3 Keys to a Successful Career

It is a world governed by speed, with the spread of the internet and social media we no longer have a clear definition of workplace. Just as you are filtering a ceaseless inflow of e-mail to answer the priority ones quickly, so you need to receive and understand career and personal development advice in a quickly and concisely.

Even if an article peaks our interest we start skimming the rest after reading the first paragraph, if it takes more than a couple of minutes to read it we note it down in hope of reading it later or put it away all together. In a way, we are not given much of a choice.

And now for the tips…

1- Rely on your own skills

After a while, people working in companies that are powerful due to brand recognition or other reasons (this could be a public corporation or an international giant), cannot distinguish between their own power and the power of the company. They get so used to using this power that they develop the misconception that this power comes from them. They spend their time in a sweet reverie, without adding anything of value for their own abilities or for the organization. When the resources run out, that is when true personal experience begins. After you overcome the first shock, the expectations we have of our surrounding disappears and a new struggle begins.

It’s not easy. Years ago, when I was the finance director in a market leader international company, I thought I was a source of power. When we power of the company disappeared and I started to work without it supporting me, I realized what was really important. Thankfully this happened to me at a very young age, and I was able to understand that my actual power was a mixture of many things, my own talents, ability to confront problems and others. Whatever power you’ve relied on, know that this may disappear one day for reasons that may or may not be out of your hand. What will never disappear is your own abilities and power. If you rely on that, then even if you may fall down at times you can get up easily.  I see in my own sector that people whose career is built on their own abilities can continue to be successful no matter the company or position. 

2- The quick and the dead

As in a quickdraw duel, the quick will survive and the ones who cannot adapt will cease to exist in the business world. Our work relations in the near future will take on a different form. Instead of being reliant on monthly pay and work contracts, we will see an increase in job based and project based work relations. This type of work is already a part of our economic culture. This is a model created by freelancers and those who want to be their own boss. This model of business is already used extensively in the music industry and now it will spread thanks to the internet and the ease of working from home.

In this case this motto which was said about companies, will apply to us as individuals as well. Just as only those companies which can complete processes  or adapt to change quickly can survive, so will individuals need to complete work cycles quickly and with acceptable quality. When you create fast, functional and useful products or services you can insist on prices that are reasonable for you. While others are competing over lower prices you can be watching Netflix and eating your favorite snacks.

3- Personal PR

If you are both talented and fast a lot of work will find you. Even the most unnecessary task at the company will come to knock at your door and soon you’ll find yourself doing the jobs of others. If you see this as a hobby, go ahead and do it! Otherwise, reminding your work definition without upsetting anyone, being able to tell them it is not productive to disrupt your focus is important. Of course it is important not to be too conspicuous and offend people, but this is no longer the age of modesty. Analyzing the amount of work you are doing, summarizing and reporting your benefits to your manager at least once a year can be a good way of doing this, even if your company doesn’t hold performance evaluations. Otherwise other people will take credit for your efforts.

Once you apply these, opportunities will come your way.

This article was published in Dunya newspaper on 12th February 2017.

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