Why is it that some people move further and faster in their careers than others?
What is different about today's working environments compared to that
of our parents?
Have You Ever Thought
- "I have the appropriate educational background; why didn't I get the
- "I have all the skills and experience the company is
looking for; why wasn't I given the promotion?"
- "I have been here longer than the successful candidate;
why did they get the job?"
- "I go to work
everyday, never calling in sick; why don't I get recognized for my contributions?"
- "What do I have to do to be
- "I work just as hard as everybody else; why didn't I get as big a raise?"
These thoughts are common to a lot of people.
So What Makes the Difference
I see three qualities that explain the difference between an average person,
and a person who stands out above the crowd.
If you consistently demonstrate these three qualities, you will stand apart
from the rest.
On the other hand, I could make a list of hundreds of qualities and skills
that you should possess to be successful today. Instead, if you demonstrate
these three qualities, all the other qualities and skills you require will follow
We all have the ability to acquire these three qualities; you don't have to be
a genius to master them. What you do need, however, is a willingness to
truthfully examine your behaviors, have a desire to improve, and take the
It is also helpful to obtain honest feedback from a supportive co-worker.
The feedback you need from your colleague is how they see you compared
to how you see yourself.
Putting these three qualities into practice is not as easy as it sounds. It is
human nature to fall back to what is familiar and comfortable to us. You
really have to work to develop these qualities, and, in some cases, you will
need to break old habits.
Breaking old habits is easy to say, but much harder to do.
"Some habits are much harder to break than others but you must first have
a new habit in your mind before you can even try to attempt to destroy the old."
And, don't expect immediate recognition after you have made positive
changes. There has
to be consistency in your behavior and performance over time.
Don't think that by reading a
changing some of your behaviors, that tomorrow will bring you recognition,
or a promotion. Often people get discouraged or disillusioned by expecting
everyone to instantly see the positive changes they have made. Allow time to
work to your advantage.
The Three Key Qualities Are:
1. Having a
2. Being Able to Adapt to Change
3. And, Loving What You Do
Quality 1 - Positive Attitude
In my opinion, a positive attitude is a major key to success. Yes, you can be an expert in your field, but if you have a negative attitude, it could lead to your downfall.
Think about this. You can teach people technical knowledge that enables them to do the job, but it is much more difficult to train people to have a positive attitude. On the other hand, it is much easier to hire someone with a positive attitude, and then train them in the technical aspects.
So what do I mean by "attitude"? Your attitude is made up of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions towards situations. Attitudes apply to both your work and life in general. Do you have a negative or positive attitude?
Quality 2 - Adapt To Change
The workplace is constantly changing and we must be prepared to change with it.
No longer can we rely on past experience to provide our safety net for the future. No longer can we look at seniority as a security blanket, or our guarantee that we will move up the ladder. Or, for that matter, that we can even stay on the rung where we are today. Even more to the point, the ladder is getting smaller and smaller as companies flatten their structures. How do you ensure you are not flattened?
You may say that you don't want to advance, that you want to remain in the same position. With downsizing, centralization, and consolidations that are occurring in today's corporate offices, even if you don't want to advance, you are still affected. If you don't change and adapt, you may end up being a statistic of downsizing, resizing, or right sizing. It doesn't matter what the reorganizational process is called, the fact is - you may not have a job.
Right up front, let me say this; yes, you can resist the change, but it is going to happen whether you resist it or not. But ask yourself, what are your chances of surviving if you continue to resist change? The first thing that everyone should understand is the reason why the change is needed.
If your company doesn't adapt to change, it won't be around either. With technological advancements and global competition that all businesses face today, companies need to change the way they do business. Companies need employees who can adapt to change, who embrace change, who do not wait for change to hit them. They need employees who actually champion needed changes before the competition does.
If you accept and embrace change rather than resist it, you not only increase your chances of survival, but also that of your employer. Analyze how you react when change is introduced. Are you excited about it? I am not suggesting that you blatantly accept every change that comes along. What I am saying, though, is that you are able to look for the benefits rather than the disadvantages.
In order to move beyond how the change will affect you personally, you need to focus first on the advantages of the change. If you find you are resisting a new process, a new strategy, or a new way of doing business, a good question to ask is why is the change necessary. Once you understand the reasons for the change, you may then be able to see more clearly the benefits to your organization, and to yourself.
Quality 3 - Love What You Do
When you love what you do, then work is no longer work. It is a passion; something that we want to do. I am not saying that you will love every aspect of what you do but you will find satisfaction, enjoyment, and a sense of achievement in this work.
A major key to your success is loving what you do because it is no longer work. The money you are paid becomes secondary because you are happy and content in the job you are doing. If you work primarily for the money and you hate what you are doing, this will be reflected in your attitude which ultimately impacts your performance.
A lot of people have no idea what it is they would love to do. I would suggest two things for these types of people:
1. write down what things make you want to get up as soon as you awake - what do you have enthusiasm for - is there a career in that field?
2. get a career book, and there are many - take the tests that let your personality determine what is best suited for you (find the books on amazon.com, do a search using the term "career personality", and lots of great books will show up. Many of these books may be available at your local library)
Once you discover what it is that you really want to do, set your goals and work to attain the job that you would love to do!
Adopt these 3 qualities and move forward with your career!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Successful people, whether they're working for somebody else or working for themselves, do whatever they do to the best of their ability -as if the boss is watching them every minute of every day."
Dean Graziosi, Millionaire Success Habits
"Change is inevitable. Change is constant."
"Get into a line that you will find to be a deep personal interest, something you really enjoy spending twelve to fifteen hours a day working at, and the rest of the time thinking about."
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."