Successful People: Their Top 2 Career Secrets

successful peopleThere are a lot of formulas out there that point towards how to plan and execute a successful career.

But if you talk to people who have been able to achieve career advancement and increase their earnings, there are two career secrets that successful people know that help them get ahead.

Remember these tips, and think about how you can implement them to advance your own goals:


Whether you get an annual performance review or not, everyone (yes, EVERYONE) should create their own job performance benchmarks.

Only you know, at the micro-level, all of the various ways you have performed against expectations, goals, and organizational needs.

Successful people know how important information about their performance can be… from making a case for a pay increase, job promotion, or consideration for a stretch assignment.

Don’t fall into the false thinking that a supervisor is intimately in tune with every single positive contribution that you’ve made.

That’s horse manure.

The boss has other people and responsibilities to manage that prevent them from knowing all of those details.

Once you have a fair understanding of what your job is all about, you should immediately draft out a metric template that you can use that shows how you move the needle in contributing to the company. What efficiencies have you helped build? How have you helped the company make money? What money-savings have you captured?

Successful people know that by showing and connecting how their work contributes to a company’s bottom line therefore increases their value to the organization, both internally, but also as a potential “catch” for another business.

Professional Development.

You’ve heard the phrase: “Never stop learning.” Relevant personally, it takes on critical importance in your career. Employers like to hire subject matter experts as a way to improve their company internally while making it more competitive.

Too many times, I hear résumé clients say, “Well, I didn’t take any classes, go to any conferences, or pursue any certifications because my company wouldn’t pay for them.”

That is a huge failure. Not so much on the part of the company, but on the job seeker. Why are you letting your own marketability rest on whether an employer decides to invest in your professional development? Why aren’t you doing it… for you?

Only you are in charge of your career. No one else. While we may maintain great relationships with our employers, at the end of the day, the bosses ultimately will land on the side of the company which is an organization that needs to stay in business. You are the collateral, and therefore expendable. Or at the very least, the last place where they will invest when money is tight.

Successful people don’t let lack of employer investment into professional development opportunities (conferences, workshops, seminars, conventions, webinars, classes, industry certifications, etc.) hold them back.

Successful people step up and invest in themselves. Gaining a skill or knowledge set is something you can take with you anywhere you go. It can open doors to your employment opportunities, and remove barriers by addressing skill set liabilities.

So don’t take the B.S. route out by saying that because the company won’t pay for you to attend a conference, you didn’t go.

Successful people take a vacation day on their dime, go to the educational session, then slip back into work, while making plans for their next career step, knowing that they are building the best set of qualifications possible.

Want to be one of those successful people in your career?

Take these tips and implement them into your work to achieve your career aspirations.

Because no one else will.