7 Keys to Career Success

I have a big day today.  First, I’m doing a talk on career success for MBA students at the Columbia Business School.  Then I’m appearing on an internet TV show with J T O’Donnell of Careerealism to discuss how to get a promotion.  I’m going to use the same material for both.

I’ll be focusing on what I call “The Biggest Myth About Life and Career Success.”  That myth is “Good performance is enough.”

Good performance is not enough.  In today’s highly competitive world, it is merely the price of admission.  If you want to become a life and career success, you need to do seven things well.  I’ll discuss these seven in my talk at Columbia and in the Careerealism internet TV show.  I used them in the talk I did for my Sigma Nu fraternity brothers at Penn State on Wednesday.

Here is the one page outline I use that covers all of these points.  It succinctly captures everything I believe to be true about creating the life and career success you want and deserve….

1) Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.

  • Define your personal definition of career success.
  • Create a vivid mental image of yourself as a career success.
  • Clarify your values; act in a manner consistent with them.

2) Commit to your career success.

  • Take personal responsibility for achieving your career success.
  • Set high goals; do whatever it takes to achieve them.
  • Stuff happens on the road to career success. Choose to respond positively to whatever happens.

3) Build your self confidence.

  • Choose optimism. 
  • Face your fears and act.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Find a mentor to help you create your career success.

4) Create positive personal impact.

  • Build your unique personal brand.
  • Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.
  • Know and follow the basic rules of business etiquette.

5) Perform in an outstanding manner.

  • Master your technical discipline.
  • Become a lifelong learner.
  • Manage your time, life and stress. 
  • Live a healthy lifestyle.

6) Become a dynamic communicator.

  • Develop your conversation skills.
  • Develop your writing skills. 
  • Develop your presentation skills.

7) Build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.

  • Get to know yourself.  Use this self knowledge to better understand others. 
  • Pay it forward.  Give with no expectation of return. 
  • Use conflict as an opportunity to strengthen, not destroy, your relationships.

These are simple common sense ideas.  Some are easier to implement than others.  However I believe that you must be pretty good at all seven, and really good at one or two to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Good performance, while important, is not enough to guarantee your life and career success.  In addition to becoming a good performer you have to: clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career, commit to taking personal responsibility for your career success, build unshakeable self confidence, create positive personal impact, become a dynamic communicator and build strong, lasting mutually beneficial relationships.

That’s my career advice on creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  What do you think?  Which of these are your strong suits?  On which of these do you need to do some work?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my thoughts on life and career success.


PS — I discuss each of the seven keys to career success in my career advice book,  Success Tweets.  You can download a free copy at http://www.successtweets.com

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