Four steps to increasing your career success

by Samantha Woodhill14 Sep 2015
In a recent article for Forbes, Ashley Stahl outlined four effective ways to boost career success.
After earning a master’s degree, Stahl networked her way into a job at the Pentagon.  Even with a skyrocketing career trajectory, a six figure salary and various promotions, she realised she’d made it - but she didn’t feel successful.

“They are working hard and getting everything they thought they wanted, only to find that they still don’t feel ‘successful’,” she wrote.

1. Stop listening to other’s opinions
According to Stahl, people obsessed with feedback, wanting weigh-ins from everyone around them before considering themselves successful.

“The world is full of noise, and as anyone who has ever been faced with a tough decision knows, there are plenty of people out there who have opinions about how you should be living your life,” she wrote.

Seventy per cent of Americans reportedly read a product review prior to making a purchase.

“More often than not, the words of the naysayers become a self-sabotage mechanism, and my clients use them to protect themselves against the vulnerability of pursuing what they truly want,” Stahl wrote.

2. Ask yourself: what does success mean to you?
When she realised the intelligence path she was on wasn’t what she wanted, Stahl changed careers completely and became a career coach, despite the shock of the people around her, who had seen her work hard to get close to what she thought was her dream job.

“When I really took stock of what I had, I realized that my ideas of success were completely intertwined with other people’s opinions of me,” she wrote.

“The trouble is that we have no reason to question these ideas until we’ve followed our preconceived ‘roadmap to success’ and realized it leads to a dead end.”

3. Figure out what’s driving you
“The realisation that my definition of success was driven by fear, ego, and others’ impressions of me sent me into a quarter life crisis,” Stahl wrote.
It’s important to check in with yourself and remember why you got into the career you’re in in the first place, rather than getting caught up in what you gave up to accommodate your career, she said.

“I see this all the time in my practice. I’ve had clients who are scared to abandon their careers because they’ve earned advanced degrees, taken on debt, and made major life decisions and even cross-country moves to accommodate a career they desperately want to be rid of.”

4. Get clear on what you’re scared of – and then put yourself out there
“Successful people are always scared of their dreams—they just act anyway,” wrote Stahl.

“Once you get clear what you’re scared of, take it as an indicator that you’re moving closer to what you truly want to do with your life.”

Coming up with your definition of success is the first step in achieving it.  

“In a society that defines success in terms of status, title, income, and power, it’s not surprising that many people feel tied to the careers that offer those possibilities.”

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