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You want to have a successful career and the world is full of advice, books, experts on this subject ... so where do you start?
I am no expert ... but I have enjoyed some success in my career, so here is my very simple approach:
1. Don't be afraid of work! Consider it your investment in you ... do NOT consider it an investment in your employer. You work hard for YOU, and it will be your career that benefits. Work a little bit harder than the people around you.
2. Don't stop learning. Whatever age you are you must keep learning. Look for every learning opportunity that you can ... big or small. If your company will give you training soak it up; if you can find a mentor then take advantage; read every day (books and articles about your industry, anything that will help you); invest in some training outside of work (it could be toastmasters, Dale Carnegie etc).
3. Network. There are a million books, seminars, advice columns on this. Start small and keep adding. Get involved with a charity, join trade groups and industry associations, get involved in local politics. Anything to grow your network. After you join learn everything you can about people ... be interested and they will respond!
4. Be efficient. Develop basic time management skills and continually work on them. To Do lists, contact lists, goals and all of the other tips that will make you more efficient than your "competition".
5. Dress for success. You don't need to 100% "conform" to societal norms, but you do need to be in an acceptable range ... and only if you have exceptional talent can you push boundaries. Take care of the basics ... be smart, be clean and "put together".
6. Attitude. Develop a positive attitude, find ways to get things done rather than focusing on the negatives. Be the person people can count on.
7. Help others. Give back to the community, be generous with your time and some money. It WILL come back!
8. Have fun. You need to have fun in your life ... or work becomes tedious and it shows! Develop hobbies outside of work and take time to smell the roses.
9. Look after your friends. And they will look after you!
10. Don't take yourself too seriously. You can be VERY serious about your career without being "obvious". Things will go wrong, you will have setbacks ... its all good. That is LIFE.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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