Top Tips 5 min read

Defining Success Part 1

Katie Fiddaman

Katie Fiddaman posted on

The dictionary defines success as: the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one's goals. Success can come in many forms: work, personal life, sports or hobbies, and we all define success in different ways.
For example, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin says:

"Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are."


Photo by Francois Olwage / Unsplash

However, in this blog we are going to show 10 ways how to be successful generally within your career...

1. Define your Goals

Take a look at your career and decide what success means to you, whether this is to be a Manager of a large team, CEO of a business, to have a successful business of your own, or a target salary you wish to earn one day. Generate a goal that you want to work towards by connecting your inner desires to a rational career goal. For example, the inner desire would be: 'I want to live in a large house' but the rational career goal would be: 'to have a successful business' or 'to be paid x amount of money.'
A person making a checklist in a notebook
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

Try to also make the goals SMART, which has some variations:

  • Specific - this means that goals must be well-defined and understandable by someone that has little knowledge of the project.
  • Measurable - putting a measure on the goal so that it is clear when the goal has been achieved and how you will get there.
  • Agreed upon, attainable, achievable - agreed upon refers to the fact that the goal must be agreed with the stakeholders involved. Attainable/achievable refers to ensuring that the goal can be achieved within the circumstances.
  • Realistic - this is ensuring that you have the availability of resources, knowledge and time to achieve the goal.
  • Time-bound - refers to ensuring you have enough time to achieve the goal, but not too much time, which can affect project performance.

The SMART system allows you to build a target that can be achieved and measured to see how the success is coming along. You can do SMART targets for short-term, medium-term and long-term goals, to make the plan more measurable over intervals of time.

2. Build a CV

It is vital to recognise that opportunities are everywhere and you never want to be caught unexpectedly. Therefore, having a quality CV built and updated at all times can increase career opportunities and chances for future success. There are a few online services that can help you to build your CV:

The best way to profile yourself professionally online and for free is with the social media platform LinkedIn. Having a strong LinkedIn profile allows you to make business connections online and network with people within your industry and externally. Recruiters use LinkedIn all the time to discover potential new employees and the bigger your network, the more opportunities you are open to.
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3. Familiarise Yourself with Your Strengths

Awareness is an essential key to personal improvement. By being aware of your strengths, you can adapt your life to whatever conditions you're being put through. You'll also get many benefits as you can leverage your knowledge, skills and wisdom for the best purposes. Being aware of the skills you are already good at and having an idea of some of the areas for improvement will allow you to develop your current skillset and increase the quality of some of your skills that require advancement. However, it will be beneficial to choose a career path that ensures you’re playing to your strengths.. There are a few ways that you can decipher what your strengths are:

  1. Make a list
  2. Ask yourself questions about certain skills
  3. Look at different skills and see how you may have used them in different situations
  4. Take an online test
  5. Ask a colleague or friend
    Once you are aware of your strengths, you can utilise them to your advantage such as profiling them on LinkedIn or integrating them within your SMART targets.

    Photo by rawpixel / Unsplash

4. Assume Responsibility

One difference between mediocre and successful professionals is responsibility. If something bad happens, you need to take responsibility. This means taking responsibility for decisions and mistakes as these have been influenced by your thoughts and actions. Try not to blame others for mistakes as this could jeopardise future business decisions and being culpable can actually help with your personal development. If you become a manager or director of a team, it is important that you lead by example and encourage your team members to be responsible also. One of the main reasons people take responsibility is because they want to receive praise. So, give it to them. You might be amazed at the difference it can make in someone's life or career.

5. Constantly Raise your Standards

When building your own career success it is vital to have a positive trajectory. This means always raising your standards to ensure you provide the best product or service that you are capable of producing. Some examples of how you can raise standards would be:

  • Up-skill employees - if you have people working for you and you have the finance to provide them with further training, do it! Not only will it improve employee satisfaction, esteem and hence retention, it will improve your whole brand!
  • Making technical improvements - whether this is ensuring that your app, website or social media channels are up-to-date, making these improvements will heavily impact your engagement. How do you discover the improvements? By looking at your analytics or asking for feedback from customers.
  • Change - change can be however big or small you are comfortable with, but conforming to the trends of the industry and changing/developing your products (even if it is ever so slightly) will help to retain interest.

To be continued...

Defining Success Part 1
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