The criteria for having a successful career will vary from person to person. For some career success is measured by income, for others it may be title or the overall impact made by their work. And some of us define career success as being able to do the work we love. Regardless of our personal interpretation of career success, there are two strategies that will help you get there:
1. Building a career centered on something you are (or can become) passionate about, and 2. Growing your career by developing your strengths.
I was recently at a conference where the speaker shared that he was so excited about his work each day that he couldn’t wait to go to bed so he could wake up refreshed for the next day. What a great perspective to have! Compare that with the majority of people who can’t wait to get to bed only because they are exhausted and then dread getting up the next day for a repeat.When we have the opportunity to connect our work to our passion, we are positioned to perform at our highest levels. People who are excited about their work seem to have an energy that is contagious if not enviable. The bottom line: passion is the best way to fuel the creativity and drive required to be successful.
In building a successful career, passion alone is not enough and here’s where many people get discouraged. Passion without deliberate development will not get you very far down the road to success. Finding out what your strengths are and working to enhance those strengths is more powerful than setting goals, making plans, and even networking. Those things are helpful in building your career, but done outside of the context of what your strengths are, they will feel like random acts with little return on your investment. Building your strengths encompasses those three things: set goals for how you will develop your strengths, plan your next best moves based on the opportunity to grow and/or highlight your strengths, and build a powerful network by adding connections that compliment your strengths.
However you define success, knowing your passions and strengths is at the core of reaching your professional ambitions.