Karen Darrin

Sit down and define what you are looking for out of your career. If you haven’t defined your own career success, it means someone else has already done it for you. That may be good or it may be a hot mess, which is what happened to me. I thrashed around for years until I finally decided what I wanted to do instead of what my dad wanted. Learn from my mistakes.

The sooner you take the time to determine what it is you want from your career, the sooner you can focus and take steps to ensure you achieve that success. Focus on what’s important to you, understanding that this will shift as your life changes. Early career is usually about gaining experience, income, building a network and personal brand. Later, that may shift to being a valued and respected leader or finding work which aligns with your purpose. Identify what you want from work.

Once you have your career goals defined, there are many essential behaviors that will boost your success. Here are five to consider:

Seek ways to add value daily

Successful people know that their value increases based on the value they add. Choose to be of service and look for ways you can add value to a project or initiative that is unique and will either save time, increase value or reduce cost. Invest in your own development to increase what you have to offer.

Choose to associate with successful people

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”   ~ Jim Rohn

Who are those people for you? Choose to surround yourself with people who hold you accountable to be your best self.  Perhaps they are at the top of their game or are constantly pushing themselves by learning and growing. No one who has achieved great things in life did it alone. Have the confidence to work with people who are smarter than you or who can fill a gap in your skill set.  Choose to view your peers as allies in your learning and be open to learning from anyone.

Take responsibility for your outcomes

Leave your excuses and blame behind. Take ownership for the outcomes you create. By empowering yourself with ownership, you position yourself to lead change when necessary. Ultimately it is about maintaining full control of your success and recognizing your success begins by being willing to act while holding yourself accountable.

Act like an owner

The entrepreneurial mindset isn’t just for the entrepreneur. Companies are looking for people who are innovative and treat employees, customers and colleagues like their own. Recognize that you own your career. Manage your career just like the CEO of any successful business manages the business. Take ownership of the work you are assigned and most importantly take ownership of your career.

Establish your financial habits early

Recognize that you are responsible for your current financial situation and that only you can change it. Get clear about the value you provide and what that value is worth to your organization so you can make a clear business case for your desired salary. Choose to be financially responsible with the resources you have. Eliminate debt so you are free to do work that has meaning and value to you. Create multiple streams of income to insulate yourself in the event of a layoff or downsizing. Get creative. Study and learn from people you admire for how they have built their financial habits.

Your career is up to you.  If you don’t know what your goals are, figure it out.  Then, start planning how to reach those goals. If you need help, reach out. Find a mentor or coach who can be your partner, providing expertise, encouragement and those invaluable “second set of eyes” with your plans. The only person stopping you is you.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”  ~ Jim Rohn

CALL TO ACTION:  Need help identifying your career goals and how to reach them?  Schedule a complimentary 30-min consult or email me at karen@karendarrin.com.