There are a lot of articles written about success and with so many you would think by now that all of the secrets to attaining it would be known. But it actually indicates something else – there isn’t one method that can be applied to everyone. As a career coach I do not claim to offer new secrets; however, what I can teach you are strategies for you to develop that are personal to your career and allow you to create goals. Finding any degree of success begins with a self-awareness of who you are and the purpose that you want to establish for your career. From that point you are able to utilize these strategies or tools that are provided and it will help you create a proactive state of mind that provides better control of your career outcomes.
Does Everyone Want Success?
As a career coach I have found that a majority of people either want to experience some form of success or they want to become successful. When asked for a specific meaning people often refer to something tangible, such as a particular level of wealth, a certain amount of material possessions, or something related to their appearance. The problem with trying to attain those specific indicators is that it can cause frustration if they are not met or accomplished. This can even cause long-term anxiety and lowered self-esteem if it is something they are always trying to pursue and never believe it has been fully met. For those people who become successful they may find that it is not a constant state and if so, the cycle of frustration continues. And there is another type of client who views success from the perspective of having a stable job and a steady income. For anyone who is developing their career, they generally seek to become successful in some manner.
Self-Assessment of Your Career
Before you can develop success strategies you need to assess your career from the perspective of what it means to you so that you can develop a personalized approach. Start with the topic of motivation and consider what drives you, and then decide what you hope to reach for or accomplish with your career. For yourself, consider who you want to become or the person you will be as you progress through jobs and your career. You may also want to consider what you are willing to settle for in your career and the trade-offs you will be willing to make as circumstances change. For example, if you get married and decide to start a family will you have to make concessions in your career?
These questions may seem difficult, and they certainly are, and the point is for you to develop a clear picture of your career so that you can establish direction and goals. This is not to suggest that you should develop long-range and definitive plans. However, you are going to evolve throughout your career – especially as you mature – and the overall purpose is to have you develop a greater sense of who you are, what it is you value, and how you are going to develop a career-minded focus.
Defining Your Career Purpose
Developing a greater sense of self, as it relates to your career, will help you define one of the most important qualities that guides your career and it is the purpose you have established. There are other ways to describe your purpose and includes a calling, personal mission statement, or something you are passionate about and love doing. A purpose gives meaning to your career goals and it can influence your definition of success. For example, you may decide that if you can do the work that you love you will be willing to make concessions along the way.
During the early developmental years of your career this may seem difficult to understand, especially if you are just starting out and it seems your current job is enjoyable. It will likely take time, practice, trial and error, and more than one job to understand your purpose. This also relates to success you have achieved. As an example, if you have experienced success early on in your career it may establish a future expectation; however, that may not be your definitive purpose. For many people, they experience success later in life and that is due to coming into a full realization of who they are and the type of work they want to do.
Developing Success Strategies
#1. Establish Direction
Always have a plan for your career. You know right now whether or not you enjoy your present job. But what will your career look like five years from now? What are your short-term and long-range plans? What is Plan B, if Plan A doesn’t align with your interest or what you aspire to become? This step is about learning to become informed and proactive.
#2. Believe in Yourself
It is helpful to view your career from a perspective of hope. This may seem that it borders on positive affirmations but there is more to it. Of course feeling hopeful is always easier when your career is going well. But this step is about having self-confidence in yourself, along with your skills and talents, so that you can be looking for and find new opportunities.
#3. Make Success Personal
Another strategy is to relate your definition of success to what you are in control of now, rather than what someone else may have, so that you can prevent creating a cycle of despair. If you are developing your career, you are confident in yourself and have a strong sense of self, you can attain the goals you have set for yourself. This makes success personal to you.
#4. Learn to Adapt
What can cause barriers in your career progress includes unproductive habits, an unwillingness to learn, and a resistance to change. Every job helps you make decisions about your career and every outcome, whether positive or negative, provides you with feedback. Being adaptive allows you to self-correct along the way and stay on your path to success.
Embracing a Success Mindset
For someone who has developed these success strategies, I will suggest as their career coach that they find someone to use as a role model or someone they can study – to emulate their outlook or perspective of career development. As you study this person consider how they attain success. Was it due to inherited wealth, financial savvy, business acumen, or being in the right place at the right time? Being born into wealth does not guarantee success and neither does coming into financial abundance quickly. You will find that there are a number of lottery winners who wound up broke after the money was all spent because they did not have a success mindset.
But if you study someone who became successful through a well thought out plan you will discover that there is a particular mindset they held as they developed their career. It generally includes an unwavering self-belief and a highly attuned sense of purpose, along with a determination to accomplish their goals. More than likely they pushed past challenges, learned from failures, and worked through setbacks. You will find that stories like this about successful people can also help to inspire you and shape your mindset. There is no magic formula for success. It is up to you to chart your career path and focus on goals that align with your purpose. Decide what being successful means to you and then chart a course. The most effective strategy you can use is one that you believe in and can work towards.