Success isn’t quite as elusive as people think. It’s more a matter of developing strengths and skills, gaining experience and learning how to be successful. A good analogy is a professional career. The “broad brush” approach is your best guide to creating a successful career. For instance, if you’re looking at a career in Occupational Health and Safety Management, you need to learn about everything from self insurance for businesses to how to set up an entire OHS management system.
1. Success- Getting through the obstacle course- Starting out
In all professions, success is based on a combination of talent and marketable skills. Start looking at your strongest skills, the ones you can rely upon to get you somewhere and where your performance is going to be good. You need to look for qualifications and experience in these areas. You’ll find the work is a lot easier for you, too, and these are portable skills.
2. Finding a direction for yourself- Navigating your career
The other major advantage of following your preferences and talents is that you start with a much better knowledge base. Many people find that following a career path in areas where they’re not particularly talented means constant discouragement. In any occupation where you’re naturally interested, the work isn’t even really work. You can achieve a lot in this environment.
3. Learning your job market
Whatever career you choose, you must understand how your career dynamics operate. All careers have their own special job markets, and “career mobility” isn’t just a buzzword. To succeed, you must know how to develop career opportunities and where to look for them.
(Never just assume career opportunities will present themselves. You can achieve more, much more quickly, by selective job moves.)
4. Specialize, or not?
In some careers, like OHS, the top of the profession is safety management consulting . This is a generalist role for experts in OHS. In IT, specialization can be a big positive, but it can exclude you from other roles. The choice whether to specialize or not is quite difficult, and you really need to weigh up your options.
5. The New Economy approach to success- Freelancing and contracting options
Some people actually create two careers. They’ll have typical day jobs, but develop their range of career options through freelancing. This also provides a second income stream, and can pay for a lot of career upgrades like qualifications, equipment, etc.
6. Business skills- Yes, you do need them!
In any career, basic business skills are particularly important. At some point, particularly at management levels, the only way to progress is to have actual business qualifications. You need to learn the language, and you really must understand the business processes in your interest.
7. Networking is both social and business
Networking is a basic career practice. People form natural social networks, and the best business networks are also social networks. The people you meet from training and basic steps onwards are your base network. Make your network a real career asset.
Success isn’t a matter of luck. It’s a matter of skills and understanding. Use your skills, develop your understanding, and you’ll do well.