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Four Choices That Determine Career Success

If you are seeking employment or wanting to grow your career, the need to “sell” your abilities, skills and values is a given. But before you can sell yourself outwardly, you must prepare yourself for success inwardly.

I once sat in a Toastmasters meeting and had the privilege of hearing a professional named Mark Aubuchon give an excellent presentation on how to do just this. Mark shared his four keys to developing an ongoing successful career* – and they just so happened to be foundational principles I use with my Career Coaching clients, as well.

  1. Give Yourself a Do-Over. Think back to when you were a kid playing kickball and the ball was kicked on the line between fair and foul. No one could agree on where it landed, so someone would yell out “DO-OVER!” Why can’t we say that now as adults? We have all made choices in our careers we’re not so sure about. When they don’t work out as planned, you must reset and forgive yourself. Learn from the past, but don’t dwell on it. Instead look to the future – because that’s where success is ultimately waiting.
  2. Say “I Know I Can.” Let’s stick with childhood analogies a moment. Remember The Little Engine That Could? The little engine had to change its mindset from “I think I can” to “I know I can” to get over the hill. It’s a simple moral that we forget about as adults. As you go about making changes in your career, you have to believe in yourself. “Might,” “maybe” or “hopefully” are not words of confidence. These are words that give you an out because, deep down, you’re not sure you can reach your goals. If you don’t believe you can find success, no one else will either.
  3. Change Your Perspective And Attitude. If you’re not happy, you’re the only one who can change that. Take a step back and look at your situation through the eyes of someone else. This will help you view things from “the big picture” perspective instead of the view from the mud you feel trapped in. Once you have a broader vision, it might be easier to improve your attitude. This might not solve the problem immediately, but it will open the door to discover new or different options you might have overlooked otherwise.
  4. Always Invest In Yourself. To find success, you must commit to being a lifelong learner. Stop pretending you are 100% self-sufficient. Go to conferences that help develop you as a person beyond your industry. Reach out to a mentor and meet regularly. Get involved in your community or a cause that you care about. Find ways of challenging yourself – which may even mean hiring an expert to help push you. Life will take on new meaning if you invest in yourself as a lifelong learner.

Four simple steps. That’s all it takes to start moving toward success. Will you commit to the changes it takes to achieve your goals?

*Permission was given from Mark Aubuchon to share his insight.