In this article, author and guest blogger, Heather Townsend breaks down the 4 keys to a successful career!
Just pause for a moment, and reflect.
Let your mind wonder and consider a time when you were truly successful in your career.
It’s OK if you haven’t, as not everyone has had the luxury of being truly successful in their career. Until 5 years ago, I was one of these professionals. You know, the one who never quite realises their potential. Excellent academic pedigree which never quite translated into success in the workplace. Most people looking at me now, with 3 published books to my name and a fairly successful business, would probably not believe me. Actually, I can’t quite believe exactly how far I have come in the last five years.
It is both my past mistakes and my present level of fulfilment, which has led me to a conclusion that there are only 4 building blocks needed for career progression and success. If only I had known this ten years ago, things may have turned out very differently!
These four things don’t include the words like goals, vision or confidence. Actually my strong belief is that these three things come as a result of having these four building blocks present. Without all four of these building blocks being in place, you will struggle to make progress – regardless of your vision, goals or level of innate confidence.
Let’s start with the first building block, passion. When you are passionate about what you do and play to your strengths, then your performance goes through the roof. Sadly, so many professionals are, frankly, not passionate about what they do. Is it any wonder that they struggle to progress their careers? Today’s workplace is darn tough. If you are going to really shine, then you need more than hard work on your side. You need to be really playing to your strengths and being passionate about what you do.
However, you need more than pure passion to pay the mortgage. If it did, then there would not be the stereotypical penniless artist or actor. The next building block you need is to be in an environment or team where there is a good alignment between your values and their values. Without having this values alignment, stuff will always grate and stop you from achieving your full potential. How many times has your performance dipped when you feel you didn’t quite belong, or you were always trying to ‘fit’ in. Ultimately, unless you really feel like you belong, then you will always be expending energy trying to ‘fit’ in and be someone else. Only when you are being your authentic self will you achieve outstanding levels of achievement.
This brings me onto my third building block; health. Far too often we throw ourselves into our career, forsaking pretty much everything else. The high levels of stress of the city lawyer trying to make partner in a magic circle law firm or the high-flying investment banker are just not healthy. You don’t need to be in one of these professions to also suffer the debilitating effects of stress. Ultimately, you need to make sure you are routinely helping yourself to have a healthy mind and a healthy body if you are to succeed in the workplace.
My final building block is connections. You cannot fly in the workplace without the right network around you. How does the phrase go, ‘no man is an island’? The same goes for your fulfillment and success in the workplace. You need to have people who are looking after your back and helping you on in small, and sometimes large ways. Neglect your relationships at your peril!
Get the four fundamental building blocks of passion, values, health and connections in place, and the world is your oyster.
Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To Expert. Her latest book, The Go-To Expert, has just been published. She is the author of the award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Heather works with owners of small professional practices, as well as future and current Mid-tier, Magic Circle and Big 4 partners.
Click here to get your free copy of Heather’s e-book ‘9 ways to get the successful career and fulfilling life that you deserve’