Written by Ngozi Aligwekwe
Years ago, I attended an event that hosted speakers, including Dr Jane Stevens, coach & partner at Hay Hill and Claire-Louise McSherry, founder of the McSherry Brown Recruitment Boutique.
The panel discussion was focused on answering the following questions: Are you owning your career? How can you drive your career? What are the distinguishing features of people who have successful careers? Here are some of the takeaways as next steps from the event. This has been written as a three-part series.
First, the following are some of the main characteristics of successful people:
Successful people are self-aware
What does success mean to you? Do you understand who you are and are you clear on what motivates you? Are you fully aware of your strength and weaknesses? Do you know what you want and where you want to be? Do you realise what impact you have on those around you at every level? These are important questions for reflection.
Successful people are planners
They have a plan and set realistic but focused goals. They plan each day, week, month and year. They are not afraid to make difficult choices or take what some perceive to be risks but in reality, are actually part of a broader long-term plan.
Successful people are all about accountability and self-motivation
They take responsibility for themselves and their careers and don’t wait for the tap on the shoulder. It is up to you to seek out every opportunity and communicate clearly what you want to do and where you want to be. They have an unrelenting persistence in driving their careers.
Successful people are ambitious and hardworking
You need to create your own luck and be determined whilst constantly striving for improvement, continual learning and success. Learning is a continuous activity for successful people.
Successful people will go above and beyond their job description
When moving into a new role they are thinking of the next role. They do more than is expected of them and deliver beyond their job description. They seek to take on new projects and initiatives. They have a bigger view of themselves and grow their skills accordingly.
Successful people are highly competent communicators and can promote their own brand
The question is who am I? What do I have to offer? Successful people come across as competent and credible. They can communicate this to stakeholders, sponsors, colleagues, peers and direct reports. They are aware of their own areas of specialism and the value that they can offer.
Successful people are connected and well networked
You need to build strong relationships within your organization, across the industry and even outside your industry.
Successful people see the bigger picture
They know what is going on in the world and how this impacts on their industry and career. Such individuals are generally creators or drivers of change and generators of ideas. They are the ones leading change rather than being receivers.
Successful people are agile and flexible
They are able to adapt quickly to external forces such as global recession, cost-cutting environment and regulatory change.
10. Successful people adopt and maintain a positive mindset
They have a can-do attitude and view mistake making along the journey as a positive learning experience.
Successful people operate with authenticity and humility
They inspire other people to follow them and to deliver against a vision and strategy.
Successful individuals have a passion and energy for what they are doing
It takes a lot of energy to build a career, therefore, you need to enjoy what you are doing.