10 Steps to Guaranteed Career Success
- Say “thank you”. In writing whenever possible, and in just about every conversation.
- Offer help. It’s your job to manage your career, to figure out where you want to go and how to get there. That’s your private job. But publicly, your job is to be useful. Whoever you are, wherever you work, your job is to help your colleagues and your clients and your customers. Never forget that, and never let them see anything different.
- Ask for help. Nobody will know what you want until you tell them. Tell smart people that you think they’re smart and ask them questions. It’s truly that simple to “network”. Very few people won’t help you, and you’ll get all the knowledge and connections you could want.
- Be prepared for “no”. It does, in fact, happen. It is not, in fact, the end of the world.
- Remember things. Kids, birthdays, anniversaries, vacation plans. Know a little about people, and if it’s hard to remember, write it down.
- Have a plan. For today, for the week, for five years, for 10 years. Don’t be a drifter.Â Know what you want to get done, and update your plan as you need to.
- Have a plan B. It isn’t the universe’s job to drop everything you want in your lap. Which is good, because if it was, it wouldn’t be very good at its job, would it? It’s your job to get what you want. But the universe is usually pretty helpful once you make it pretty obvious where you’re aiming. Just in case, though, don’t leave yourself without a leg to stand on.
- Know your limits. You can only be superhuman for so long before your cape starts to fray.
- Ignore other people’s limits for you. If your gut tells you that you have to do something, you shouldn’t necessarily obey if someone tells you not to. Maybe it might not be the right decision for everybody, but you’re not everybody, and your gut knows you best.
- Stop feeling guilty. About being smart. About being successful. About being the boss. About going to the gym. About all of it. You’re pretty cool. Enjoy it.