Successful professionals don’t just fall into their career paths – they strategize and strive daily to be their best. They embrace growth, as well as failure, and understand that the ride to the top has both peaks and valleys. Luckily for us, we can learn from their experiences, and use that information to our advantage. While we can’t guarantee smooth sailing, by adopting these 3 strategies employed by seasoned business leaders, you can set yourself up for long-term career success.
1. Set goals – and actually stick to them.
Goals have the ability to transform seemingly insurmountable tasks into a series of manageable actions. For example, if you want to complete your MBA within the next year, there are a sequence of actions you must take. From the application process to financial aid to logistical considerations like transportation, there are numerous steps that must be taken before even attending a lecture, let alone earning a degree.
Setting large goals, such as acquiring further education, provides fuel for your ambition, pushing you ever-closer to achieving your greatest aspirations. Goals hold you accountable and force you to take responsibility for your own actions. Then, if you fall short of a goal, going over the path that you took towards achieving it can provide insight into your missteps, allowing you to pinpoint what to change the next time you attempt to conquer it.
How to get started:
- Determine short-term and long-term goals. While it’s easy to jump right into undertaking major goals, mini-milestones along the way to those larger accomplishments provide a solid framework and a more realistic timeline for achievement. Using the example from above, you could do this by setting a final date to complete your applications or by aiming to reach a certain grade point average per quarter.
- Develop an action plan for each individual goal. Break down the specific steps you must take to successfully tackle every obstacle. Say you’ve received a major project at work, then get overloaded with homework from your MBA program – sit down and schedule your week to ensure that you allot an appropriate amount of time to focus on both tasks.
- Create a way to regularly monitor your goals. People who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve them than those who choose not to. If you keep an agenda or journal, take notes daily or weekly to monitor what you did during that timeframe to work towards accomplishing your objectives. Whether it’s finishing homework, studying, or just taking a necessary brain break, keep tabs on yourself to ensure you’re taking the necessary actions to succeed.
2. Be intentional with your time.
Regardless of where you stand financially, time will always be your greatest investment. Strong professionals keep tabs on how they’re spending their time to ensure that it’s being used in the most effective manner. Hours spent with the wrong client or on a meaningless project could result in wasted energy and dollars – sending you backwards instead of propelling you to greater heights.
How to get started:
- Plan your days and weeks in advance. Decide how you’ll delegate your workload before you get into the office and do any necessary preparation so you’re able to confidently dive right into your day.
- Don’t let last minute tasks cloud your vision. Ask yourself: if I choose to take on this new task, what am I not doing in its place? Take a moment to determine if it makes more business sense to prioritize the new task or to focus on what’s already on deck.
- Undertake your arduous tasks first. Instead of letting a cloud of dread loom over your day, knock out the most painful projects in the morning. Then, you’ll have a clear headspace to concentrate on the functions that you enjoy, without any added stress.
- Feed your brain outside of the office. It’s easy to crash on the couch after a long day of work and binge TV or get caught up scrolling through social media. Avoid falling into this trap by pinpointing productive alternative activities like reading, completing a puzzle, or exercising that can fill this time instead.
3. Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
One of the best ways to improve a skill is by practicing it with someone who’s better at it than you are. They inspire you to work harder, think faster, and push boundaries. To achieve greater career success, you need to find people that will challenge you and drive you to improve. It’s easy to get caught in an echo chamber when you’re surrounding yourself with the same colleagues or mentors for years. Embracing a new perspective or trying something different is the best way to expand your knowledge base and sharpen your abilities.
How to get started:
- Reach out to people who you admire. This may seem daunting, but they can give you a behind the scenes look into the work and sacrifices it took for them to get where they are today. Learn from their mistakes and use that knowledge to help guide your journey to success.
- Network in your local area. There are countless opportunities to meet likeminded professionals in your region. Attend a free meet-up, invest in tickets to an industry conference, or check out cultural events in your area – just put yourself out there.
- Embrace help. It’s rare to hear a success story where someone “made it” completely alone. Leverage the connections that you foster throughout your career to increase the potential for your own success.
There’s no set equation to achieve career success. In today’s marketplace, with new technology released constantly, it’s imperative to implement strategies that will optimize you for longevity. By integrating these proven practices and capitalizing on knowledge from leaders that have shaped our world as we know it, you’re bound to set yourself up for long-term career success.
Optimizing yourself for long-term career success starts with finding the right position. The KORE1 team can help you find the perfect role to meet your goals – reach out now to get started.