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.

 

The Problem With Your Elevator Pitch–And How To Fix It

To be fully prepared for a networking event, you need to have your elevator pitch.  Much has been written about crafting this short 20-30 second introduction about yourself and your business, company or services.  Much of what has been written is not good advice.

My advice to craft your elevator pitch (also referred to as your “30-second pitch”) is to provide at least one interesting hook which prompts the listener to ask another question about what you do.  Alternatively, it should provide enough color that it is memorable while also easily conveying what it is that you actually do.

Deborah Greyson Riegel offers some very sound, practical advice in her Fast Company article.  Here are the highlights:

  • Don’t speak the way you write.
  • Utilize common vernacular (aka, use the simplest language possible).
  • Turn your pitch into a question.
  • Practice saying your pitch out loud, with feedback.
  • Be willing to forgo your pitch entirely.

Read the full article.

Deborah Grayson Riegel is a communication and behavior expert, and is the president of Elevated Training Inc. and MyJewishCoach.com. She is the author of “Oy Vey! Isn’t a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success.”

LinkedIn’s New Profile Page

Did you know that LinkedIn changed the way your profile is displayed?  If not, go check it out and then tune up your profile using 6 Tips for Mastering Your New LinkedIn Profile, Marla Tabaka’s article on INC.com:

1. Put more emphasis on your profile photo.
2. Take advantage of what’s no longer featured.
3. Work on your headline–it’s more important than ever!
4. Also note: The summary section is much more prominent.
5. Treat “contact information” like a business card.
6. Consider that website addresses are harder to find.

Who is on your team?

Most successful people will say that networking has played an important role in their success.  I would challenge anyone who says that his or her success was completely self-determined.  Your professional network is a critical factor in your career success.  Actors, athletes, artists and musicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, architects, educators, politicians, lawyers and doctors can all benefit from a solid professional network.

Your professional success is a team effort . . . the question is, “who is on your team?”

Your team, or professional network, includes Read more

READING LIST: The Startup of You

Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn and knows a thing or two about the power of networking.

The Start-up of You is not a technical “how to” book about the world’s most popular professional networking site, but instead a philosophical discussion about approaching your career with the mindset of entrepreneur.  Hoffman along with his co-author, Ben Casnocha suggest that you consider your career in permanent beta– as a professional, you are never complete, but instead always aiming to grow, expand and improve.

Who should read this book? Read more

Getting Started on LinkedIn for College Students

There is never a better time to get started using LinkedIn than while you are still in college. Unlike Facebook, which you’ve probably used primarily for your social life, LinkedIn should be reserved for your professional life.  And even though you are a couple of years away from your first professional job, now is the time to start building your LinkedIn profile and network.  LinkedIn is a very powerful business tool and a “must have” for all professionals.  For more insight on the use of LinkedIn among recruiters, check out this article, “20 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Be the #1 Recruiting Portal of the Future.”  Read more

The Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most popular and powerful social media websites of our time.  I would argue that it is one of the most powerful business tools ever invented.  I say this because I believe that people with whom you interact are the single most important factor in your career.

Let me be more specific, it is the relationships you have with the people around you—your colleagues, managers, customers and clients– that determine your professional success.  And LinkedIn is the most powerful tool for helping you manage and grow your professional relationships.

All social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Myspace and Twitter and are Read more