Deep down, everyone wants to be successful. And contrary to popular belief, success does not have to be synonymous with financial gain and excessive wealth.
Success can also mean becoming an expert in your field and positively influencing others with your work.
Regardless of what success means to you personally, there are many steps you’ll need to follow before you can reach that coveted stage.
Below you’ll find our guide on how to be successful in your career path, regardless of which career path you’ve chosen.
Following Your Passion
Before dedicating your time and efforts to pursuing a particular profession, you should ask yourself whether that’s really the kind of job you’d like to do for the rest of your life.
Try to answer this question without thinking too much. It’s important to listen to your own gut reaction.
If your answer is no, you wouldn’t like to keep doing what you’re doing right now, then you should take a step back and look into ways of transitioning from one career to another.
You’ll need to follow your passions to a profession that you would genuinely enjoy. Failing to do this could leave you stuck in a negative career path for years to come.
If you prefer a quieter profession with less social interaction, check out our article on great jobs for shy people.
Analyzing Your Strengths
Now that you’ve settled on the career path that you’d like to pursue long-term, you can set about taking a long hard look at what you do best with regards to this profession.
Maybe you have a natural talent for creative work that can serve you well in a variety of different tasks. Maybe you’re extremely well organized and are eager to help others get organized as well.
Or maybe you have a very innovative mindset that encourages coming up with more efficient and intelligent ways to complete certain tasks.
If you find that you have difficulty assessing your own strengths objectively, ask a close friend or family member to weigh in on the question.
Ask them to be as honest as possible. Lying for the sake of preserving your feelings can only be harmful at this stage of the game and you still won’t have a good idea of what you do best.
Analyzing Your Weaknesses
Just as important as analyzing your greatest strengths is analyzing your greatest weaknesses.
If you’ve worked several different jobs before, think back on past performance reviews from your time at those other jobs. Were there any common themes when it came to areas where you could improve your job performance?
If yes, then you should jot down these past criticisms to remind yourself of how you could improve in the future.
If not, then you may have to resort to the option we mentioned above, of asking a close friend or relative to assess your weaknesses when it comes to your work and your personality type.
Don’t be afraid of criticism. It’s all in the service of making you better at what you do.
Now that you know what you do best and what you need to work on, you can try to set very specific long-term goals for yourself.
These goals can fall under several different categories. You may want to define professional goals as well as personal goals, social goals, and goals for where you’d like to be living 5 or 10 years from now.
Writing down your goals can be a great way to signal to your brain that these concepts are important to you. Leaving the written goals in a highly visible place in your home will let them serve as constant reminders of what you’re working towards.
Making To-Do Lists
Each of your larger goals will, in turn, require a number of much smaller goals to help you get there.
On a separate piece of paper or in a computer program of your choice, compose detailed to-do lists that will help you develop your skills and make sure that you stay on schedule to meet your goals.
Once you’re in the habit of organizing your tasks into lists, you can also make lists for other areas of your life that don’t have a direct impact on your career goals.
Setting Rewards and Celebrating Milestones
Now that you have an idea of what your overall goals are and what it will take to achieve them, it’s time to set motivating factors for yourself.
If you’re effectively motivated by hitting regular milestones along your career path, then make sure to set realistic expectations for achieving those milestones.
If you find that you work better when you have a specific reward in mind, then go ahead and dole out different minor rewards for finishing certain items on your to-do lists.
For example, promise yourself that if you get a 10% raise in the next six months that you’ll take a weekend trip to a nearby vacation spot where you can take a nice break from work and recharge for the challenges ahead.
Persisting in Your Path
Even if your career is moving forward at a relatively rapid pace, it’s still more than likely that it will take several years to achieve some of your larger goals that you’ve set for your particular career path.
Don’t lose heart, even if you fail to meet certain deadlines and goals.
Success takes a lot of time and a lot of work, and rushing things won’t help anyone. Instead, be patient, calm, and take things as they come. Be grateful that you enjoy your work and that you’re constantly improving in very small ways.
If you persist, you’re much more likely to succeed in the long run. Repeat after me: slow and steady wins the race.
Above all else, don’t forget to allow yourself a life outside of your work. Being extremely dedicated to your career doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice other important aspects of existence.
Take time off every once in a while to spend more time with family and friends. Support them in their own efforts and make it clear that your career will never replace them.