10 Essential Career-Success Strategies

14 July 2010 Donna Dunning

Work is a central part of our lives, with an enormous influence on lifestyles and personal satisfaction. Mastering the essentials, therefore, is key to your career success, writes Donna Dunning, author of 10 Career Essentials - Excel at Your Career By Using Your Personality Type.

If you work full time for 40 years, you will spend more than 80,000 hours on the job. Since it consumes a significant part of your life, your career should be interesting, motivating and rewarding.

Here are 10 strategies that can help deliver job satisfaction.

1. Ask yourself for directions

Career success means something different to everyone. It occurs when your career direction aligns with who you are and what is important to you. To build a successful career, you need to determine what success looks like for you. After you define success, you can set and meet your personal career and life goals. When you master this success strategy, you channel your efforts in the right direction to ensure that your career brings you personal and professional satisfaction.

2. Optimise your outlook

People quickly judge you based on what you do and say and how you look, walk, and talk. When you take care of yourself, manage stress, and demonstrate a positive attitude and confidence, people enjoy interacting with you and value your contribution. Optimising your outlook improves both your health and your career success. When you have a positive attitude and believe in and take care of yourself, you can reach your goals more easily.

3. Put yourself in charge

When you put yourself in charge of your career, you take ownership of your mistakes and accomplishments. You stand behind what you say and do. When you take responsibility for your words and actions, you link your efforts to success and learn from your mistakes. Others count on you and see you as determined, dependable, reliable and dedicated, all qualities much needed and rewarded in the workforce.

"When you cultivate your curiosity, you manage the large amounts of information available and become a lifelong learner."

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, gain a clear understanding of others' expectations, and respond positively to feedback. When you strive to learn from everyone, you begin to embrace multiple perspectives, benefit from corrective feedback and develop rapport. If you are open to, and eager to learn from, others, many opportunities will come your way.

5. Relate to anyone

Your career success depends on your ability to express yourself clearly, directly, and diplomatically. When you share your perspectives and provide information and constructive feedback, you leave little room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. When you relate to everyone, you resolve conflicts and problems so that everyone benefits.

The 10 essential career-success strategies accomplish your goals by working cooperatively. Mastering this career-success strategy provides you with a network of contacts willing to support your career development.

6. Cultivate your curiosity

Our information- and internet-focused age offers a wealth of facts and ideas. 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 use what you learn to help you work more effectively. You understand your learning style and use learning strategies to retain important information. Others are confident in your ability to learn new skills and apply new information, and they will think of you when opportunities or challenges arise.

"Prioritise, plan, organise your time and activities, and persist."

7. Disentangle your thoughts

To be successful at work, you need to hone and direct your thinking to deal with the situation at hand. When you disentangle your thoughts, you can consider and then select the right approach, strategies and tools for making decisions and tackling tasks and problems. You make well-thought-out decisions and solve problems effectively. Others see you as resourceful and strategic. You use a flexible combination of thinking modes: practical, creative, global, logical and humanistic.

8. Exceed expectations

Others need to know they can count on you to achieve exceptional results. To exceed expectations, you must prioritise, plan, organise your time and activities, and persist. When 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. When you show pride in your work and take initiative, others know you will do a good job, and they feel confident offering you new and important tasks and projects.

9. Thrive in uncertainty

Those who are successful in their careers accept that the world is changing rapidly. To thrive in uncertainty, you need to take a heads-up approach to work, observing patterns and trends and anticipating change so you can quickly adjust. When you thrive in uncertainty, you make the most of opportunities by being adaptable and proactive, and position yourself for success. Others will see you as flexible and versatile, and they are confident in your ability to cope with unexpected changes.

10. Promote your progress

To create your success, you need to let others know your goals and aspirations so they can assist and guide your progress. You can also promote 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.

The starting point for your career development is self-awareness. Self-assessment, though, is not always easy. Ask for feedback from those willing to support your learning; they may be able to help you target areas for improvement and growth. They also can encourage and assist your efforts as you strive to improve. Enjoy your journey.

Extracted from 10 Career Essentials - Excel at Your Career By Using Your Personality Type by Donna Dunning published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing. To order your copy for the special price of £10.99 with free p&p, call +44 (0)207 239 0360 quoting CEO. Offer ends 31 August 2010.