20 Tips to Career Succes
It's a competitive world out there and in the complex labyrinths of the ever-evolving globalized corporate world, job security is a thing of the past. A recent survey of over 6,000 professionals in the Middle East indicated that in the past 5 years, most professionals have held at least 2 jobs, with 30% of those surveys holding 4 jobs or more. So how does one ensure that one's career survives and even thrives amidst the conflicting forces, turbulent currents and ongoing challenges out there?
Below the career experts, highlight some key tips to propel your career forward and to ensure sustained and long-term career success:-
1. Set goals
Be clear on where you would like to go with your career and formulate a 1, 3 and 5 year plan to get there. Set realistic milestones and targets, take inventory at frequent intervals and update these plans regularly.
2. Find a mentor
Identify someone in your field who can advise and counsel you in matters career-related and refer to this mentor in making the important career decisions as well as in negotiating the nuts-and-bolts issues that confront you on a day-to-day basis.
3. Mentor somebody
Become a mentor yourself to a younger professional to stay networked, build a reputation in a different peer group and stay abreast of developments in other divisions or companies.
4. Know yourself
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses so you can work on them and try to see yourself as your peers see you bearing in mind that perception is everything.
5. Never stop learning
Invest in yourself by becoming a life-long learner. No matter how valuable our skills are, chances are they can be updated and upgraded through ongoing learning and training. Take responsibility for your own development and make sure you stay ahead of the learning curve by constantly updating your professional skills and credentials.
6. Hone your communications skills
Communication skills are essential to career success. Learn to give and receive constructive feedback, to persuade effectively and to solicit help and garner resources. Effective communications also entail learning to listen actively and attentively.
7. Keep the company's goals in mind
Treat your company as your most important client and don't lose sight of the company's vision, mission, values and objectives in anything you do. Also bear in mind the company's policies and procedures and seek to work within them or work with the leadership teams that amend or improve them.
8. Use your performance appraisals effectively
Performance appraisals are your opportunity to take on added responsibility and discuss where your career is headed and how you can propel it in the right direction by garnering the appropriate resources and support; use them appropriately.
Whether it's through joining professional associations or being active in college or high school alumni clubs or other networking forums, it is important to remain networked in the community and to continue to broaden your circle of influence and network of contacts.
Represent your company in a community initiative or join a local community drive to make a difference and heighten your visibility outside of your immediate professional circle of influence.
Treat others as you would like to be treated - manners, respect and generally courteous behaviour travel a long way in the workplace.
11. Never bad-mouth bosses or peers
The surest way to lose the respect and trust of your boss or peers is to bad-mouth those you work with or previously worked with. Avoid office gossip and spreading negative opinions at all costs.
12. Upgrade your job
Bearing in mind that responsibility is taken, seldom given, always be on the look-out for new functions and responsibilities to add to your job description. Make yourself an indispensable part of the team by showing an eagerness to grow in your job and continuously being open to new methods, ideas and initiatives that positively impact the company's bottom line.
13. Develop a reputation as an expert in your field
Seek to become known as a true professional, a star player, someone who goes an extra mile in his/her job and who is a genuinely invaluable resource in a particular area. A reputation as an outstanding performer is your best asset in negotiating raises and promotions.
14. Promote yourself
Make sure others in the company, especially your superiors, know of your role and your accomplishments. Publicize your achievements and don't be afraid of blowing your own horn in order to get the recognition, praise and promotions you deserve.
15. Be passionate about what you do
The best way to excel is to be genuinely passionate about what you do. Enthusiasm is both visible and infectious and you will find others in the organisation as well as clients naturally gravitating towards you as your eagerness and passion for your job makes itself known.
16. Look the part
The most accomplished professionals are not necessarily the best dressed but good grooming and professional attire do convey the image you want to portray and leave an important lasting first impression.
17. Work smart
To get somewhere new, start by mapping out where you are right now. Make a quick list of what you’ve been up to over the past year, including professional projects, accomplishments, and challenges. Then, take a wide-angle view – think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? Your goal is to quickly pinpoint what’s working and what isn’t, so you can make the smartest plan for your next step.
18. Leave your personal problems at home
No matter what is happening with the kids, the neighbours or the family dog, the workplace is only for dealing with workplace matters; leave all personal issues strictly at home.
19. Be a team player
Today's workplace necessitates being a teamplayer and working well with others. Be co-operative, eager and always willing and prepared to pitch in to make a project succeed.
20. Learn to love SMART goals
In order to always stay on schedule, break your work into SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for the five steps of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals. It’s a simple tool to go beyond the realm of fuzzy goal-setting into an actionable plan for results.
Remember, if you follow these simple career tips you are not only optimizing your career, you are optimizing your life.