15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 3 of 3

And here’s the final installment of the 15 point list. . .

11) Persevere – You will encounter many challenges in your career.  Your response to those challenges will say more about you than your successes.

Try not.  Do, or do not.  There is no try. ~YODA, Jedi Grand Master

12) Communicate with confidence – Communication via the spoken and written word are one way to demonstrate your professional abilities.  Practice public speaking and perfect your writing skills, until you far surpass your peers—the bar is usually not that high.

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

13) Display humility – Demonstrate humility and personal accountability in your career and you’ll never go wrong.

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. ~Ernest Hemingway, Author

14) Be flexible – As a recent graduate or new professional, be flexible in your career path.  Build career skills that transcend your current function, role and industry make you invaluable in the marketplace and provide more opportunities.

Change is the only constant. ~Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

15) Make connections – Networking is a key professional skill.  If you focus on what you can do for others, networking won’t feel like a chore.  Your efforts will be rewarded in what you’ve given and what you will receive.

Dig the well before you are thirsty. ~Chinese Proverb

15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 2 of 3

Continuing with our list. . .

6) Connect the dots – Consider the big picture and where your career fits in your company, industry and the worldwide economy at this moment in time, in addition to, the past and the future.

We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them. ~ John Irving, Author

7) Display realistic optimism  – There will be plenty of opportunities in your career to be optimistic (or pessimistic) depending on which you choose.  Choose wisely.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~Winston Churchill, Politician

8) Continued improvement – Throughout your career, there is one constant which is YOU.  Be the best professional you can be.

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. ~Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur

9) Commit – Your commitment to a task, the project, your job and your organization is being measured everyday by your subordinates, peers, colleagues, managers, share holders, customers and clients.  If it is not 100%, others will know it.

The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.  ~Henry Ford

10) Be alert – Opportunities in your career won’t always find you.  Be on the look out and willing to create opportunities for yourself.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~Milton Berle, Comedian & Actor

Stay tuned for “15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 3 of 3” next week.

15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 1 of 3

Ilya Pozin wrote a great post on LinkedIn titled, “15 Things Successful People Do.”  Here is the Career-ology version of Pozin’s list with a focus on your career and professional success.

1) Fail – At some point in your career, you will encounter failure—your position is downsized, you get overlooked for a promotion or bonus, you choose a job that isn’t the right fit.  You cannot have success without failure. Stop.  Assess. Adjust. Keep moving forward.

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures.  So I did ten times more work.  ~George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

2) Set Goals – You must identify and develop the critical career skills with the same discipline of your formal college curriculum.  As a professional, you are responsible for establishing and working towards your goals.

People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. ~Brian Tracy, Author

3) Don’t rely on luck – Luck is only one small part of the professional success equation.  Without mastering the right skills, you cannot rely on luck alone.

I am a great believer in luck.  The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have. ~Coleman Cox, Author (interesting note: Thomas Jefferson is often incorrectly cited as the source of this quote)

4) Track progress – Like setting specific goals, tracking your progress against your career goals is important.  Make adjustments when required, but stay focused on your progress.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ~Benjamin Franklin

5) Act – This is your career.  Take responsibility and take action.

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. ~Michael Jordan, Professional Athlete

Stay tuned for “15 Things Successful Professionals Do: Part 2 of 3” next week.

 

MOOCs for Your Professional Development

Continuing education is a critical part of your professional development.  There are many opportunities to further your education including a formal graduate degree (on campus or online), a professional certificate program from a college continuing education program, or a MOOC.

What is a MOOC and how can you utilize a MOOC for professional development?

A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and TAs. [Wikipedia]

Last November, the New York Times declared that 2012 was The Year of the MOOC.  The leading MOOCs are Coursera, edX and Udacity.  These platforms are Read more

Focus on Focus

Harvard Business Review wordmark

Harvard Business Review wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, has written two outstanding articles for Harvard Business Review | HBR.org which focus on, well. . . focus.  New professionals and CEOs will benefit alike.  After implementing these habits, you will gain laser-like focus in as little as 10 minutes per day.

In Two Lists You Should Look At Every Morning, Bregman recommends creating two lists: 1) Your Focus List; and 2) Your Ignore List and reviewing them every morning.  These are not to do lists, but rather major areas of focus for your life and serve as a guide when deciding how you spend your time each day– “because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can’t work 25/8” as Bregman notes.

In The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day, Bregman recommends reserving Read more

Four Destructive Myths Most Companies Still Live By

Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of Be Excellent at Anything, identifies four myths found in many organizations:

  • Myth #1: Multitasking is critical in a world of infinite demand.
  • Myth #2: A little bit of anxiety helps us perform better.
  • Myth #3: Creativity is genetically inherited, and it’s impossible to teach.
  • Myth #4: The best way to get more work done is to work longer hours.

Are these myths present in your organization?  It is easy to adopt the practices and habits of the organization in which you work– is this how you want to work?

Read the full post.

Free LinkedIn Webinar – January 29th

Jan Vermeiren and Bert Verdonck, authors of How to REALLY use Linked and leading authorities, are offering a free webinar on LinkedIn.   For a review of their book, see the Career-ology Reading List page.

Unless you are an expert using LinkedIn, this will be time well spent.  Below is a copy of the email I received with details and a link to register. Read more

Follow a Career Passion

Are you a college senior and not sure which career path to choose?  Are you currently in a job and questioning if you made the right choice?  Do you seek passion in your career, but aren’t sure where to find it?

Cal Newport, Georgetown University computer science professor and author of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” offers this advice from his own career experience:

To other young people who constantly wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side of the occupational fence, I offer this advice: Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.

Read the full NY Times article here.

 

Why public speaking scares you?

In Susan Adams article, Why Public Speaking Scares You and How to Overcome Your Fear, she highlights the work of Jane Praeger, a NYC media and presentation coach.

Praeger stands by the standard advice: know your material and the audience, practice your speech, check out the room in advance, do relaxation exercises like deep breathing, don’t apologize for being nervous.

Great advice.  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is a Career-ology mantra!

Adams continues to report. .  . Read more

The Bad Habits You Learn in School

After spending many years and many dollars attending college, it may be difficult to think that you graduated with bad habits.  In The Bad Habits You Learn in School, John Coleman HBR.com contributor, highlights a few of these habits: Read more