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The world has a habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going. —Napoleon Hill
This is the "giant step" in personal success and achievement. Decide what you really want from your career. Take the time to analyze your personal talents and abilities. Look deep into yourself to determine what you really enjoy doing. Identify the tasks and activities that most interest you and hold your attention. Think back over your past jobs. What have been your most satisfying experiences and your most enjoyable moments?
You are nature's greatest miracle. You are the end result of millions of years of evolution. There never has been, nor ever will be, anyone exactly like you. In your genetic code, you have been programmed with remarkable potential abilities that you can develop to perform certain tasks extraordinarily well.
You have been engineered for success from birth. You have within you deep reservoirs of talent and potential skill that you have not yet tapped into. You have the capacity to be, do, and have virtually anything that you put your mind to. But you must first accept the responsibility of deciding exactly what you really want and then dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to becoming everything you are capable of becoming.
In deciding what you really want, practice the process of idealization in your career. Project yourself forward five years and imagine that you were doing the ideal job, with the ideal people, at the ideal salary, and under the ideal conditions. What would it look like? Define your ideal clearly and then determine what you would have to do, starting today, to make it a reality.
Imagine for a moment that you could have any job at all. Imagine that all jobs and positions are open to you. Imagine that there is a job that you would really enjoy doing, hour after hour and day after day.
One of the greatest of all success secrets is for you to decide what you really enjoy doing and then find a way to make a good living doing just that. And this is up to you. No one else can do it for you. You are responsible.
You will almost always be paid more and promoted faster when you are doing something that you enjoy, something that you find interesting and challenging and that stimulates and motivates you. The fact is that unless you really enjoy your work, you will never be able to develop the commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication necessary to rise above and push through the difficulties, challenges, and setbacks that every job or career contains.
To clarify your thinking, practice zero-based thinking regularly in your career and in your personal life. This method of analysis is a key thinking skill that comes from zero-based accounting and is one of the most powerful thinking techniques that you can learn and practice.
The way it works is simple. In zero-based accounting, you look at every expense and ask, "If we were not now engaged in this expenditure, knowing what we now know, would we begin it again today?"
Zero-based thinking is similar. Consider all of your previous decisions and ask yourself this question: "Is there anything in my life that I am doing today that, knowing what I now know, I wouldn't get into again today if I had to do it over?"
This is one of the most helpful questions you can ever ask and answer. Is there anything in your life that you are doing today that, knowing what you now know, you wouldn't get into again today if you had to do it over?
The fact is that in times of turbulence and rapid change such as today, and probably for the rest of your career, you will always be able to say yes to that question regarding some area of your life or work.
Apply zero-based thinking to your current job. Knowing what you now know, would you take this job again on the same terms and conditions that you are now working under? Would you take this job working for this particular boss? Would you go to work for this company? In this industry? At this salary? Or in this position? Yes or no?
If the answer is no, your next question is, "How do I change this situation, and how fast can I do it?" You are responsible.
You may have to invest a lot of effort and make a lot of false starts before your ideal career. But it all begins with your sitting down and deciding what you really want in a job, as well as what you don't want, and then taking action to achieve that goal.
The choice is yours. You hold the tiller. You can steer the course you choose in the direction of where you want to be—today, tomorrow, or in a distant time to come. —W. Clement Stone
In these times of continuous and accelerating change, some industries are growing and expanding and absorbing many thousands of people. These industries are offering incredible opportunities for men and women who want to get ahead faster than the average person.
In the meantime, many other industries have leveled off or are actually declining in economic importance and employment. These industries continue to hire people to replace the workers who quit or retire, but as a result of automation, new technology, changing consumer preferences, and competition, these industries are not likely to grow much in the years ahead. Your first job in the pursuit of great career success is to separate the high-growth industries from the low-growth industries.
You can make more progress toward getting paid more and promoted faster in a high-growth industry in a couple of years than you might in five or ten years in a slow-growth industry. Many people change their entire lives by simply walking across the street and taking a different job in a different company in a faster growing sector of the economy.
Look upon your special combination of talents and abilities as a precious resource, like money, and view the job market as a place where you are going to invest yourself to get the very highest return. Treat your mental, emotional, and physical energies as your "human capital," to be allocated in such a way as to give you the maximum payoff. Be perfectly selfish when it comes to committing your life and your work to a particular company or a particular industry.
When you find the right job in the right company, you should then throw your whole heart into doing that job in an excellent fashion. Continually look for ways to increase your value. This strategy will put you in a perfect position to be paid more and promoted faster in the months and years ahead.
The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose. —J. Martin Kohe
Your choice of the right boss can help your career and assure that you get paid more and promoted faster more than almost anything else you can do.
Taking a job is similar to entering into a business marriage, with your boss as your "business spouse." He or she is going to have an enormous impact on how much you get paid, how much you enjoy your work, how rapidly you get promoted, and every other part of your work life.
When you are looking for a job, you should ask your potential boss a lot of questions. Make sure that this is the kind of person that you would enjoy working with and for. Be sure that this is someone whom you could like, respect, and look up to. You should be convinced that this is someone who is friendly and supportive and a person you can rely on to help you move ahead as rapidly as possible in your career.
The very best bosses seem to have certain common qualities, no matter what the business or industry. First of all, good bosses have high integrity. When they make a promise, they keep it. When they say they will do something, they do it exactly as they said they would. If they promise you a salary review or an increase, they follow through, right on schedule.
The best bosses are very clear when they describe a task to you. They take the time to make sure you understand exactly what you are expected to do and to what standard and by what deadline. They ask for your ideas and your input and are always open to new and better ways to get the job done.
The best bosses are considerate and caring about their employees. This means that they are interested in you as a person as well as an employee. They take an interest in your personal life and your family. They want to know about the things that concern you and that affect the way you think and feel at work.
This doesn't mean that a good boss is a father or mother confessor or a nursemaid. But a good boss sees you as a whole person with a life apart from your work life.
You can always tell the quality of your relationship with your boss by measuring how free you feel to speak honestly, openly, and directly to him or her about matters that concern you. When you see your boss coming, you should feel confident and happy rather than nervous or insecure.
Perhaps the best measure of all is that when you are working with the right boss, at the right job, you feel happy and relaxed. You laugh a lot at work. You enjoy yourself and you feel valuable and important as an employee and as a person.
Working for a great boss is a good way to get paid more and promoted faster. And there are lots of great bosses out there.
Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts he has built into his character have brought him there. —James Allen
Fully 85 percent of your success in work, according to psychologist Sydney Jourard, is determined by your attitude and your personality. Your progress, how much you are paid and how fast you are promoted, is largely determined by how much people like you and want to help you.
People who are cheerful and optimistic are always more liked and respected than those who are complaining and critical. One of the most important determinants of your success in your career is how well you get along with others and how well you perform as a part of a team. Your pay and promotion will be greatly influenced by how well you cooperate with others at every stage of your career.
The very best team players seem to be those who are pleasant, positive, and supportive of their coworkers. They have high levels of empathy and consideration. They are the kind of people that others want to be around, work with, and help to get ahead.
A positive, friendly person is more readily noticed and appreciated by superiors who can boost his or her career. In addition, a positive person receives more support from coworkers and staff. A more positive person experiences an upward pressure that pushes him or her forward at a faster rate.
The critical measure of how positive you really are is demonstrated by how you perform under stress. Anyone can be positive when things are going well. But it is when you face difficulties and setbacks that you demonstrate to yourself, and everyone around you, what you are truly made of. You've heard it said that "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
A person with a positive mental attitude tries to look for the good in every person and every situation. He or she looks for something positive or constructive, or for a valuable lesson, in every problem. The habit of looking into every setback or difficulty for something worthwhile keeps you optimistic and cheerful. It keeps you future oriented and action oriented rather than backward or blame oriented.
Fortunately, this constructive approach is a habit you can develop with practice. A positive mental attitude is something that you learn by resolving to be positive every single day, especially when it is most needed.
Most people are highly visual; they therefore judge you by the way you look on the outside, the same way you judge them. —Brian Tracy
Look the part! If you want to be a big success, to be accepted and respected by others, you must look like the kind of person others can admire and relate to.
It is absolutely amazing how many people hold themselves back, year after year, because of their ignorance or inattention to their external appearance. No one has ever taken them aside and told them how important their dress and grooming are to getting paid more and promoted faster.
Numerous articles and books have been written on the subject of professional image in business. I have personally studied the subject for years and taught image and dress to thousands of men and women. I have seen countless situations where a small change in someone's personal appearance has made all the difference in getting hired or promoted. How you look on the outside has a major effect on how far you go and how fast you get there.
People judge you, at least initially, by the way you look on the outside. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your external appearance, your clothes, and your grooming determine 95 percent of the first impression you make. And these elements are determined solely by yourself.
Whether you know it or not, when you choose the clothes you are going to wear and how you groom yourself, you make a personal statement to the world. You tell others what you think of yourself, and you signal to others how they are to evaluate you and treat you. Since you dress yourself, you are responsible for whatever message you send.
You should always "dress for success" at your job and in your company, however that is defined by your business or industry. To determine what constitutes successful dress, start by looking at the top people in your company. Look in newspapers and magazines at the pictures of the men and women who are being promoted to positions of higher responsibility and greater pay in your industry. Pattern yourself after these people—the leaders, not the followers.
The rule is that you should always dress for the position two positions above your current job. When you start to look like a person in a higher position, the people who determine your future at work begin to think of you performing at a higher level. They begin to think of you in terms of greater promotability.
Specific colors and color combinations are more effective than others in business. In addition, specific clothes and accessories convey a message of authority and competence. These vary from industry to industry and from company to company.
You should buy a good book on professional image, such as Dress for Success (for men and women) by John Molloy, read it from cover to cover, and then follow its recommendations in every element of your appearance. Leave nothing to chance.
Rule: "If you are a person with a future, don't dress like a person without one."
There is a lot of talk today about casual dress and how the accepted norms for dress in business have changed. Much of this is only partially true or not true at all. Even the most indifferently dressed Silicon Valley dot-com executive keeps a suit handy to slip on when a client or a banker comes to visit.
Casual dress is appropriate only for employees who have limited customer contact and for people who have only an indirect influence on the fortunes of the company. In many companies, allowing the inside staff to dress down is used as a substitute for additional pay and promotion. You must be careful and thoughtful in this area as it applies to yourself. Follow the leaders, not the followers.
Dress like a person who is going somewhere in life. If everyone around you is dressing casually and you decide to dress well instead, who do you think is going to stand out and look even more like a serious person with a great future?
Excerpted from GET PAID MORE AND PROMOTED FASTER by BRIAN TRACY Copyright © 2001 by Brian Tracy. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted May 9, 2012
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