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Strategies for Career Success

Baskar Sundaram

In this fast-paced world, it is important to have a proper plan to stay ahead in your career. Given below are some guidelines to pave your path to success.

Define Success and Goal

Start by defining what success means to you. Happiness is more important than external validation. Understand that your idea of success will change with time and changing circumstance. A good way to achieve long term success is by focusing on short term plans that bring you happiness.

Next, you need to set a goal for yourself. Ask yourself where you want to reach within the next 5 to 10 years and plan backwards from there. Make sure that your goal is specific, meaningful, achievable, time-bound and relevant.

Right down your goals and share it with friends so that you can track your progress.

 Be Proactive 

A path toward success is filled with challenges and difficulties. Instead of losing hope or feeling sorry for yourself, you should be confident and proactive. Whether it is negotiating for a higher salary or leading a board meeting, always lead with confidence and speak boldly. Make sure you listen to others and talk in a manner where you invite feedback. Always consider and decide on whether you should include the feedback given to you. 

Know when to walk away or move on. If the company is going through a drastic change consider your options. See what opportunities you will have if you stay. Always keep your options open and build connections through which you can look for more opportunities.

Find Out the Evaluation Metrics

Each company will have certain goals or quota that they want their employees to reach each month. It is important to understand how you are being evaluated and how your performance will be evaluated. First, look through the past performance reviews and take note of the qualitative and quantitative metrics they use to assess your performance. Then, talk to the veterans and senior members of the organisation and find out what they expect from an ideal or well-performing employee. Finally, after your first evaluation, sit down with a trusted colleague and interpret it. 

Finding out the metrics is just the beginning. The next part is achieving the goal and standard expected out of you. Make sure that you do your work properly without any errors. Always recheck and understand what is expected out of you. Read and reread your work and minimalize any margin for mistakes.

Networking

Networking is important to succeed in your career. You can learn about new opportunities through other people. Creating a bond with people will lessen the sense of isolation and stress at work. Focus on creating meaningful connections with people that go beyond a simple exchange of business cards. Talk to people from different backgrounds and areas of business. Getting a mentor or a sponsor is also a great way to jump ahead in your career.

Always return the favour and is the best way to maintain professional relationships. Take people out for lunch, introduce them to new people or give them credit where credit is due. 

Maintain your Image

How people perceive you is important. Always dress according to your job. When in doubt, dress semi-formal. Dress like the people who are two levels above you. Talk to people about your accomplishments and let them know what your strengths are. Get involved in a cause you care you about and make yourself visible.

Take Breaks

Burnout from overworking can cause health problems. Build a schedule where you take breaks in between. Never skip your vacation days and plan your vacations. It gives you something to look forward to in your hectic schedule. Even consider working remotely once in a while to help you relax while you work.

Maintain your physical and mental health by eating properly, exercising regularly and getting the right hours of sleep.

Follow these suggestions to get ahead in your career. Also, consider maintaining a journal to write down and visualize your plans and goals. 

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