Four Secrets to Career Success (That They Don’t Tell you in School)
We’ve all passed classes, attended seminars, or read books in order to learn how businesses work. But sometimes, it’s the simplest pieces of advice that make the most impact in your success at work.
Below, we have compiled a list of five secrets to success that will accelerate your professional achievement.
- Know everyone’s favorite word. How can you possibly figure out every single acquaintance’s favorite word? Here’s a hint: it’s his own name. There are hundreds of strategies on how to remember someone’s name – from creating a pneumonic to repeating it out loud right after a person introduces himself.Figure out what works for you and stick to it. Since an individual’s identity is so strongly linked to his name, he will feel more valued and highly regarded if you use it sporadically in conversation.That being said, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into someone you’ve met before (a co-worker’s husband, the administrative assistant at one of your accounts) and your mind will go blank.
Instead of struggling through the conversation using less-than-professional generalities like “dear” or “buddy,” etiquette guru Emily Post suggests admitting your memory lapse by asking the person to remind you of her name, then gracefully moving on with the conversation.
- Invest in a roll of Forever stamps. While many elementary schools don’t teach cursive anymore, the sincerity and novelty of a handwritten note will never go out of style.Make sure that a professional stationary set that features your name or monogram, and a smooth-writing pen are always within reach.While an emailed thank you arrives quicker, a tangible note will make a longer lasting impression, whether it’s to the potential new client that you met for coffee or a business owner down the street that referred you to a great local place to find office supplies.A thank you note can also act as a calling card of sorts – the next time that person needs a service that your business offers, she has a tangible reminder of how your relationship has been mutually beneficial in the past.
- Prepare to fail. No one likes failure, but we all know it’s inevitable. Take 15 minutes at the end of each work week to write down your successes and failures. Identify why you consider some events to be failures, but also focus on what specifically you did to achieve successes.After a few weeks, you’ll be able to reflect and identify patterns in your work. Continue to play up your strengths and improve on your weakness, and you’ll find your “failure” list getting shorter.
- Remember why you have two ears and one mouth. Take it as an anatomical cue from your own face – you should listen twice as much as you speak.While you may be tempted to jump into a conversation with a customer by immediately explaining everything you have to offer, you’ll get more out of the conversation if you focus on being an active listener.Ask clarifying questions and paraphrase what the person says to ensure you understand what she is saying – you’ll learn more and your customer will surely appreciate your added attention.
My name is Kelly, and I’m happy to be part of the team at Professional Systems USA, Inc., a small business in North Carolina that provides efficient, cost effective, and time saving business solutions to streamline and enhance your company’s day-to-day operations, marketing and communications.
I am always looking for opportunities to partner with a variety of blogs, specifically on business, creativity, community, and education topics.