10 Tips to Propel Career Success

  Tim Conway

If you’re one of The Fortunate to secure employment in 2009, you must now focus on delivering for demanding clients and colleagues.

Here are proven techniques to immediately propel your career:

1. Be polite/nice to everyone:  smile; start conversations; hold doors; say thank you often (tip:  skim books on manners/etiquette).

2. Nail your assignments:  remind yourself daily that only you are responsible for on-the-job results.  But ask for assistance when stuck.

3. Take ownership for Little Stuff:  arrive 10-minutes early for meetings; proofread every document before submitting; record professional voice mail messages; return client calls promptly; never use textspeak in formal correspondences.

4. Open your eyes:  be observant of workplace habits/office politics; then adjust behaviors to fit company culture.

5. Unplug to be active listener:  never listen to iPod around others; don’t obsessively check messages in staff meetings; limit Facebook time; never make/take calls in front of clients/boss.

6. Volunteer for extra projects (especially organization’s priorities).

7. Set short-term goals:  write down three tangible goals that you’ll achieve during next 3-6 months; add more as you make progress.  Read “The Secret” (Rhonda Byrne) about the Law of Attraction.

8. Spot problems:  notice inefficiencies (e.g., operations, marketing); capture ideas in journal.  Think through viable solutions; send supervisor brief memo with suggested actions. Follow-up to offer assistance.

9. Be a joiner (e.g., internal committees, PRSA’s Young Professionals, trade associations, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo).

10. Commit to lifelong learning:  monitor current events; track industry trends via publications/e-zines/blogs; attend seminars/conferences, complete graduate courses as part-time student.

 By focusing your efforts, you’ll impress influential executives.

Tim Conway operates Ignite Young Adults and teaches at DePaul University (Chicago). 

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