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Mar 01 2019
Recipe for Career Success
April Tanner, CCE, Kimball Equipment

I get ideas for articles from lots of different places - and since I have had to do one a month for a year, I take inspiration from wherever I can get it. A great credit manager we all know and love inspired this article - you know who you are.

In reading about career success, I found this post on lifehack.org. It is a recipe for career success. We all strive for career success and we all know how to follow a recipe, so I liked the concept and am sharing my take on it here.





Relax-find the fun

Letting go (I am now singing the song from Frozen in my head - are you?)



Keep True



Keep true to yourself on what YOU want to pursue at all times. What are your goals? Hard work only comes with passion and that is the key to success. Spend an hour to relax, listen to your heart and you will find your way. One important thing to remember, money DOESN'T necessarily equal success. Even if the job can earn you pot of dough, don't bother to take it if it's not what good for you and your career.

We hear it all the time - Less is More. Did you spend the whole morning deciding today's lunch? You've lost at least 4 hours on working towards your goals! This is a bit of an extreme example, but it is saying that unnecessary decisions complicate life. Eventually you can lose focus on work. It reminds me of something I read about high performing individuals wearing essentially the same clothing every day to eliminate unnecessary decisions (picture Steve Jobs or Professor Einstein.) So why don't we live as simply as possible? Simpler life=more time. *Please note that I don't think the clothing option would work for me as I love to match; shoes, purse, coat, jewelry but that is a me thing - it makes me happy so I will keep doing it but maybe I will have more soup for lunch.

Be brave. Stop waiting for chances and create or take opportunities. Leave your comfort zone and knock on the door of others. Network. If you really want to have an impact, then make it happen. Talk to people in person. Get up from your desk and visit another person at their desk. This has the added benefit of helping your mental and physical health. Reach out to mentors who can help you set and achieve goals. ICEL is a great place for this. Take a risk now and then. For example, write an article for the newsletter or talk at ICEL. It is scary, but you will thank yourself later for being bold and making a difference in your career.

Relaxation brings creativity. Taking a break from your desk each workday can be helpful. If you are stuck in a rut or struggling with a solution to a problem stand up, stretch, take a walk. Getting up and taking a break is also beneficial for your physical health. Often after a walk around the building I feel renewed and better able to handle the tasks at hand.

Let go of any failure and have fun with it. I know this sounds impossible, but we have all had failure, we just learn to put it behind us. Learn from it and literally move on. Think of how every baby learns to walk. I don't know of one baby who went from lying in a crib to walking instantaneously. Learning to walk was a process of failures until it worked. Babies have parents that make a game of learning to walk. Mentors can do the same in our careers. Babies are wired to keep making progress and we need to keep that in our adult lives. We need to be proud of the bumps and bruises. We need to be sad about the hurt we feel, learn from the pain then laugh about how we received our black and blue marks and finally move on.

Stay motivated, never get complacent in victory. Congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, even the ones no one else notices. Keep in mind, this victory/goal achievement is just one of the stepping stones in your career success. Keep your vision/goals in sight at all times. Examine why and how you succeeded then revise and update your future goals. Remember to keep true to the goals you set past and present in your journey.

Sleep leads to success. In my case this could not be truer. I can function on only a few hours' sleep for a while, but it will catch up with me and I don't perform as I should. Performance leads to success therefore I need to take care of myself and get good sleep. You know the old adage we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed so we should make sure we have a good one. Success in our careers cannot come at the greater cost to our own well-being.

A recipe is just a formula - and the above is just a reminder of many of the lessons we have had in our lives before this moment. I have attended many classes at NACM Conferences and at ICEL and a little reminder now and then to help keep the focus is always good. When I have a good recipe that I use often and share often, I print it out and tape it to the inside of my cupboard door. Then that recipe is easily found and referenced. I think I may print this out and put it under the glass on my desktop so I can have a reminder of these simple steps more often.