Over the course of your lifetime you may spend 80,000 hours at work. Are you getting what you want from work? Are you excelling at your career? Here are 10 strategies to help you become more engaged and successful at work.
1. Ask yourself for directions
Career success, although different for everyone, occurs when your career direction aligns with who you are and what is important to you. To build a successful career, determine what success looks like for you. After you define success create your personal brand and then set and meet your career and life goals. When you master this success strategy, your efforts are channeled in the right direction to ensure your career brings personal and professional satisfaction.
2. Optimize your outlook
People quickly judge you on what you do and say, or even on how you look, walk, and talk. When you take care of yourself, manage stress, and demonstrate a positive attitude and confidence, others enjoy interacting with you and value your contribution. Mastering this career essential contributes to both your health and career success. When you have a positive attitude, believe in, and take care of yourself, your goals are easier to accomplish.
3. Put yourself in charge
It is tempting to blame others or the situation when things are not going the way you want. When you put yourself in charge of your career, you take ownership for your mistakes and accomplishments. You stand behind and are accountable for what you say and do. By taking ownership of your words and actions, you link your efforts to success and learn from mistakes. Others count on you and see you as determined, dependable, reliable, and dedicated, all qualities much needed and rewarded in the workforce.
4. Learn from everyone
Everyone can teach you something. To be successful, you need to pay attention to what others have to say. You benefit when you listen carefully, clarify expectations, and act on feedback from others. The benefits of learning from everyone include an increased ability to see multiple perspectives, exposure to helpful corrective feedback, and an opportunity to develop rapport. Many opportunities arise when you are open to, and eager to learn from, what others can offer.
5. Relate to anyone
Career success depends on expressing yourself clearly, directly, and diplomatically. When you express your perspectives and provide information and feedback effectively there is little room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. When you relate to anyone, you resolve conflicts and issues using a win-win approach so everyone benefits. You accomplish your goals by working cooperatively. Mastering this career success strategy provides you with a network of contacts willing to support the development of your personal brand.
6. Cultivate your curiosity
There is a wealth of facts and ideas available in our information and technology-focused society. When you cultivate your curiosity, you manage the large amounts of information available and become a lifelong learner. You are interested, up-to-date, knowledgeable, and aware. You understand your learning style, apply what you learn to work more effectively, and use learning strategies to retain important information. Others are confident in your ability to easily learn new skills and apply new information and will have you in mind when new opportunities or challenges arise.
7. Disentangle your thoughts
To be successful at work you need to hone and direct your thinking to best deal with the situation at hand. Disentangling your thoughts involves thinking about and then selecting the right approach, strategies, and tools when working on tasks, making decisions, or solving problems. As a result, you make well-thought-out decisions and solve problems effectively. Others see you as resourceful and strategic. You adapt and flex your thinking to use an appropriate combination of thinking modes including practical, creative, global, logical, and humanistic thinking.
8. Exceed expectations
Others need to know they can count on you to exceed their expectations and achieve exceptional results. To exceed expectations you prioritize, plan, organize your time and activities, and persist on tasks. You work to a high standard and continuously look for ways to improve your work. People see you as results oriented, productive, persistent, efficient, and effective. You show pride in your work and take initiative to do the best job you can. When others know you will do a good job, they feel confident offering you new and important tasks and projects to complete.
9. Thrive in uncertainty
Those who are successful in their careers accept that the world is rapidly changing. To thrive in uncertainty you need to take a heads-up approach to work. You observe patterns and trends and anticipate change so you can quickly adjust. When you thrive in uncertainty, you are seen as flexible and versatile. Others are confident in your ability to cope with unexpected changes. You make the most of opportunities by being adaptable and proactive. When you thrive in uncertainty, you create opportunities and position yourself for success.
10. Promote your progress
To create your success, you need to let others know your goals and aspirations so they can assist or guide your progress. As well as sharing goals, you can also promote your brand by highlighting your skills, interests, experience, and other valuable personal qualities. Self-promotion opens the door to opportunities by showing people who you are and what you can do.
Using these 10 Career Essentials will help you create career satisfaction and success on your own terms. Enjoy your journey.
Donna Dunning, PhD, is a psychologist, certified teacher, member of the MBTI ® International Training Faculty, and director of Dunning Consulting Inc. She is the author of more than a dozen publications, including her two newest books, 10 Career Essentials and What’s Your Type of Career? 2nd edition. Donna’s guiding principle is: Know yourself, respect differences, learn and grow. Follow Donna on Twitter and Facebook and visit her website.