Ten golden rules for career success
The more ambitious and ambitious you are, the more valuable these rules will be to you; they apply to any level of career and ambition. As you look at these rules in detail, try to find ways to apply our ideas to your own career.
- Specialize in a very narrow field; develop your own methods of working in that field.
- Find a niche of specialization in which you will work while having fun, be able to outdo others, and wait for the chance to become a recognized leader in that field.
- Understand that strength is in knowledge.
- Identify your market and key clients and provide them with your best services.
- Identify where 20% effort will get you 80% of the results.
- Learn from the best.
- Start working for yourself early in your career.
- Hire as many surplus value producers as possible.
- Sideline jobs that are not your specialty.
- Use the capital you have as a means of enrichment.
Specialization is one of the greatest and most universal laws of life. The evolution of life itself is governed by this law; each plant or animal species seeks its own ecological niche and develops unique characteristics. A small commercial firm that fails to find its niche in the market is doomed to death. The individual who is not an expert in his or her field is doomed to be a slave, feeding on a paycheck.
A higher standard of living is made possible precisely by greater and greater specialization.
The computer emerged from the development of a new branch of specialized electronics; the personal computer was the result of further specialization; modern, user-oriented software emerged as a new branch of specialization; the advent of CD-ROM data storage systems is another stage in the same process. Biotechnology is evolving in the same way – where each new step requires even more specialization – and this science will soon revolutionize food production.
Your career should evolve in the same way. The key here is competence.
Almost by definition, specialization is unthinkable without expertise. In most countries, only 20 percent of all able-bodied people can qualify for 80 percent of high-skill jobs. In developed societies, more and more often the most important class attribute is not the degree of land ownership or even financial ownership, but the degree of information ownership.
Find your niche. It may take a long time, but it is the only way to gain access to super profits.
Choose the niche of specialization that you will enjoy working in and can become the best
Specialization requires a very careful approach. The narrower the field of specialization, the more carefully you should choose it.
Specialize in a field that you are interested in and enjoy working in. You will not become a recognized leader in anything that you are not enthusiastic and passionate about.
This is not as difficult a condition as it may seem at first glance. These days you can turn almost any hobby, any enthusiasm, any occupation into a commercial activity.
You can look at it from another angle. Almost everyone who has already climbed to the top has worked with the greatest enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the engine of any achievement, and when one infects others with his enthusiasm, his power is multiplied. You cannot fake enthusiasm and infect others with it if you do not feel it yourself.
If you are not enthusiastic about your current profession but want to succeed, quit it. But before you take that step, you must choose a better field. Take a piece of paper and write down things about which you feel enthusiastic. Then think about which of the things you’ve written down you can turn into a niche for your future career. Choose the one area that awakens the most enthusiasm in you.
Understand that knowledge is power.
The key to building an enthusiastic career is knowledge. You should know more about your field than any other person. And then you can turn your knowledge into money, create a demand market for that knowledge, and build a network of clientele.
It’s not enough to know a lot about a little bit. You have to know more than anyone else knows about that little bit. Don’t stop to deepen and expand your knowledge until you are certain that you know more than anyone else in your niche and know it better.
Turning your knowledge into a product you can market is a creative process, and you should think hard about how you can do it. Try to take advantage of the experience of people who are selling their knowledge in a related field to you. If you don’t have such an example in front of you, follow the guidelines below.
Figure out what your market is and who your most important customers are, and give them your best services
Your market is those people who can pay for your expertise. Your main clients should be those people who will most value your services.
Your battleground will be the market, so you have to decide how you can sell the knowledge you have. Are you going to work for an already reputable firm or a successful sole trader as an employee? Or maybe you will work as a freelancer for several firms or people? Or will you set up a firm yourself to sell your services to other firms or individuals?
Your primary clients or customers should be the people or firms that best value your work and can provide you with a stream of well-paying work.
Whether you are a salaried worker, sole proprietor, small or large employer, or even head of state, you still have core clients on which to successfully continue your business, no matter what level you started at.
In any business, 80% of people only get 20% of the results, and 20% of people get 80% of the results. So what are the majority doing wrong and the minority doing right? After all, who are that minority? Can you do what they do? Can you take what they do and do it better?
Are your clients right for you, and are your clients right for you? Do you work in the right firm? Are you in the right department? Are you doing the right job? In what area of your work can you make the best impression on your clients with the least amount of effort? Do you enjoy what you do and are you passionate about it? If not, start planning today to move to a job where you can feel human.
In the field I’ve worked in, management consulting, it’s pretty clear. A big client is good. A big order is good. A team of employees with lots of underpaid young people to whom all the routine work can be delegated is good. Close personal acquaintances with customers at the subordinate level – good. A relationship with the most important person in the firm, e.g. the CEO, is very good. Long-term partnerships with clients – excellent. Long-term and close acquaintanceships with the top executives of large corporations with huge budgets and needing lots of young consultants – you just chuckle on the way to the bank, looking at how easily things work out.
What do the corporations in your business make obscenely large profits on? Which of your co-workers have the highest numbers and at the same time always work hard, having time to have fun? What are they doing that’s so tricky? Think, think, think. The answer is somewhere close, you just have to find it. But for God’s sake, don’t look to your bosses for the answer, don’t poll your colleagues, and don’t try to dig up anything of value in print. There you will find established and commonplace truths in a million different ways. Only cranks, obsessed with their profession and considered heretics in their line of work, know the right answer.
Learn from the best
In any line of work, the most successful people never think or act the way their ordinary colleagues think and act.
However, although they usually do not explain the secrets of their success, we can often learn these secrets ourselves through observation.
In former times, people understood this very well. Whether it was the student sitting at the feet of a guru, the apprentice in the study of a master, the student gaining knowledge while assisting a professor in his research, or the budding artist working with an established master, they all learned through the process of assisting and imitating what was the best course of action in their profession.
Be willing to pay a high price for the right to work with the best. Find any excuse to spend time with them. Find out what is unusual about their way of doing things. You will find that they look at things differently, use their time differently, and interact with people differently. If you can’t do what they do, or something even more different from the stereotypes of your profession, you will never rise to the top.
Start working for yourself early in your career
In allocating your time, prioritize those activities that are at least five times more productive than others. After that, your main task is to take advantage of that productivity with as much benefit to yourself as possible. Ideally, which you should aim for already at the beginning of your career, you yourself should enjoy all the fruits of your labor.
There is only one circumstance in which you should not start your own business: if you are still in the process of intensive knowledge absorption. If working for a corporation or firm gives you knowledge you don’t have, the benefits of that training may pay off your low salary. This is most often the case in the first two or three years of a professional career. This can also be the case when people who are already experienced in their profession come to work for a firm that has higher standards than the one where they previously worked. In these cases, the training period usually lasts a few months, at most a year.
When these training periods are over, start working for yourself. And don’t worry about your own financial security. In any case, the firm that hires you guarantees you nothing either.
Give work to as many surplus value producers as possible.
If on the first level of the road to success you must learn to make better use of your own time, on the second – to ensure that the fruits of your labor fill only your own pocket, then on the third level you must learn to use the power of other people.
There is not enough of you to do all the work, so pay attention to the huge number of people to whom you could potentially give work. Among all these people, only a very few can be of great benefit to you.
The use of other people’s labor is the greatest source of enrichment. Up to a point, you can and should benefit from people who do not work for you–your friends. But you can benefit directly and fully from the people you employ.
It goes without saying that only the hiring of pure profit makers, those whose value more than recoups their cost, will benefit. But it would be a mistake to assume that you should hire only the best of the best. Surplus value is created by hiring as many surplus producers as possible, even if some of them are only twice as good as the average worker and others are five (or even more) times as useful. Within your own team of hired workers, there will still be an 80/20 or 70/30 distribution of efficiency. The highest absolute rates of surplus value production may well be combined with a rather uneven distribution of talent among your team of workers. The only requirement remains that even your least successful worker must still bring, more value than he or she is worth to you.
Sideline jobs that are not your specialty
The most successful professional firms and corporations are the ones that have discarded every occupation except the one they are best at. If they are best at marketing, they don’t do manufacturing. If they are much stronger than others at research and invention, they use a third party not only in production, but also in advertising and in selling their goods. If they are great at producing huge quantities of standard products, they don’t try to do research for richer customers. If they are experts at producing goods for the “cream of society,” they don’t go into the consumer market. These examples could go on and on.
The fourth stage in your professional success is to make as much use as possible of the performers of all the extra work. Keep the structure of your firm as simple as possible. Focus on areas where you are several times stronger than your competitors.
Use available capital as a means of enrichment
So far, we’ve looked at ways to improve your finances through employment. This does not mean that you cannot enrich yourself with the capital you already have.
Enrichment with capital means using money to generate surplus value. The essence of the process is the purchase of machines to replace human labor as soon as, the use of machines becomes more efficient.
In fact, capital is used to clone the know-how expressed by a certain formula. Examples of this use of capital are all kinds of software distribution, the promotion of fast food restaurants like McDonald’s (which is increasingly not so fast) and the global distribution of soft drinks.
Winner take all, so people who really want to succeed should try to become leaders in their field of endeavor.
That field of endeavor doesn’t have to be extensive. Be a narrow specialist. Look for the niche that is most suitable for you. You will never succeed if you don’t like what you are doing.
Success is impossible without knowledge. To succeed, you also need to see how to satisfy your customers with the least amount of resources. Find out in what area 20% of your resources can make 80% of your profits.
At the beginning of your career, learn everything that can be learned. This can only be done if you work at the best firms with the best people. The word “best” means “the best in terms of benefits to work in your own narrow niche of expertise.”
Go through four levels of regulation of your work performance. First, achieve the best use of your own time. Second, through your work as a free entrepreneur, get 100% of the fruits of your labor going to you. Third, use the labor of as many surplus-value producers as possible. Fourth, outsource work in which you and your colleagues are no stronger than your competitors.
If you do all this, you will become the owner of a strong firm of your own. At this stage, use capital regulation to multiply your capital.
20 rules on how to succeed at work
Most people are employed and spend at least 8 hours every day at work. Therefore, it is very important to receive recognition for their work in the form of a promotion.
Let’s tell you what rules you need to follow in order to become as successful as possible in your field.
Find your strengths
Think about what you can do best and move in that direction. When choosing a job, focus not on the salary, but on the opportunity to realize your professional skills and talents. Many people think that this is a wrong approach, because a hobby will not feed you. But experience shows that talented employees who have “burning” eyes, the leadership will quickly notice and with pleasure promotes. It turns out that even if at the initial stage you get less, you have great prospects professionally.
Make a plan
It’s important that you can answer the question of where you see yourself in five or ten years. If you don’t think about it or can’t give an answer, you will probably stay in your current position.
To move forward, you must have a plan with milestones and intermediate goals that you want to achieve within a certain time frame. It doesn’t have to be very detailed, because it’s likely to change over time. But it is important to have it as a guide to action.
Look at the company, not the pay and position
It is better to start out as a simple manager at a serious international company than as a department head at a little-known firm. In the first case you will quickly move up the career ladder, because large companies value talented employees and give them various privileges. Whereas a small executive position can be the peak of your career at another firm.
Besides it is necessary to take into account that in large companies there is a corporate ethics and there is a serious work being done to improve the psychological climate and to raise the team spirit. And in a regular firm there is a higher risk of getting into a conflict collective and a lower probability that such qualities as initiative and creativity will be valued.
In addition, the record in your employment history that you worked in a well-known company, in the future will be your competitive advantage.
Don’t pay attention to what people say about you
Do not waste your time criticizing and discussing people who have not achieved anything themselves. The fact that you are a topic of conversation proves that you are successful.
But do not ignore the opinion and advice of people who have achieved some success. Their experience and knowledge may be useful to you in your future work.
Engage in self-development
In any profession, there are regular changes, and it’s important that you keep track of them. In addition, general development is important: read books, watch webinars and study new information. The brain, like muscles, needs to be exercised.
Don’t be afraid of routine.
Even in your most beloved job, there are things you don’t want to do, but they need to be repeated day after day. Don’t treat it shoddily, work with dedication to arrive at success. To reduce negative emotions try to automate some actions, communicate more with positive colleagues, change your attitude to work.
Do not change jobs too often.
Any employer, looking at the resume with a lot of marks of different jobs, will initially be negative. If you change jobs every six to eighteen months, he will assume that you
You accept any job without analyzing it, and then, already in the process of work, you realize that you made a mistake;
You did not show yourself in your previous job, because they fire weak employees in the first place;
You don’t fulfill yourself anywhere because it takes time, and you leave the company too quickly;
You won’t stay in a new job either, because you perceive it only as a means to get money, but not as a place where you will be more than at home.
So consider that frequent job changes hinder your career rather than help it.
Don’t blow deadlines.
Any management will appreciate employees who get their work done on time without reminders. So learn to plan your time and don’t get distracted by social media and computer games during office hours. If something that should be turned in 5 days you turn in 3 days, it’s great for your working image.
Group similar tasks
This technique is just what will help you always meet deadlines. For example, you can schedule all work calls for the first hours of the morning, and check your e-mail twice a day. This will help you not be distracted from your routine work every time, and thus save resources.
Don’t be afraid of competition.
When you reach a management position you shouldn’t be afraid of hiring savvy employees or asking someone for advice. Completely independent work characterizes you as a good worker only at the initial stage. And after reaching some milestones it is better to learn how to delegate. Otherwise it will be regarded as inability to manage personal time and lead personnel.
Get rid of perfectionism.
A job well done today is better than a perfect job tomorrow. By striving for perfectionism, you are wasting precious time and opportunities. In addition, such a strategy may be viewed by management as indecisiveness and an inability to make responsible decisions.
Such comparisons are ineffective because they contribute to a decrease in self-esteem and the formation of complexes. If you want to see progress, compare yourself only to yourself – what changes have happened to you professionally in recent years, and how it has affected your life.
Talk to successful professionals
Every team has toxic employees whose negative influence may not be limited to gossip. They can put real sticks in the wheels and interfere with your career advancement. It is better to minimize contact with such people to minimize the risk of harm. Also, don’t get too close to colleagues who are constantly dissatisfied with something and looking for reasons to complain. It is better to spend time with energetic employees who are on their way to success – from them you can not only be charged with optimism and energy, but also get a lot of useful advice.
Come to your boss with options for solving the problem, not with questions
If you have any difficulties at work and to solve them you need to talk to your boss, do not rush to his office. First analyze the situation yourself to find options for a solution.
For example, you can answer the following questions:
What are the important indicators that define the problem? These can be various resources: money, time, losses, etc. Try to predict specific numbers.
Possible solutions – try to think of different ways out of the situation, so you can choose the best one.
Your recommendations, what would you do to solve the problem?
This way you will create a concrete list of problems and come to management with a list of possible solutions, rather than asking “What should I do?”
Don’t use phrases that demonstrate your indecisiveness
Replace “I don’t know” (especially if the question is about your expertise) with “From what I know, I can guess” and give a list of some recommendations, then tactfully take time to analyze the situation.
Instead of “I can’t,” say, “I’ll think of ways to do it.” Avoid saying it’s not your responsibility. Instead, say that you will talk to your colleagues responsible for the issue and offer to help.
Such substitutions will help you maintain the image of a good professional who doesn’t get lost in force majeure situations.
Maintain good relationships
If you decide to leave your job, try to maintain friendly good relations with both management and colleagues, even if you think you have been treated unfairly. Keep in mind that the business world is small, and a scandalous exit can damage your business reputation. In addition, a good relationship with former management can bring tangible benefits: you can ask for advice, get a recommendation, call former colleagues to a new team, etc.
Praise in front of others and criticize in private
This is the main rule of every manager, no matter how many people he supervises. You should always keep in mind that a good result depends not only on your professional abilities, but also on the ability to find a common language with your subordinates. Public criticism is a sure way to spoil relations and offend the employee. Such behavior is perceived very painfully and is not forgotten for a long time.
Therefore, always express dissatisfaction and criticism exclusively in private. But it is better to praise publicly, because it gives an additional incentive to work well.
Focus on the good.
Complaints and dissatisfaction will not help to achieve good results. If you come in gloomy and depressed all the time, not only will you lower your own performance, but you’ll also hinder others.
So try to focus on the good and look for the positive. If you can not at the moment change your job, change your attitude.
At first sight it seems that sport has nothing to do with the performance at work. But in fact, you need to consider the following:
Physical activity provides a charge of vivacity and good spirits;
Sport is about setting goals and achieving them regularly.
For example, you can run in the morning and periodically increase the mileage. Or walk 15 minutes longer every three evenings. Achieving small goals helps you to set bigger goals. Therefore, regular exercise will also help in your career advancement.
To be in good standing and to move forward, you need to pay attention to your behavior in the team and directly in communication with the management.
Here are important rules to follow:
Avoid familiarity. Even if you and the boss often discuss business matters over a cup of coffee, it does not mean that you can go to the “you” and pat him on the shoulder in a friendly way when they meet. Always respect the chain of command.
Turn off your phone during meetings and conversations with management. Otherwise it may be perceived as an unwillingness to get to the heart of the matter or as outright disrespect.
Do not look at your watch when your boss is talking about his ideas, it can be perceived as an insult.
Sit freely, but without disturbing others. If you are too cramped, it will be perceived as insecurity, and too loose posture with arms and legs spread out creates discomfort for others.
Do not use overly complicated terms. This makes the speech boring and is likely to scatter the attention of most listeners. So learn to speak simply and clearly, and as a bonus, keep it short. That way you’ll be easier to listen to and perceive.
Thus, in moving up the career ladder, personal qualities and behavior play just as much a role as the level of professionalism.