There was a time when career success was measured by how much money you earned or by how high you climbed in the company, whereas now there is so much more to it than just that. For example, job satisfaction and happiness is a pretty important part of career success, as well as salary, title, and progression of course. So how do you have a successful career? Before you can become successful, you need to know what that means for you. Are you aiming to become an account manager? An area supervisor? A CEO? A successful career means different things to different people, so decide what it is to you, and then work towards it.
Short-term goals will help keep you focused and show you how far you have come. Long term goals are what will get you to the level of success you are striving for. Set realistic goals and keep track of them, perhaps even making yourself accountable for them to someone else. Hit these goals, and a successful career will be yours.
It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. By networking and socializing within your industry, you will be opening doors for yourself that otherwise might not have existed. Talk to people higher up than you. Find out how they got to where they are and soak up their knowledge. Do favors for others, and perhaps it will come back to you someday. By being an active participant in your industry and contributing something, your career will grow.
Stick to it
It’s great to be able to move around, and although in past generations it was the case that you had a career for life, that’s not culturally expected as much now. That said, it is hard to make a successful career if you are constantly changing what that career is. It can be disheartening if things are not happening quickly enough for you, but there is a certain level of patience needed to become successful in a career.
Avoid gossip, drama and office politics
If there is something that kills a successful career in its tracks, it’s getting involved in drama. Remove yourself from gossip and try to avoid any potentially sticky situations. In every workplace there is always some office politics; however, that doesn’t mean you should exasperate it. Try to keep things professional, and it will serve you well!
If you don’t challenge yourself, you will stay in the same place, and no success ever came from that! Push yourself whenever you can, and take on challenges outside of your comfort zone. You’ll gain experience and new skills, as well as prove to your bosses, and yourself, just what you’re capable of!
Build those skills
If there is an opportunity to learn something new or boost your existing skills – go for it! When it comes to promotions, the more relevant skills you’ve got, the better. Especially as it will show that you are not complacent and you’re proactively learning. There are cheap courses online that will help boost your resume, or simply try and pick up something new as you work.
You don’t have to be a terrible person to progress in your career, despite what TV shows and movies might tell you. In fact, being humble and likable and memorable in all the right ways might actually serve you better in the long run. Don’t treat people badly, even if they are ‘under you’ and it will be noted.
Work hard, above and beyond what is expected and push yourself. Decide what a successful career is to you and work towards that! You can do it!