When it comes to giving career advice, I’d have to say that determination is the secret ingredient that propels brains, skills, or opportunity into a success. It’s amazing how many otherwise talented people seem to lose their passion for making things happen. Determination is about drive, consistency, and dedication to an idea. If something’s worth doing, you can find a way to get it done.
The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is another important character trait. Why? Change is a certainty. And you’ll probably see five times more change than you expected when you first launched that career! Start with your own skills: are you strategic? An excellent project manager? A conceptual thinker? Then link these skills to the changing needs of your company. Volunteer to do special projects alongside your regular job; it’s a powerful statement to make on your part, and it exposes you to deeper insights about your company and where it’s going.
Third, build and recognize the talents within your organization that can help you achieve success, whether in getting a project done, selling an idea, or coming up with a new product concept. Really listen to your colleagues; their insights can be the shortcut to a better outcome. Achieve buy-in by walking through the implications of different actions. Mobilize people by convincing them that they can do it. Then applaud their success.
Lastly, build and maintain connections with professional associates inside and outside your company. You may have met them at your first company, while serving on a board, or through other professional connections. This is a group of people with whom you stay connected throughout your career. These people are important to you, and you are important to them. You may help each other by exchanging business ideas, or, in this era of corporate mergers and relocations, you might provide each other new career paths or lend a helping hand in getting that new business idea off the ground.
In today’s fast-paced marketplace, companies are dealing with change on many different levels. In order to create value in such dynamic industries, differentiate yourself and your organization by staying connected to what really matters—your customers, and honing the necessary skills to move beyond their expectations.