EVERYONE wants to be successful. Do you want to enjoy respect from your peers? Be sought-after in your profession? Success is the result of several things, notably a sense of mission, high job mastery and adroit relational skills.
None of them can be perfected overnight. Therefore, success is also a by-product of time. Success requires one to be purposeful, humble, teachable, service-oriented and most of all, patient.
Many people talk about making an impact or making a difference. But without a purpose, how do you know that you are making that “impact” or “difference”? Therefore, define your purpose and don’t limit it to your own wants. We are hardwired to be happy by serving other people.
Live for a cause beyond yourself. This means creating value for others to fill a need. Then, align your work purpose to your life purpose. Harness your unique set of skills, personality, training and experience to deliver such value. Example: a med rep once told me, “I am not selling pharma. I am saving lives.”
Learn what is not in the books. Let’s pretend you are an architect. You can make a good design. But can you implement your design? Have the competencies most other architects do not have, even if you have to be at the job site under the hot sun. There is no menial job; only menial attitudes.
Learn the entire business process. Nobody builds a house alone. Know how your work fits to the big picture. This adds depth to your designs, costing or project management. Even after you turn over your work to another department, retain a sense of ownership.
Learn from mentors. Ask people with years of experience ahead of you. They can teach you what to do and what not to do. Note: you have to be an excellent mentee.
Learn to think like your boss. You want to be promoted? Then think like the boss. Whenever possible, do your boss’ job. Be the person you want to be promoted to.
Learn to think like the owner. Successful businessmen do things other people don’t. Hence they enjoy financial independence or command their own time. Thus, if your business proposal has been revised or your budget slashed, ask why. ROI too long? Control expenses? Input of customer? Trend of industry/ market? New technology? Re-frame negative feedback as a learning opportunity. These will be useful if you want to put up your own business someday.
Stretch yourself. Be bold. If you think you are not being paid enough, ask for a big project to prove your worth. Show your potential. It’s not “first get paid more, then do more.” Rather “first do more, then get paid more.” Turn this system to your advantage.
Ted Failon once said in a radio interview: “Know the rules of the game and play it better than anyone.” The more you know and the more experience you have, the more you will be sought after and paid well. Therefore, take this time as the stage where you learn as much as you can.
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