There’s no recipe for success. What works for your career might not work for your neighbor’s, and vice versa. But, there are a few things that most successful people do, regardless of their industry or goals, that help them achieve their dreams.
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1. Never stop learning and growing.
The best way to continuously advance your career is to always be learning and growing as a professional. For example, if you’re a civil engineer looking to boost your career and earnings potential, then you may want to consider obtaining your Professional Engineer (PE) license or another certification to distinguish yourself in your field. Likewise, if you work as a project manager, then the next step would be to obtain your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification to advance your skills and knowledge.
You can also advance your chances at career success by keeping up-to-date with news and influencers in your given industry (and the world, for that matter). The point is, the people who get promoted are the ones who are aggressive and proactive about honing their skills and furthering their education.
2. Maintain an open network.
“According to multiple, peer-reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success,” says best-selling author and entrepreneur Michael Simmons in his post on Medium. Simmons concluded this after interviewing many of the world’s top network scientists on his “quest to understand how networks create competitive advantage in business and careers.”
In order to understand what an “open network” is, it’s important to understand what it is not. Simmons says, “Most people spend their careers in closed networks; networks of people who already know each other,” therefore there is a level of trust, understanding, and common ground that exists among the group – it’s easy and comfortable. An open network is one where you’re meeting and introducing new people to add to your network, rather than sticking with the same, safe crew.
Constantly interacting with the same people with the same ideas doesn’t do much for expanding your network or exposing you to new opportunities and challenges – it’s just the same thing over and over again, rinse and repeat. On the other hand, by stepping out of your comfort zone and opening up your network, you’re opening yourself up to new experiences, new people, new ideas, new challenges, and new opportunities.
3. Learn to be a leader, not a follower.
Regardless of whether or not you wish to end up in a leadership position down the line, it’s important to think, act, and respond like a true leader. A huge part of being an effective leader is having the ability to inspire and influence others to achieve a common goal, together. Career success should be viewed the same way: as a joint effort, not a lone journey to the top.
Think about the impact leaders and influencers have had on your career so far. They’ve provided articles, books, seminars, and podcasts divulging the secrets to their success so that others may experience the same triumph for themselves. Therefore, don’t be stingy, greedy, or egocentric as you try to climb the ladder, because you never know whom you’ll meet again at the top. In the wise words of Francis of Assisi, “For it is in giving that we receive.”
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