Every society has its unwritten rules … and while it is possible to be successful while not pandering to those rules, it is definitely easier if you play along. Being “successful” is tough enough without trying to do it while “swimming against the tide”.
Have you ever heard people say, “They can think what they want … I am my own person”.
What they are really saying is that they know better than everyone else … probably not a good start to success.
If you are still reading this then perhaps you are looking for some meat … some tangible ideas about what you should and shouldn’t do.
- Make a conscious decision about the type of “brand” you want to portray. You will likely want to create an “online image” that supports your professional profile … it is OK to have a personal side online too, but it should not cross into your professional world. I wrote a blog entry a couple of years ago about Creating and Protecting Your Image. A couple of years is “an age” in the internet world, but the basic ideas seem to stand the test of time.
- Be aware of how you are perceived … and work to ensure it is how you want to be perceived. For example … if you are seen as the “out the door at 5pm” person, it’s probably not going to help your “drive for success”. If you are seen as the person who “does what it takes” it will definitely help. PS. That doesn’t mean you need to work much longer … but leaving fifteen minutes later in an unhurried manner, sends a different message than starting to pack up at 4:55pm!
- You want to be successful … but do you dress that way? It helps how others think of you if you dress appropriately. If you want to be “the nerd” for you career, nothing wrong with that and you probably dress that way too … just do it consciously!
- How do you react to stress? Leaders should be able to generally deal with stressful situations in a relatively calm manner … it certainly helps calm the whole team down. If you want to be a leader then you should be working on that.
- Speaking of leadership … be a leader! It doesn’t need to be a formal position, but adopting a leadership stance is recognized … it can work for you, when you try to work with the company and against you when you become the workplace rabble rouser!
- Be thoughtful, consider other’s feelings, help others where you can … successful people do this without thinking. John Izzo would say give more than you take … it does get noticed!
You can be successful by “bucking the trend” but you improve your chances significantly when you know and understand how your world works! When you impress others you will be impressing those who can have a positive impact on your success.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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