Most people begin their careers determined to meet their goals and make a positive impact in their industries. Many excel. Yet, others stagnate. So, what sets highly successful people apart from everyone else?
- They stay organized
Successful people have a system in place to track their career goals and achievements. There is no one-size-fits-all method for staying organized – some people use journals, digital notepads, or lists. Some organizations offer career development resources to help employees stay on track. [email protected] is a great example of a tool that can help current and prospective VA employees set and achieve their career goals.
No matter what system you choose, staying organized will help you to see the big picture of your career and plan ahead more effectively.
- They know themselves
Successful people know what they’re good at – and they focus their energy on those strengths. Profile tests like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and Gallup’s StrengthsFinder can help you understand yourself better: the skills you enjoy using, how you think, and how you work within a team.
- They know where they’re heading next
Successful people have a plan. They may not have an answer for every turn in their career, but they do know where they are heading next and they evaluate their plan regularly. So, think about where you’re headed and the possible career paths you could take. It will make it easier for you to pinpoint the trainings you need to take or the people you should meet to make your next career move.
- They keep learning
Albert Einstein famously said, “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” This reveals a secret of many successful people: they never stop learning. So, remember to continuously put yourself in situations where you can learn new things and develop new skills. Atttending formal trainings– like professional conferences or talks by industry leaders – are excellent opportunities to grow. But, informal education opportunities – such as career advice articles, self-paced online courses, and informal mentor relationships – are also great learning opportunities.
- They track their accomplishments
Successful people keep records of their accomplishments. Why? Because career opportunities often come when you least expect them. One simple way to track accomplishments is to keep your resume updated.
- They invest in others
Successful people understand that by investing in others, they learn more about themselves and become better leaders. Becoming a mentor, for example, allows you to develop coaching and counseling skills and reflect on the value of your own experiences.
Curious about career development at the Department of Veterans Affairs? Check out [email protected] to learn more.