live it everyday.
Build a killer résumé
Keep your resume up to date and make it available to others when the right opportunity arises. Always be on the hunt for your next move but ensure it doesn’t interfere with performance in your current position. Avoid using boilerplate templates; make your CV look different than anyone else’s.
Do the unexpected
Be comfortable to step outside your “job description”. Get known as a person who does what it takes to deliver results and who is unafraid to go beyond what is expected of them. Do the right thing not the “correct” thing.
Get on with it
Avoid pondering and “just do it”. Success is determined by the number of tries you make so don’t let thought process get in the way of acting. A corollary to this is to accept imperfection as necessary to deliver constant results. Nothing is perfect and why you are seeking it you’re not EXECUTING.
There is no silver bullet to success.
It’s the result of doing a few simple things consistently and with passion and tenacity.
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