Friday, September 12, 2008

Career & Personal Development: Achieving Success



* Please do spread the name of this blog to your friends, partners, families, relatives & to anyone you know, so that we together can keep learning & strive to be what we want to be; what we as unique individuals hope to achieve on our career goals.

Today, I shall focus on Career & Personal Development - Achieving Success

As a career management professional, you may be asked "How can one ensure better career success"? While there is no single method to achieve this objective, here are some things to consider on to get on the right path. With the right skills and a positive mindset, you can look high up the career ladder (no matter if ladder breaks, you will still climb back on, repair it & move forward!)

1) Regular activity

Successful career planning is not an one-time activity but a lifelong process. Mapping your will help you to track your progress. So how do I start on then?

(i) Your interests
(ii) Your hobbies
(iii) Your transferable skills
(iv) Past accomplishments

Think about the above-mentioned. They are all clues to opportunities which may await you in future. Defining your career goals clearly will help you align them to career trends (e.g. Integrated resorts slated to built around in 2010 and more job opportunities, over 10k will be created). Once you regularly review & plan your career, you will be better prepared for whatever lies ahead. Use SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic with time period) to plan out your objectives. Google SMART if you need to know more.

2) Winning attitude

Attitude can't be changed overnight. However they can be gradually altered to the benefit of the individual even if he does not realize this. Consider this:

The happiest and most successful people see themselves as winners and maintain an optimistic outlook as they move toward their goals. Unhappy and unsuccessful people often have a pessimistic outlook on life. They lack confidence and have a deep-rooted belief that they cannot do much or do it well. They do not realize that they are advertising themselves as losers.

Develop a winning mindset. How to do that? Start thinking now by asking yourself these questions:

(a) During your work/study/anything you do, do you foresee yourself to lose out (e.g. score poor marks in tests) even before you start embarking your task?

(b) Are you the type of individual that gives up easily? Have you exhaust all your resources to tackle the problem? Or do you always rely on someone's help to solve the issue for you?

(c) Do you always think that you cannot perform a task because you lack the skill & ability? Have you ever tried once to see if you can do it?

Try to tell yourself that "you can do it" just like what you see in Nike's advertisement. The tick represent the tick in your life, impossible becomes possible. Look at the handicapped. They have the winning mentality in Paralympics and I am sure you can too. Slowly when you push yourself to the limits to the best you think you can do, you realize that your approach to things have changed. Therefore think of a winning tag-line & philosophy. It can go like "I am the best, better than Beckam". It acts a motto for you shall remember it and act upon it.

3) Move on

Never become too comfortable in your current job. If you have been in the same job for 3 years or more and you are doing similar, if not the same work, there comes to a point of them that you ask yourself "am I learning new skills and enhancing my competency"? To experience the best of life, seize opportunities which you foresee coming. Grab it. Now I must also emphasize that most individuals always wait for opportunities to drop from the sky. It's NOT always the case. You have to source for it. Look around you, analyze your own personal life. Are there contacts you know whom can provide a door of opportunity for the passion that you like to do? If not, is it time to get out and know more people from other trades through networking events, forums etc?

Do not always dwell on your sad past and unfortunate incidents. Once a taxi driver in Australia told me "hey mate, do you know why I am driving a taxi now?" He further lamented to me, an unknown stranger - "that's because I love enjoying what I am doing right now. I have packed my bad experiences in a haversack whilst working in a high life, jet-setting corporate environment and have ever since buried it in some dirt-dark cemetery." Ask yourself: are you sure you really be able to move on? Have you packed your unhappy past to a dark alley only or buried deeply into the cemeteries?

4) Positive values

True winners live by the virtues of fairness and decency. To succeed in long term, you must know what is right and wrong. Use these standards of behaviour every day in your business and personal life. Just like a business which have code of ethics, you must also have your own "personal life of ethics"!

5) True pain into gain

No human life is free from suffering. When hard times become anguish, there is no point becoming bitter. Winners face suffering head-on & try to turn the pain into gain. Develop your career resilience. If you are retrenched and if you have the cash, use these time to upgrade new skills. With that, you are better equipped to find new jobs. Who knows you may form new horizon & know what exactly you want to do through re-training. Another way is to undertake voluntary work in organizations which act as a new door to opportunity. Don't always look back on your pains as these doors of anguish are shut forever in your life. Learn from them, be exposed more, get out more because the world is your oyster.

6) Learn to laugh

Cultivate & maintain a sense of humour. Humour cleanse the spirit, lightens your burden and keeps you from taking yourself too seriously. We are already living in a pressure-cooker environment in such highly urbanized commercial settings. Therefore, learn to smile & laugh more. Most importantly, find happiness in doing the tasks assigned to you, no matter how difficult. Normally we complain, we sulk when new things come, especially we hate changes & not embracing it. Remember when I talk about winning attitude? Is it in you? Take it in your stride and test your ability if you can do it. Of course not everything you learn to accept; however taking it simply & easily may help others to see your "can do" attitude, a commodity most employers treasure. Otherwise why assign to you at the first place?

7) Help others

The most satisfied people are those who help others. Offer to mentor juniors or new hires in your work. In school, help your peers. Or find time to do something for the community via voluntary organizations that you see visions similiar to the one you are looking for. By working in the community, you not only hone some of your work skills but also be noticed by those who may influence your career advancement & successes.

Conclusion

Every individual define successes in their own definition. Small achievements are also considered successes. Because we are always influenced by others' great successes; hence we are inspired to be like them. Sometimes we have to take a step back and analyzed if we wish to imitate them. Its good to learn from them, their strategies, their mindsets and get motivated. Ultimately, the word "success" stems beneath yourself & not those high achievers whom have also defined "success" in their own terms. Otherwise we have many Warren Buffetts or Donald Trumps around.

Work within your means, push yourself if possible, have a great, positive attitude, be focused and draft out your OWN strategies. Remember to pen down your thoughts and not just saying it. Slowly, you achieve results; be happy and people around you will start to recognize your talent. You corporate ladder is just some miles behind only. Go catch it. Surely you do not want to be the next 1,0000000 people living in the pessimistic times of lives.

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