7 Skills For a Successful Career – And How to Develop Them


I bet you have seen cases when different people in the same company achieve different successes. What’s the matter? What distinguishes two seemingly similar employees? Both of them follow the same corporate rules and work under the same executives. Both sit in the same office and get tired by the end of the day. But the results are different. There is something invisible that, in the long run, becomes either a driver or a brake on a career.

Everyone has the ability to reflect, but we do not always have the opportunity to make changes. When it comes to a new job or a prospective career advancement, some personal attributes might be important. If you create attributes that indicate your adherence to beliefs and devotion, your achievements might become a pattern, not an accident. Let’s discuss the most important qualities that affect a career.

1. Purposefulness And Planning

Successful employees have common career goals and plans. Unsuccessful people prefer to go with the current. If you ask some employees the simple question “What are your goals for the future?” – a lot of people cannot answer.

There is a huge difference between workers with career goals and those who do not have any. And it is immediately striking. Employees with goals have strong intrinsic motivation. They do not give up when faced with setbacks. It is difficult to distract such people from work. Their actions in their free time from work have a clear direction and are filled with a certain meaning. A person with goals is ALREADY motivated for development. And most important: a person with specific goals also has a plan for career and development. They already know what tools they will replenish.

And people who have no goals are like a bottle that sways on the waves of the sea depending on the direction of the wind. They rely more on luck.

What to do? You should define your career goals, and in accordance with them make plans for the future.

Answer one question for yourself: “Who and where do I want to be in 10 years?” Think and write down all the knowledge, skills, experience, and qualities for the image that should be 10 years later.

And then prepare your 1-year development plan. Point out what you will read, who you will interact with, what experiences you will receive it. Then add it all to your daily and weekly to-do list.

At the beginning of each year, month and week ask yourself questions: what is special about you, and what makes you stand out among the huge mass of people in your profession? Why should an employer choose you? Answer yourself honestly and adjust your plans according to your answer. And we smoothly approach the next trait – the ability to analyze yourself.

2. The Ability to Analyze Yourself

This practice helps to reveal your reserves and understand the possibilities. You should move from motives to goals, and then to planning and actions. It is better to start the analysis with short periods: the results of the day, the overview of the week, and after – the month. A short period is easier to analyze, plus – you can adjust your actions. The established assessment scheme will allow analytics to make more significant milestones in life and career.

There are tons of checklists on the Internet that will help you critically look at your actions. Examples of such questions might be:

1. What happened to me today / this week?

2. How does this compare with the plans that were at the beginning?

3. Am I getting closer to my goals?

4. What worked and what didn’t? Why didn’t it work out, and how can I take this into account in the future?

5. What conclusions can I draw for myself to be more effective?

6. Where was I most able to show my qualities or potential?

There are also two ways to evaluate yourself. The first one is a side view. You need to select people who have seen you in your work and who can express their opinions frankly and honestly. Ask them which qualities are your strength and which are your weaknesses. You can be sure that you will discover many new things for yourself.

The second method is more long-term, but successful. It allows you to determine effective patterns of behavior for yourself. David Meister, an American writer, offered this assessment.  He calls this approach feedback analysis. Every time you make an important decision, write down the expected results, and after 9-12 months go back and look at it.

We often make important decisions, but at the same time, we do not return to this moment later. So, after 9 months, it is important to see what worked and what didn’t. Most likely, a person will see certain scenarios and patterns of his behavior. For example: “I tend to underestimate the amount of time I spend on big projects” or “I tend not to finish what I started.” Ask yourself the question: “Which of these decisions led to the results that I hoped for, and which did not, and why?” This will help identify effective patterns of behavior.

3. The Ability to Prioritize

The ability to prioritize helps you move faster towards your own goals.

The Eisenhower Principle will help you rank your tasks. To do this, it is necessary to distribute each case into one of four groups:

1. important and urgent;
2. not important, but urgent;
3. important but not urgent;
4. not important and not urgent.

This separates the necessary tasks from the useless ones. Remember: “Important” always comes before “urgent”. Important things get you closer to your goal, but they are not urgent. Being able to spend the majority of your time in the “important but not urgent” square will save you from succumbing to a dictatorship of things that aren’t important.

You should focus on the main thing to develop this ability. It is enough to ask yourself at the beginning of the day: “What are the three main tasks for today?” or “If I only had three tasks to complete by the end of the day, what would I need to accomplish to be happy with myself?” With this simple question, you will learn how to highlight the most important things. Other questions will help you to see the perspective of each of your actions. The questions are: “What will happen after I complete this task?”, “How will it move me forward?”

An ordinary office worker always has several dozen tasks that they can perform at one time or another. You must always remember: “being busy” and “being productive” are two different things.


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4. The Ability to Listen to People

There are few activities where we do not have to speak with clients, with employees, with colleagues, or with a boss. And the higher a person rises, the more important the ability to communicate with people.

It is important to separate managerial qualities and skills. Skills: how to conduct a meeting, how to set a task for an employee, in what form to give feedback. Managerial qualities: empathy, emotional intelligence, the ability to communicate, present your ideas. They can be trained in acting courses, emotional intelligence training, and more.

5. General Erudition

The knowledge in various fields contributes to the development of creativity. An erudite person generates ideas faster. They can show non-standard thinking and solve problems not intuitively but through analysis and synthesis.

Creativity is the ability to take two things that are not related and find relationships between them. You can control this value with the help of erudition. Reading and talking to educated people will help develop it.

6. The Ability to Resolve Conflict Situations

A convincing response to a problem helps you to avoid losses in the team and prevent the aggravation of disagreements. The ability not to avoid a collision, but to regulate it, will open up new prospects for you. Any relationship experienced by disagreements becomes even stronger.

The ability to resolve conflict situationsOpens in a new tab. is necessary nowadays. With plenty of social networks and the opportunity to comment on anyone. It is important to smooth out the conflict with the employees or the client in time.

7. The Initiative

The initiative is the ability to act independently, to act without external impulses, and to set tasks for yourself. Such an employee is valued for his tendency to go beyond what was proposed. The initiative along with enthusiasm improves the quality of life. They help to express yourself in creativity and complement other talents.

The initiative is next to the desire to move forward and the desire for new things. And the desire for new things is the desire to find new ways of solving standard problems. This is very important for success.

Harmful Qualities

These were the 7 main skills for career success that any motivated person can develop. But what about the traits that can interfere to get promoted?

Lack of Empathy And Low Emotional Intelligence

It will be difficult to achieve success for someone who does not feel the readiness to help. All our activities are connected with society and others. Also, helping others very often means helping yourself. Perhaps it will give you an opportunity to get a new client or work on new interesting tasks.

I believe we live in an economy where share and help are essential. Furthermore, the capacity to detect requirements is crucial. The purpose of any business is to be able to produce resources and identify areas where people need support.

But I don’t want the desire to help others to be understood only as volunteering or working for free. You can also help others for money. For example, a car mechanic does not work for free, he takes money for his work, but at the same time, he helps me solve the problems of caring for the car.

Passive Attitude Towards Your Career

A passive attitude is a refusal to choose, both in life and in a career. The desire to sit on the sidelines and not interfere in the course of events only harms development. Sooner or later, a lack of initiative will be noticed, and the question will arise about the usefulness of a person for the company. Therefore, think about your own goals and why they remain goals and not accomplished tasks. Remember all your excuses: tiredness, lack of time, etc.

Author Bio:

Hannah Butler works as a writer at WriteMyPapers4Me which specializes in case study writing servicesOpens in a new tab.. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and during her study, she developed an enthusiasm for writing about the latest trends in the digital world. Besides, Hannah studies psychology and wellness, and in her free time enjoys rock climbing and bike riding.

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