Recipe for Professional Success

Graham Keegan 29.08.2018

The most established of people will tell you, success does not happen overnight. Building a successful career takes time, hard work and perseverance, and each person’s winning formula for this differs. 

Over the course of my career I have learned many life lessons and have also picked up and implemented some useful practices which I feel may be beneficial to any professional hoping to succeed, not only in recruitment, but in whatever your chosen industry may be. 

1. Setting high targets and goals
Planning is key in regards to this, you should aim to plan your working schedule right down to your month, week and even day as much as possible. This will in turn help you set and break down your goals so you know what to prioritize and you can then have a main aim or aims for each day. Goals and targets set should be high yet achievable, there is no point in setting yourself up for disappointment with unrealistic aims. Make sure you give yourself a reasonable probability of success in your endeavours. 

2. Have the right mindset
Mindset is often an overlooked factor when it comes to achieving professional success. However, in some ways it can be the most important factor. Thinking of your role as your own business or personal brand can be quite motivating, and can be a good way to prime the mind for success. Once you get up in the morning, it is up to you what you do with your working day, and only you can control your output. Within a larger organisation, it can sometimes be hard to see the contribution you can make, but if you think of yourself as a franchisee within your company, you may be more inclined to build your personal brand. 

3. Get the focus right
It’s not necessarily the employee who works the longest hours who is the most productive or successful. We are ultimately judged by our output, not our input, and so while effort is great it can’t be your total focus. Social Talent reference a study where people working 8 hours were examined and the average productivity time was actually 3 hours. This is obviously concerning but it is easy to see how this could happen, so do your best to ensure that when you are at work, you are present and engaged as much as possible. You may need to go into a room by yourself if possible to get into your preferred work mode, or break down your day/workload into 30 minute sprints in order to make it seem more manageable. 

4. Prioritize efficiently
There are some basic housekeeping tasks you can do to ensure you are using your time wisely. Clearing your emails on your commute to or from the office if you are not driving is just one simple yet effective example. If you are engaged in a necessary yet not urgent task, ask yourself if it can wait until later, or even if it is something simple then you could possibly complete it on your commute

5. Write it down
If there is something which is really important to you that you want to change in your life, then write it down. This will force you to address the issue or challenge head on. Finding creative ways of using these lists can also be beneficial, such as sticking them up at your desk or on the fridge at home, or even posting them to yourself if you feel that would work for you. One way which I personally find effective but which may not work for everyone is to write down the aspects of life which are important to me (e.g friends, family, career, etc). I will then create a pie chart and insert those aspects into it, giving realistic amounts of the pie as to the amount of time I feel I spend focusing on each aspect. By taking a step back and looking at this objectively, I can then identify areas for me which need more focus over the next 90 days or so. This is a technique which may not appeal to all, but is one which can be easily adapted to suit an individual's needs in terms of planning.  

6. Bring it back to basics
At the end of the day, success can and commonly does; come down to hard work and sheer determination. If the work isn’t done, then maybe it isn’t time to leave the desk yet. Although achieving a healthy work/life balance is important, sacrifices do need to be made sometimes, and sometimes that may mean going that extra step and putting in long hours. Being somewhat flexible, tenacious and determined are qualities which will serve you well in all aspects of your life, not just in a professional capacity. 

Everybody’s personal and professional journey is different, but but generally people have an equal chance of success This kind of success doesn’t just happen, hopefully you can tell from the above points that in most cases, it has to be created. 

If you have any questions on the above or are looking for the next step in your success story then please feel free to reach out to me at the below details.

Graham Keegan's picture
Associate Director | Technology