Success may mean different things to different people. Maybe you’re someone who’s satisfied with a stable decent-paying 9 to 5 job, or an entrepreneur who’d rather be their own boss no matter the size of their business. You might even be an ambitious go-getter who’s striving to become the next big success story. Your definition of success will vary depending on the personal goal you’ve set for yourself.
However, in spite of the multiple interpretations of success and what it entails, the path to achieving these goals call for very similar steps. Success, in all its variations and levels, is a learnable skill.
Whatever your goal may be, whichever field you may be pursuing a career in, you can always benefit from a set of common habits for success.
Apart from the necessary job skills for your specific field, along with discipline, hard work, and determination, these habits can equip you with the competency to foster your professional development.
Why is Professional Development Important?
After getting a job and establishing your career, you need to work on developing your skill set to strive for higher positions. Be it upskilling through training and certification, gaining insight with general experience and connection, or even professional guidance through mentorship, your career will reach new heights if you continually work on enhancing your value in the workplace.
These different types of professional development can benefit both the employer and employee. For an employee, boosting your skill set drives you up the career ladder and helps you reach higher goals. It’ll also look great on your resume, which can strengthen your applications.
As for employers, your business will benefit significantly from having more competent employees who’re constantly working to improve their skill set.
However, keep in mind that upgrading your skill set isn’t the be-all and end-all for career development. Success in any field or pursuit also includes cultivating habits in your daily life that will facilitate the steps you take towards your goals.
Daily Success Habits
Here are a few habits that you can adopt at your job to speed up your path toward success.
Acknowledge your mistakes
One crucial step on the road to success is to understand the causes behind your setbacks so you can work to fix it. Successful people get to where they are by carefully observing their own actions with an open mind to acknowledge mistakes and improve.
Once you accept that you are imperfect and have room for improvement, you can focus on remedying your missteps and work on being your best possible self. Don’t let your ego blind you from acknowledging any flaw or oversight as that will only hinder your growth. Remember that the quicker you detect and address an issue, the faster and more efficiently you can take the next step toward your goal.
Don’t let failure deter you
The road to success is often rocky. Whatever field you may be pursuing a career in, understand that there will be challenges. Failing to overcome a challenge can easily discourage you from trying again but keep in mind that a majority of the most successful people in the world didn’t get there in a breeze and that almost every successful person in the world had to encounter several setbacks along the way.
When Stephen King wrote Carrie, he wasn’t happy with his first draft and threw it in the garbage can. It was his wife who fished it out and told him to continue writing it. Even after he finished the book and submitted it to publishers, it was rejected 30 times before Doubleday picked it up and made it King’s first published novel.
Had King given up while he was writing or after it was rejected by multiple publishers, he might never get to be the “King” of horror fiction as we know him today. Accept your failure but don’t let it defeat you; it may just be an essential step toward success as long as you have the courage to try again.
Learn from your failures and mistakes
When you don’t let your failures destroy you, you can actually use them to your benefit. There’s always an important lesson you can learn behind every misstep; look back and examine them to understand what not to do. Use every failure as a teaching moment. Instead of focusing on what you’ve messed up and what you’ve lost, retrace your steps and find out what went wrong so you can avoid it on your next try.
Sometimes failure can also open your eyes to new possibilities and inspire a change of direction. After he was fired from his job at the Kansas City Star for lacking creativity and imagination, Walt Disney started the Laugh-o-Gram Studio, which he then drove to bankruptcy. He later moved to Hollywood with his brother to create The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio which has now grown to be one of the biggest mass media conglomerates in the world.
Take accountability for your actions
This goes hand in hand with accepting your mistakes and learning from them. People often lack the courage to hold themselves accountable for their own actions and would instead look for someone else to blame.
When you refuse to accept accountability, you develop a habit of neglecting the consequences of your actions and downplaying the results of your decisions. This only holds you back from making careful, conscious decisions that can benefit your development, professional or otherwise.
After all, if you can’t take ownership of your actions, you will not be mindful of what your actions can result in and will not have the capacity for effective decision-making. When you understand that your actions will come with consequences, whether good or bad, you’ll be a lot more careful and diligent with every step you take.
No matter where you are in life, make sure to always maintain humility. Humility keeps you grounded and helps you focus on the important things. After all, success is more about personal fulfillment than being above everyone else.
Some people often make the mistake of being too quick to have their noses in the air for their achievements and end up disconnecting with the people around them in the process. You may be able to go a certain distance by stepping on other people’s toes but it won’t get you far.
Understand that no matter who you may be, you cannot get to where you are or where you aim to be without someone helping you in one way or another. Humility also makes you teachable and reminds you that you can always work on improving yourself, be it professionally or personally.
Utilize resources available for professional development
If success is important to you and you want to reach your goal quicker, it’s smart to make use of helpful resources to accelerate your professional development. There are a wide range of professionals who can guide you in your career development and help you make effective decisions.
While we all know how much a student can gain from hiring a mentor or tutor, we often overlook the fact that these services can be just as beneficial for adults in their professional development. A tutor or career coach will provide you with essential tips to climb up the career ladder and help you develop necessary employable skills to increase your earning potential.
Even for someone who’s just about to start their career and enter the workforce, tutors and mentors can assist you in your job search by equipping you with the skills to navigate your way into the job market.
Set clear goals
You can’t just aim to be successful without first setting a clear goal. You must first find a specific goal to shoot for so you can lay down a plan and work toward achieving it. Make sure your goal is well-defined so you can establish a specific direction to follow and plan out the steps you need to take.
You also need to ensure that it’s realistic and attainable because aiming too high on the get go just might discourage you. First focus on a goal you can accomplish and once you’ve achieved that, you can always work your way up towards a bigger goal.
Develop good networking skills
As mentioned before, you cannot achieve success on your own, you’d have to receive help or assistance from someone else at some point. So good networking skills to nurture favorable relationships with people around you can always come in handy for your personal and professional development.
Close relationships with people in your workplace or industry will help you stay on top of the latest news and open doors for more connections and opportunities. It’ll also give you access to many other essential resources for your career development.
Yes, networking can be difficult and laborious if you don’t have the personality and charisma that comes naturally to some people. At the same time, you can always work on developing even just a few meaningful connections without going out of your way to force relationships with everyone.
The most important skill when it comes to networking is knowing how to communicate effectively. With good communication skills, you can turn even the most casual and natural encounters into a momentous networking opportunity. Most importantly, remember that you can still form mutually beneficial relationships that are genuine and not solely transactional.
Maintain discipline and good time management
Self-discipline and efficient time management are crucial habits to adopt when setting goals for success. Keep in mind that your time is a valuable, limited resource, so use it wisely.
Instead of rushing to get as many things done as you can within a certain timeframe, find out the best and most efficient way you can spend your time without compromising on your performance. You can make the most of your time if you focus on one task at a time. Learn to compartmentalize your tasks and determine which one you need to prioritize. Professional mentors can also provide helpful time management tips.
Success Is Learned
We often look at all the successful people around us and wonder what it would be like to have their luck or be in the same position as them. At the same time, we often fail to consider how hard they must’ve worked and how much they’d have to learn to get to where they are.
The reality is that success is learned; it’s not solely based on sheer luck or fortune, and successful people don’t just get there by wishing and praying. You already know that hard work is crucial for achieving a goal, but keep in mind that it’s not all there is to success. It’s crucial to focus on the importance of working smart to get optimal results with whatever effort you put in.
When you have an understanding of the most effective direction to take and know which practices and habits can accelerate our professional growth, you can make sure our efforts will be fruitful and deliver the best possible results with whatever you do.