Professional growth doesn’t happen in a bubble. Some believe success and failure are solely based on good luck, bad luck, hard work or complacency. But, I think there’s more to it.
Your career can’t be defined by one moment; one success or one failure. Sure, any one event can certainly change your trajectory, speed your path to reaching goals or even set you back. But, when you look at the entirety of your career to this point, there’s a lot of different circumstances, events and people that have impacted your journey.
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Professional development and career growth can be enhanced through education, training and self-help activities, but true development takes place when you tap into mentors. Learning from others is integral if you’re interested in stretching outside your comfort zone and driving towards larger professional goals.
Knowing this, can you define who drives you, inspires you and has been integral to your career growth?
Do You Have A Great One
Throughout the years I’ve worked for, and with, many talented individuals. I vividly recall how the “great ones” impacted my life and career. The mediocre people blend together. But, the great ones stand out for a reason. Not just because they helped me further my career, but because I could clearly see how they positively impacted their own career and success. They are all an inspiration to me and some continue to push me to want more today.
So what makes these select few so important and impactful?
The mentors who impacted my career the most, all have their own specialty or niche focus, but their commonality is desire.
The desire to achieve, desire to learn, desire to raise others higher, desire to do more. Hard work and dedication is woven into the fabric of their being. They never settle. They never quit.
They each showed me that success doesn’t happen, but rather you make it happen. They led by example, pushed me to do more, be more and strive for more. They pushed me out of my comfort zone.
As you look at your career path, are you sitting in a comfort zone? Are you stagnant and saying tomorrow’s the day? It may be time to take a hard look at your success and how you’ll continue to progress professionally.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
As a career coach I’m tasked with helping you rise above your own hurdles and career roadblocks; to help you find a plan, build a strategy and find success in your career. Some clients thrive on change, growth and personal development. They are open to criticism and change. Others fight it each step of the way. Without the eagerness and openness to change and step outside your comfort zone, your situation cannot improve. Your career will sit stagnant.
Your career isn’t going to magically take flight. You need to seek out challenge and career opportunities. A promotion at work doesn’t happen to you, it happens because of you. Job offers don’t find you, you have to go out and land a great role. Career progression requires that you plug in and reach for more, you can’t sit idle and wait for change.
Take steps now to find a mentor. Someone you can turn to for an unbiased opinion. Not a current boss or best friend. An unbiased professional who will help you see your warts, drive change and successful behavior. Find your “great one”.
How Do Others Find Success
As you look at your peers do you know how they have gotten to where they are? Are they lucky? The boss’s favorite? The “yes” man? If you believe this you’re only selling yourself short.
Successful companies don’t become successful because they promote the person they like best. Leaders don’t hire after taking a popularity poll.
Successful organizations make human capital decisions based on business needs. Their intention is to find the best person for the job. Luck and popularity aren’t how smart leaders make hiring decisions.
So, if you believe you’re not in pace with your peers professionally because you’ve been held back, you’re probably correct in your beliefs. But, the person holding you back is you; not a boss, peer or your employer.
Remember, success happens because of you.
How Will You Create Your Career Opportunity
Career opportunity is not handed to you, it is earned and created by you. You determine your success and failure. You determine your attitude, your ethics and your drive to succeed. You control your career destiny.
If you aren’t satisfied with your professional situation, look for an internal promotion or seek opportunity outside of your current employer. Again, find a mentor to help you.
Waiting for the moment, and complaining about your situation, is counterproductive. Stagnation and excuses are a security blanket you wrap yourself in to help you justify your lack of progress and explain why you “can’t seem to get ahead”.
Sound harsh? It is. But, if you’re honest with yourself, you know I’m right.
The next time you brush off the success of a colleague, challenge yourself by asking: How did they do it? What sets them apart from the group? Do they work harder, give more and want more or do you honestly think they just fell into their success?
Think hard and press yourself to stop trivializing the success of others. If you can do this, you can begin to recognize your own successes. Take ownership of your future and career. Embrace a successful attitude and decide today that you are no longer satisfied with mediocrity.
Success is within your reach. You just need to stop thinking it isn’t and start working towards it. Become someone’s “great one” and reach for the stars!