What Do People Who Succeed In Their Careers Do Differently?

Years ago, I remember praying fervently and doing everything in my best possible way to land my first dream job overseas. I revised my resume, created a job portfolio, searched online and offline for the job, went directly to the hiring agency to speak to the Human Resource Specialist, spoke to friends and neighbors to let them know I was looking just in case they saw or heard something before I did. I also did more mentally. I would envision myself doing what I was passionate about, qualified for and interested in. I imagined the joy and fulfillment it would bring me. I eventually found the job and I happily applied for it.

The results? I was shortlisted, offered the position but couldn’t start work. It happened that I was turned down at the very last minute because of certain ‘requirements’ beyond my control. The Human Resource representative spotted the mistake when I went in to sign the documents to start work. How did the Human Resource miss that clearly in my application?

Well they are also humans I guess and after all we all miss stuff. I was angry and disappointed. The Human Resources representative made some recommendations. I could feel that she was sorry for me and embarrassed about her department’s mistake if I should call it. Things were out of her control too. She tried to help me by giving me other resources and options. She didn’t get it. I had seen all of those. It was that particular position that I was interested in and wanted so bad. I went home devastated and crashed for days. The requirement didn’t make any sense to me but who was I then? Young and naïve on a foreign soil starting out my life.

After about 3 months, I went back to check in for other positions and options. Then I asked for the same HR representative who knew my story just to say hello. Trust me I’d always check in. We exchanged smiles and I said ‘I know you said no the last time but I wanted to check in to see if anything has changed’. She smiled and said ‘actually yesWe’ve been discussing your peculiar situation. So many dependents are in the same pool as you. We sent it up and the policy has been amended. Hallelujah slipped in my thoughts. Here is a copy of the statement’. She added. ‘Now let’s look at your portfolio again’. I grinned. I was offered the job. You can imagine my excitement. My dream has come true finally! I would make impact, learn as much as I could and advance in a career path that I had always wanted I thought proudly.

Few months after working I was ready to quit! Yes. Did I not like the job? Far from it. Was it not the same position that I had prayed and fought for? Yes. Yes. Yes!!! So why? During that period, I learned something very important about life, careers and success in general. I learned that even for those things that we call breakthroughs, miracles and dreams come true we still need special grace to handle them. No. Wait. I mean exceptional, gigantic and anointed grace. Yes, you are hearing me right. Grace that is also anointed to push forward and to come through successful.

Mind you, I didn’t quit that job. And I have actually worked in the same field for some time now. The moral of this story is that anything is possible if you believe and persevere enough. You can achieve your career goal whether it is landing the job you’ve always wanted, getting that promotion or starting and running a successful business. You will get there. But when you eventually get there how do you succeed at it? And that is the main discussion on the table today.

What are those things that people who Succeed in their careers actually do differently? 
 1) They believe in themselves. Self-confidence is key if you want to succeed at anything. Believing in yourself is knowing that despite your short comings and everything that is set out against you, you can make it. People who succeed in their careers trust their guts. They hold the strong thought that they have what it takes to be who they want to be. The world can be saying something else, but they have a positive belief about themselves and their ability to succeed at anything even when they have failed several times.

2) They dream big and set goals for themselves.

People who succeed in their careers have big dreams for themselves, set meaningful career goals and take bold steps to achieve them. They picture their dreams on a vision board, they write down their goals and they track their success.

3) They see things differently.

They see beyond today and now. Every kind of work or career path has its own myriad of issues. If it is not boss issue, it is employee issue. If it is not customer issues it is service issues and so on. People who succeed in their careers see challenges as any other problems that can be solved in an exciting way. They choose to see beyond today and now. They focus on the lessons to be learned and the growth opportunities. One time my colleague and I had to just laugh so hard till we had tears in our eyes over serious issues at work that we didn’t even know how to start solving or handling them. Trust me, that was the only way to get through the day.

4) They think differently.

People who succeed in their careers have trained their mind to think in a certain way. To focus on the solutions instead for example. They know that challenges will remain challenges. If they are not here today, they will be here tomorrow invited or uninvited with their own chairs and tables. If it is not one thing, it is fifty million other issues to deal with. Life must still go on, so we must take heart and learn how to handle the issues and keep moving.

5) They talk differently.

They are conscious of the words they use and cautious of what they say. They avoid words such as ‘’Can’t or ‘impossible’ for example. And when they hear that depressing and suppressing voice that tells them they won’t succeed, or they will fail at a task they silent that voice immediately. They don’t hesitate to talk back to that negative voice. They often will say to that voice ‘No. Aha. Not here. Not right now. Not me. I got this. It is well. I will get through this. I will make it.

They also avoid being unnecessarily critical, cynical and bashing others negatively. Instead they are constructive in their criticism. They discuss ideas and talk about solutions and not people. They encourage and motivate their colleagues or team members. They build other people up with their words of wisdom and courage. And the more they do that they more encouraged they feel themselves. When they feel encouraged, they also feel confident. When they are confident they work on their career goals with determination. When they work on their career goals with determination they succeed. And you wonder! May you not despise them for their success.
 6) They are willing to learn from others.

People who succeed in their careers have people they look up to. They have career mentors. These are individuals who have been through or are going through and they ask questions. They learn on their own and from others as well to avoid certain mistakes or create better opportunities for themselves. I strongly believe experience is the best teacher and that there are lessons to be learned from failure, but I hold up high those people that I can learn from to avoid certain headaches if I can. The world is full of too many problems already. And life is too short to spend all my time failing in something that I can succeed if I have to listen to someone’s story.

7) They invest in themselves.

People who succeed in their careers invest in active learning through self-education. They know personal development is key to their career success. They read. They buy or borrow books. They take classes. They attend workshops. They participate in webinars. They listen to podcasts. They join master minds groups. They have a career support tribe that they can learn from and lean on. In effect they have ways to sharpen their skills and to improve on their thinking capacity daily. They also set aside time for themselves to pray, meditate, reflect, write, brainstorm, set goals, create and build.

In short, they ‘stay hungry’ for their own career success.

Written by Pearl Alimo. Training Consultant and Career Coach