Success doesn’t come easy to a young professional these days.
Fewer opportunities. More intense competition.
These actions will increase your chances of winning as a young professional.
1. Put Your Academic Pedigree Aside
Your credentials won’t help because most people vying for new roles also have a healthy education portfolio. You need a strong educational background to play the career game but winning takes much more.
Turn down the volume on your degree and turn up the volume on your practical accomplishments. This focus will put you ahead of others who will continue to rely on their “MBA from Harvard” to get ahead (and it won’t necessarily).
2. Discover Someone Who Has Done Something to Guide You.
There are many potential mentors out there but choose one who has demonstrated practical success in execution and implementation. Success is a function of delivering results, not excellence in pondering over possibilities. Seek guidance from people who excel in getting stuff done.
3. Get Intimate With the Strategy of Your Organization
You WILL draw attention if you are delivering on projects that directly relate to strategy. Know it at a detailed granular level, and determine what your specific role is to make a noticeable contribution.
4. Focus Your Energy
Focus your energy on the critical few things that matter to advancing the strategy of your organization. Organizations can lure you into chasing many things that can be unproductive.
Don’t get sucked in. Prioritize a handful of things to achieve and resist the temptations to wander.
5. Differentiate Yourself
Be clear on who you are and how you are different from the crowd around you. Develop your personal brand and work it.
6. Stay Current
Keep your resume up to date and make it available to others when the right opportunity arises. Always be on the hunt for your next move but ensure it doesn’t interfere with performance in your current position.
7. Be Comfortable to Step Outside Your “Job Description”.
Get known as a person who does what it takes to deliver results and who is unafraid to go beyond what is expected of them. Do the right thing not the “correct” thing.
8. Avoid Pondering and “Just Do It”.
Success is determined by the number of tries you make so don’t let thought process get in the way of acting. A corollary to this is to accept imperfection as necessary to deliver constant results. Nothing is perfect and why you are seeking it you’re not EXECUTING.
Remember as a young professional, there is no silver bullet to success.
It’s the result of doing a few simple things consistently and with passion.