6 Strategies to Get Ahead

The road to success is about as non-formulaic as a masterpiece work of art. And the works of art in this case are the snap-shots of monumental successes you’ve achieved in your life. The progression of your career (or current job search), like many things in life, is determined not by what you have but how you use it.

What you have are your skills and intelligence, but how you apply them determines how bright you shine in the workplace – and at home, too. We all want to be stars in every aspect of our life, but what exactly does that mean? It usually refers to someone who your employer (or family members) can’t do without. In other words, an integral component of the team.

But if you’re not feeling quite up to that level (yet!), fear not. A star doesn’t have to be “born” – it can be trained. Anyone can develop those intangible skills that will have your boss (or even loved ones) thinking, “How would I survive without them?”

Now before you go thinking that’s not possible, let’s clarify. Someone who shines, on average, is not always the smartest, most competent, hardest working, or most ambitious. What a real star has is a healthy dose of each of those attributes – along with the intangible skill of knowing how to be the most productive in any given situation.

So to be a star, try these six breakthrough strategies:

1. Visualization
It sounds simple (and it is!), visualize your goals. This is critical to your success in life and a key component to making you a star. By documenting your goals you create a clear vision of yourself in the position where you’d like to be. This technique of visualization can help you in many aspects of your life.

2. Gaming
Most, if not all clichés are clichés for a reason; because they’re true, notwithstanding, the cliché of always being prepared – or more specifically always having a game plan. Utilize your life experience to understand where you are and this will help you accomplish the goals you’ve set in order to get where you want to be. Bottom line is: have a game plan at all times!

3. Shake things up
Find new ways to do old things, such as coming up with different approaches to accomplish your daily responsibilities at work. Here’s another cliché and this is one is no exception to the preceding rule; change is good. Try new things, such as a new hobby or taking up a new activity that will revolutionize your way of life… which brings us to the next step.

4. Seek out adventures
Being adventurous will round out your depth of character, and provide you with the opportunity to challenge yourself while having fun. Try training for something such as a marathon or a decathlon. Having an event to look forward to will help to engrave all the culminating moments that much more special.

5. Industry news
Keeping abreast of current changes in your industry and new trends will ensure you are always proactive in your approach to things. Reading specialty blogs, articles news stories, journals and attending various conferences will help to keep you on the constant verge of what’s cutting-edge. This same outlook can help redefine your approach to fulfilling your responsibilities at home.

6. Network, network, network
Either you’re networking or you’re not working to your full potential! It’s not about what you know, but how many people you know in how many different places. Always carry a business card and learn to be outgoing in every possible day-to-day circumstance. The key here is not to come off like a phony salesman. There’s a subtle difference between coming off as though you’re selling something and coming off as though you’re providing a solution. Because that’s what networking is about – it’s a symbiotic relationship that has to serve all interested parties.

By employing the above strategies you’re going to go places – and those around you are going to notice and start commenting – word travels fast.

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