I spend most days talking to people about their previous successes and where they want to go with a career over the coming years. It is a subject which often causes reflection and excitement. When we pause and look back on our careers to date we often realise that we have been very successful and achieved much of what we set out to do originally. There are however things that we can do to increase our chances of becoming successful and having the habits that will assist and deliver consistent performance. I am a recruiter and a career coach at the same time so my success is judged on how I help other people to become successful. I often hear the most wisdom from people who are approaching the end of their careers and wished that they knew what they know now at the start of their careers. The motivations have changed and perhaps the enjoyment out of work is more appreciated. It is easy to tell that you are speaking with somebody at the top of their game as they have clarity on what they have done and where they are going is evident. Success isn’t a straight line and I hear about frustrations and roadblocks that sometimes are temporary but it may not appear that way at the time. So what does this mean and how can we apply some habits to help us achieve the success that we deserve and that we know?
Number one success should be defined and celebrated
If we know what success looks like and we celebrate every time we make a step forward in the direction of our goals and aspirations, this will help us to become happier and healthier. It is therefore worthwhile taking a step back and understanding your career aspirations and imagine that you have gone forward 10 years from now and are looking back on what you have achieved. Would you be happy with the way your journey has gone and what other things would you be most proud of during this time? It is these questions which will go under our skin and really allow us to understand our true selves. People often talk about the big picture but it is the small successes and the steps forward that really make a person successful consistently. So you need to ask yourself what other small steps and the small wins that will build up over a long period of time to help me achieve what I have set out to do. I’ve had the best conversations with people who understand success is not one-dimensional and this is something that will transcend both across their professional and their personal lives. My takeaway from this point should be to really enjoy and celebrate what we do on a day-to-day basis even if this is expected. At the end of the day careers can head in different directions but we all know that we rarely have time to pause and celebrate. So take that 10 minutes out for a coffee contemplation and see the blue sky through the clouds. The blue sky is always there but sometimes it is difficult to see. Many successful people advocate viewing thins from the altitude of 20,000 foot (to see things in their entirety, as a whole) and when you take this perspective you can realise as you fly through the clouds the blue sky is there and it has always been there and will continue to be there if you look close enough.
Number two success is about the journey and not the destination
I am probably most proud of my graduation from university although the piece of paper at the end is not what it was about. Having the ability to learn every day and hang around with my friends and peers who shared the same journey made this success all the sweeter. If you get a new promotion how will that change things and where will that get you? It is therefore worth remembering that the journey to success is a continuum which will change and evolve over time. We should never be in too much of a hurry to enjoy our work on a day-to-day basis but use the endgame as the motivation to put in the work to get the rewards.
Number three success is a team sport
The way to guarantee success is to support those around you and ensure that they are successful themselves. We interact and work with many different people every day including our colleagues and our clients. If we can work hard to ensure that every interaction is positive and that we are listening and supporting our colleagues they in turn will support us. If we can make our clients successful we will keep these clients and they will in turn make us successful.
Number four success is personal
It is often difficult to personally define success as we get so many external influences and accepted norms. If we are truly to become who we are and have lasting success we need to define success in our personal terms. It is not being true to yourself to join the race in which there is only one prize for first place. If we are in our own race it will have more value and meaning to what we do every single day.
Number five meritocracy of success
Lots of people talk about having a meritocracy but this is often not matched by reality. Having an environment where people progress on their ability and hard work is perhaps what every organisation wants. These organisations are however complex and often prevent a true meritocracy that will allow the most talented to rise to the top. We are in a world where the best talent now has a great chance of exceeding but there are still so many roadblocks and difficulties put in the way. If you are to reach your true potential it is important to operate in a genuine meritocracy. Perhaps your current environment doesn’t offer you the opportunities that it should. If the environment doesn’t allow for progression and excellence, it is time to change that environment or find a new one that will.
What is your answer and habits to being successful almost every day?