Career Success Is Within Your Reach

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by Deborah Brown-Volkman

Are you waiting for career success? Do you believe that if you wait long enough sooner or later your dreams of success will come true?

When it comes to success, you are better off spending your time working toward being successful than losing precious moments waiting for it to happen.

What are the traits of successful people? They have drive and a belief in themselves. They are confident. They seem to have the Midas touch. But instead of trying to emulate the qualities that made them successful, we sometimes assume that “they must know someone.” Or, “they were lucky.” We forget that they worked hard to get where they are today. We didn’t see their struggles. We just see the end result, and we want what they have, NOW.

Career success is not just for the lucky. It’s for those who want it and work hard to get it. There’s no mystery to the process. Follow certain steps and you will be successful. Deviate from these steps and success will take longer.

So how do you grab career success? Follow these steps:

1. Believe that you will succeed. Self-belief is such a crucial and sometimes overlooked element. You have to believe that success is within your reach. If you do not believe it, who will? The clients that I coach who make their career dreams come true are those who believe in their goals. How can you become a believer? Sit down with a piece of paper in front of you. Write without editing your words. Create your ideal career and life. Create a picture you can look at every day. What does your picture look like? Does it inspire you? Does it bring excitement into your mind? Belief comes from within. You just have to dig it out every once in awhile.

2. Get the facts. Once you are a believer, back up your beliefs with facts. Find out specifically what steps you need to take to make your picture real. This way you will be comfortable taking action. For example, let’s say you want to expand into another industry. What facts do you need? Do you need more training? Is the cost of training within your reach? If you make the investment will it put more money in your pocket when you are done? Do you care about money, or are you more interested in a better quality of life? Write down your questions and get your answers. Then you will be ready to act.

3. Commit to your success. Successful people say “I will” versus “I’ll try” or “I may someday.” There is something powerful about making a commitment. First of all, the decision to be successful is made, and the back and forth is done. Second, you have focus and direction that transforms your outlook and gives you purpose. As human beings we do not always like to make commitments. We feel that we need to keep ourselves open to all opportunities because we are afraid that we may walk away from something better. Yes, you are walking away from something and that “thing” is confusion. Commitment gives you something greater. A reason to get out of bed every day.

4. Put a plan in place. Once you are committed, map out how you will succeed. Use the facts you gathered in step two (“Get the facts”) to guide you. Break down your success plan into smaller pieces. Put these smaller pieces into your calendar. Make to-do lists. Manage your priorities and say yes only to those things that will bring you closer to success. Delegate and eliminate those tasks that take up your time. And if you get sidetracked or distracted, use your plan to get back on track.

5. Keep moving no matter what. There may be days when you do not want to do the work or you do not believe the effort you are putting in will be worthwhile. It’s normal to feel this way. Your journey will be filled with ups and downs. Success comes to those who keep moving. It’s ok to have doubts. Keep taking action anyway. Take small steps every day, no matter what. Small steps today lead to big dreams achieved tomorrow.

So what do you say? You have only one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.

Deborah Brown-Volkman is the president of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc.”, a career and mentor coaching company that has been delivering a message of motivation, success, and personal fulfillment since 1998. Deborah is the author of Coach Yourself To A New Career: A Book To Discover Your Ultimate Profession, which can be found on To learn more visit Deborah’s site Surpass Your Dreams, send an e-mail to [email protected], or call 631-874-2877.

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