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Achieving Rock Star Status: 10 Steps that skyrocket you to fame at work

Achieving Rock Star Status: 10 Steps that skyrocket you to fame at work

Rock Star! Two words that summon powerful images of a performer, someone with supercharged energy, and someone who is a bit edgy, yet loved by millions. It may be a term that is more associated with the music industry but the corporate world too is always looking for their next rock star. Managers want solid performers who come to play their A game every single day.

So what does it take to skyrocket to fame as a Rock Star in the workplace? Here are 10 steps that guarantee success.

1. Hone your craft and practice, practice, practice.

Overnight sensations are a myth.

Famed tennis player, Billie Jean King, said “Champions keep playing until they get it right.”

You don’t advance in your career because you do a half-ass job. You advance because you produce great results. Learn the fundamentals. Learn the basics until you consistently produce solid results.

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Victories arise because you spend time honing your craft.  You don’t wake up one morning as a success. It takes time and is a work in progress. And if you don’t get it right the first time, look for ways to grow. Surround yourself with the right people to help you. Perfecting fundamentals is an essential foundation to your future advancement.

2. Be original.

Challenge norms and break conventions. Come to the table with new ideas and don’t rehash the old ones. Employers are looking for skills beyond the basics. According to a 2010 Critical Skills Survey by the American Management Association, critical thinking and problem solving are valued traits in top performers. Managers want problem solvers.

3. Assemble the right band.

Smooth and soulful harmony doesn’t happen all on its own. Think of your co-workers as your band members. The sound is much better when everyone is playing on the same sheet of music.

Build work relationships. Foster the development. Treat all co-workers with courtesy and respect because it may just be lonely at the top. But when you have your band behind you, you’ll never miss a beat. If you forget the words, they’ll be right there to take up where you leave off.

4. Build your fan club.

Do you know who’s in your fan club?  Your boss should definitely be there. If they haven’t signed up yet, find out why. It will be hard to attain success if your boss isn’t one of your fans.

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Of course, your boss shouldn’t be the only one that counts. Everyone around you is important. That includes the co-worker that sits beside of you, the receptionist at the front desk, the woman who sells you your coffee, and the other leaders in the company.

Work to expand your fan base if the numbers are lacking. The more fans you have, the more support you’ll have when it’s needed.

5. Play music people want to hear.

Communication is essential for a Rock Star. You don’t want people to turn the channel or tune you out. Even if you’re the most compelling speaker in the world, people won’t listen to you if you don’t have a tune that strikes the chord. Take a minute to think about how to relay the essence of your message.

Without effective communication, a message can turn into inaccuracy, confusion, frustration, or even a disaster if poorly delivered.

6. Don’t be a one-hit wonder.

You’re only as good as your last performance. Yikes! That sounds harsh. Sadly managers remember what is fresh to them. If you had a bad last project, that will be on the forefront of their mind even if the projects before may have been a success. You have to bring “it” every day so that people are left with the right impression. If you do have a bad performance, learn to get out in front of it and overcome it.

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7. Choose your venue wisely.

Where you play makes a difference to your success. Every organization has a certain “feel”. That feel is called corporate culture. Culture can be a killer if you don’t embody the same values, attitudes, and beliefs.

You have to be happy with the venue or you are more likely not going to give your best. Bad cultures can drain your energy and you won’t be at peak performance if that happens.

8. Learn to play several instruments.

Do you just want to be the lead singer or do you want to know how to play a couple of instruments as well? Wearing multiple hats at work is sometimes needed. If you are cross trained in several areas, you not only have an expanded skill set but you’ll be able to add more value when needed.

9. Don’t let your ego get the best of you.

If you let your ego fill the room, you won’t have any room left for good ideas or other people. Having an ego is one of the largest barriers to effective teamwork. When people get caught up in their egos, it erodes their effectiveness. Organizations need people to work collaborate in order to meet demanding business requirements.

10. Build your brand.

Rock Stars have a certain sound, look, or perhaps a song that defines them. It’s what makes them unique. Employees should contemplate their own personal brand. It can be an important tool for advancing your career and selling yourself.

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What you have to offer can transmit a very powerful message.

Four questions to ask yourself as you build your personal brand:

  • What makes you memorable, unique, and relevant?
  • What is at your core and your heart?
  • What is your winning strategy?
  • What is your marketing strategy? How do you work to maintain your brand?

A successful brand creates a consistent and targeted impression. A brand doesn’t just happen. Time and effort goes into a branding strategy that works. After having a thought-provoking session with yourself in which you answer these questions, write your personal brand statement. It’s your value added statement.

When you’ve done that, work it, baby, work it.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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