Ask Mandy Q&A: How to Be Successful in Your Career
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Everyone wants to be successful in whatever they do.
Success could mean an important job title or it could mean a lot of zeros on a paycheck. Success could be staying with the same company for 10+ years or it could be simply doing something that makes you happy.
Regardless of what kind of success you are working towards, it doesn’t come easy. It requires blood (sometimes literally), sweat and tears. It means staying up all night to finish a project. Missing some of your children’s activities. Putting off a large purchase. To modify a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, success comes at a price. YOU determine the price by how YOU define success. It doesn’t always mean $$$.
I recently attended a conference where the branding (reputation) panel discussed success and your career. It was a brilliant panel of veteran businesspeople. Each brought their own experience and intrepretation. Five key statements stood out to me as how to be successful in your career.
1. You have to know your definition of success.
Like I mentioned above, success doesn’t always equal zeros on a paycheck. How successful you will be depends on how you define success. Some examples could be…
- More time with your family
- Being able to purchase a home
- Industry recoginition
- Speaking engagements
Know your definition of success before you do anything else.
2. What are 1 or 2 things you can do differently to set yourself apart?
It’s been said birds of a feather flock together. If that’s your case, how will be people know who you are? In a competitive business world, to be noticed you have to stand out. It could be from your hard work, your job title or who you know.
Ask yourself – what is your “it” factor? You aren’t born with “it”, you have to develop it. What sets you apart from the other birds?
3. Find a mentor and build a support system around yourself.
All successful people surround themselves with a good support system. Having a business coach or mentor is the first place to start. Surround yourself with people who want to help you succeed, not hold you back. This could be a spouse or partner, friends, family, co-workers. Whoever it is, be very selective in who you choose. They need to help set you up for success, not failure.
4. Set boundaries.
Knowing what you will and won’t do will help to define who you are and what your success is. Boundaries are important because not only will they help you stay focused, it will keep others from tempting you with things you have no business doing. This could range from business ethics to simply saying “no” to helping out at an event.
5. Remember the Golden Rule.
I cannot stress how important this is. How you treat others says a lot about your character. Go into everything treating other people how you would want them to treat you. It may not work all the time, but you’ll be able to sleep at night.
One thing to ask is how can you serve others? By serving others, you’ll see your generosity come back to you. This can range from giving a college student an hour of your time to mentor them. It could help with your organization’s fundraiser. This could simply be showing compassion.
Do you have what it takes to be successful? What attributes do you think a successful person needs?
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