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Old Friday, January 13, 2012
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Default Career Success Recipe For Newbies

Posted below is a worth reading book. I just read a little earlier. It took me one and a half hour to complete it and found myself completely absorbed into it all the way. The whole long story in it is the writer's own experience of life.

Part 1. What Do You Want To Cook?
Before you ask for a success recipe, you need to decide what is the success dish are you going to cook? Unless you know what sort of success dish you like and would like to taste, you can end up asking for the wrong recipe.
In short, you need to define what success means to you before you ask for a
success recipe. The answer is, there is a recipe for success. It does exist. But that recipe, much like the varied dishes and tastes out there – depends on what you are looking for. So ask yourself this question - What is your definition of success? Unless you know what success dish you are going to cook, it is useless to ask for a success recipe.
Different people have different definition of success. For many career newbies, success can mean monetary reward. Yet others define it by what new things they can learn in the shortest possible time in order to be promoted. Some others may have even more definitions of success. In their case, they may need many success recipes.

The Different Success Recipes
There are success recipes for the different areas of your life. These recipes can vary from career, health, spiritual, emotional, time and financial. Do not let these different areas overwhelm you. There are common ingredients that are used regardless of the dish you want to cook. In order to know which success recipe you would use, you need to really find out about your own tastes. Your likes and dislikes. In other words, in order to know your definition of success – you need to know your key motivators, your values
and priorities in life. Your strengths and weaknesses are also things you need to understand. Once you know these, you then know what dish you would like to cook. Hence, asking for a success recipe has more meaning and you have higher chances of succeeding. However, know that sometimes understanding your own tastes may take some time. It is a process of getting to know yourself. This is a crucial process. One that determines what success means to you. Let’s say you are looking for a recipe for career success. How would you define career success? Is it to become a manager in a given time? Is it to learn a certain amount of skill at a certain stage of your career? Find out about your own strengths and weaknesses. What are some of these strengths that will help you cook this dish successfully? What are your weaknesses that will hold you back in your quest to cook a dish of success?

Cooking is a Process
When using your success recipe, assuming you have already defined what
success means to you – remember one thing. Cooking is a process. And learning to be good at cooking i.e., learning to be good at succeeding at the things that you do is a process. It takes time. It takes time to learn and it takes time to be good at it. It takes time to learn from your mistakes too. Constant learning and practicing makes you better at what you are doing. Be it cooking or in your career. That increases your chances of success.
Make a time allowance for yourself to discover what is truly the success recipe you seek. It took me more than 3 years before I began to have an inkling of what is the success recipe that I seek. And it took me years after that to refine it. In many ways one can still say that I am still refining that recipe.

Your Tastes Change

A success recipe that is right for you now may not be right later on. Remember, our tastes change over time. Which is why it is all the more important for us to truly understand our values in life, as those do not change as much and drastically. Make allowance for your change in tastes too. And when that changes, your recipe for success should also change.
So, before you ask for a success recipe - know what success dish you would like to cook. What are your tastes? What are your strengths and weaknesses that will push you forward or hold you back in cooking this dish?
What is truly your definition of success?

Part 2. The Key Ingredients For Your Career Success

You should know what success recipe you would choose once you have decided on your success dish. Here are some ingredients you need as a newbie seeking career success. Your success dish maybe different from others but there is some key ingredients common in these recipes for success.

A Generous Helping of Working Hard
This success recipe calls for a generous helping of working hard. In this time and age, a lot of credibility has been given to working smart. Now, do not get me wrong. It is important to work smart. Planning your work is working smart. Knowing your job priorities is working smart. However, there is a tendency for career newbies to take the short cut. Now, that is not working smart. No matter how smart you work – you still need to work hard in order for that smart plan of yours to work. Doing something to the best of your ability is hard work. Do not plan so much for the future that you forget about the present. It is the present that determines the future. So take care of the ‘now’ with hard work and the future will take care of itself. There is fun in hard work and I feel that not enough emphasis is given to working
hard. Success does not come to those who do nothing but think about short cuts. Working hard is an underrated virtue. Remember, if you use this ingredient generously – your success dish will tastes much better. And that is where the fun is – tasting that dish.

Avoid Any “Barely Enough”

There is one key ingredient that you need to avoid if you are to cook a tasty dish of success. This ingredient is called “Barely Enough”. Do not under any
circumstances add “barely enough” in your recipe. Have the determination to do extra and go the extra mile. Never accept barely enough of yourself and for yourself. When you do more than required, it tells your colleagues and bosses that you care. You care enough to do more. When you care enough to do more, the quality shines through and people will notice. They like you to be on their team, as you become a key competitive advantage. Take initiatives and offer solutions when needed. Take the extra step to make something better and push the envelope – bring that extra energy to the unit you are in.

Go Big on Passion for Action
Another ingredient you can add in this recipe for success is passion for action. While achieving success involves believing in your own dream, you must remember not to end up a dreamer, but a doer. In this success recipe, always have a passion for action. That means acting upon the steps that you have planned. Do not just talk. Do not just dream. Act upon your dreams and plans – and you are half way to whatever success you planned. When you plan, you are working smart. When you do, you are working hard. When you put the two together – working smart and working hard – you are half
way to success that you seek.

Forget That You are a Talented Cook
Many talented cooks feel that once they have the success recipes, they are
destined to cook the best success dish. That is not so. Talent has very little to do with success if you forget that your dish is only as good as the ingredients that you use. A good balance of vision, talent and ingredients will cook you a good dish of success. Talent alone will not. So, forget that you are a talented cook. Instead concentrate on bringing the best ingredients to the kitchen. That way you concentrate on what is more important - your goals and the attitudes that help you achieve those goals.

Always add “Willingness to Learn”
One of the most crucial ingredients for career newbies is the “willingness to
learn”. Never be caught without it. Bring it along with you regardless of what success recipe you are cooking. It is a common ingredient in any dish of success. When you are willing to learn, the teachers will appear. The more teachers you have the more you will learn. That in turn increases your chances of succeeding. Now that you have the key ingredients in this success recipe, ask yourself how much are you willing to commit to making this dish a reality?

Part 3. Planning Your Career Success Dish

Your career success recipe is made out of many steps. The first step is for you to know what success dish you want to cook. The second would be the key ingredients needed in this success recipe for you to pursue career success. Once you know these two, let’s move on to the third step. Planning to cook this career success recipe. As with all good dishes, knowing what you want to cook and having the right ingredients is only part of the story. Your career success recipe has higher chances of being successfully cooked if you have a plan. This plan ensures that the right equipments are in place just as you prepare the other components to your career success recipe.
Include These in Your Career Success Recipe

A career success recipe is never complete without a SMART plan. What is a
SMART plan? Quite simply, a SMART plan is one that is Specific, Measurable,
Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. What does it mean? It basically means you need to know what is your goal; you can quantify this goal; you can reach it; it centers itself on the outcome and there is a time limit to when it should be achieved. A SMART plan should be part of any good career success evaluation. Even if it does not appear as it is, elements of it should be part of the evaluation. The most common mistake career newbies make is that they seemingly know what they want and have a plan. However, if one were to probe further you would realize that these are merely what I call ‘floating plans’ (if you can even call it a plan). For example, they say they like to own their own business in the next few years. But they do not know what business they would like to be in. They do not know where to raise capital. Just to name a few examples. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve in the next year in your career. Do you have a SMART plan? If you want to make manager level in the next year – what is your Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound goals that will lead you to attaining this bigger objective? Just saying that you would work hard and are willing to learn is not good enough. Start thinking about your SMART plan if you want to increase your chances at career success.

Skills and Knowledge
Yes, you would like to cook your dish of success. But do you have the necessary skills and knowledge to cook this success recipe? In planning your career success, assess your skills and knowledge. Imagine someone who doesn’t know how to cook saying he/she wants to cook a 10-course dinner at the first try and make it a success. Once you have assessed the level of skills and knowledge for cooking this dish of career success – take steps to strengthen your weak parts. What are some of the knowledge gaps? Do you have any skills that need polishing? When you know your weaknesses – commit to strengthening them. Being aware of your weaknesses is just the first step. Commit to doing something about it is even more important. Unless you commit to working hard in order to improve, you will forever carry those weaknesses with you. Sometimes it helps to know someone who can point you in the right direction. Someone who has been down that road before. Know someone who has cooked this dish before?

Look for a Mentor
Think of yourself as an apprentice in the kitchen. There are bound to be people who have cooked the dish that you plan to cook. Learn from their mistakes and emulate their steps. Appropriate them to your character and personality. Some companies have formal and informal mentorship programs. You could always seek out your own mentor. A mentor could guide you in cooking this success recipe. A mentor’s primary role is to teach and advice. You should accept your mentor’s advice with openness and respect although sometimes these can be a little hurtful. For as long as your mentor is professional and delivers the advice with tact, remember in the long run it benefits your pursuit of career success. In this example, the realization of your career success recipe into a career success dish.
Let’s Summarize
You have now read that it is important to know what is that success recipe you want to cook. Then you read what are the key ingredients in a career success recipe. In the next segment you find out that having both of those components are not enough. You need to plan it in order to increase the chances of success.

Part 4. Enjoying the Process of Career Success
Enjoying the process of career success is the next step in your success recipe. You now know what to cook, you have your key ingredients for success, and you have a plan for success. Do you know what it takes in this process? The path to success is a long one. Just like cooking a successful dish, there are bound to be little spills and breakages here and there. Especially when you are newbie with a success recipe. In order to tide through this somewhat tough process, you need to start enjoying the process of career success. Otherwise you will become disheartened that your
success recipe isn’t working. Sometimes it isn’t because your success recipe doesn’t work. It is just a process of you getting good at it. To guide you through this phase, remember to enjoy the process of career success. And how do you enjoy the process?

Clarity of Vision
You must visualize the outcome of your career success recipe. See it in your
mind. You will meet setbacks in your journey to success. Do not concentrate on the negative. Feed your mind with pictures of how you see yourself once you finish cooking your dish of success. What is the dream of success that you have? Believe in that dream. Successful people see what they want to achieve clearly in their minds. You must have clarity of the career success recipe you want to cook. It is difficult to enjoy the process of career success if you do not have the vision of your career success dish when it is cooked.

Conviction to Succeed
Give yourself that freedom to fail. Failure teaches you to be stronger. It allows you to learn from your mistakes. Those mistakes help you create and improve upon your career success recipe. With each continued improvement you learn that the value of pursuing career success is also in the process of getting there. Be courageous in facing setbacks. Many people who have built successful careers have odds stacked against them. Yet they succeeded. This is because they are not afraid to allow themselves the chance of failing. They know the value in failing and that it is part of the process of career success.

Confident to be
Your success recipe should only be defined by yourself taking into account your values and motivation in life. Be confident to be who you want to be. In other words, once you have found the success recipe you want to cook, do it. Regardless what others may think. That is one sure way to enjoy the process of career success. Think about this, how can you enjoy the process of career success if it isn’t a career you want in the first place? It is also for this reason - the first step in the success recipe, you are asked to think about the success recipe you want to cook.

Success Recipe is a Process
Cooking a success recipe is a process. It doesn’t end once you have cooked a successful dish. Neither does it end when you succeed in achieving the desired result from your success recipe. Your success recipe should be a big work in progress. It helps you achieve bigger and better success each time you act upon it. The more you act upon your career success plan the more you will realize the importance of enjoying the process of career success.
In this process, failure is your best teacher. I believe in the adage that you only truly fail when you give up. As long as you do not give up then the process is indeed teaching you how to increase the chances of your success.
When you fail, you learn what not to do when given the same situation in the
future. It also prepares you for more important tasks ahead. It teaches you your limitations that you may not have discovered. When you are aware of your limitations, you can start to work on improving your limitations. Failures also force you to think of better alternatives. It pushes you to think of better ways to do tackle a task. When you apply consistent effort in perfecting your career success dish, ultimately you will develop a skill that will create that near perfect dish. The rule of success is simple, constant effort will eventually meet with a positive response. That response is success.

Part 5. Pushing for Career Success

Striking a balance while pushing for career success is the last part of your career success recipe. You have now seen an overview of what a career success recipe consist. From knowing what to cook, to its key ingredients, planning the dish to understanding that it is a process. I have seen it too often especially among young graduates on a first job or even seasoned employees joining a new company. They are all too eager pushing for
career success that they crack under their own pressure. Understand that your career success is like a good dish, it takes time to cook. You cannot rush it. Give yourself time to work on the finer details and enjoy the process. The more you push yourself the more mistakes you will make. That will only delay your career success plans.

Your Best is Good Enough

Taking time to enjoy the process of your career success isn’t about not planning for success. It means understanding that career success takes time and effort. It also doesn’t mean that you do not push yourself. The question is how much do you do while pushing for career success? When is it good enough? The answer seems fairly simple but in practice it isn’t at all. The answer is this - when you have given your best, that’s when it is good enough. In order to answer when is it that you know you have done your best, you need to know your own definition of success. Remember the first part of the success recipe? Knowing what you want to cook? When seeking for that answer, you will have to confront what are your values and motivations in life. That will lead you to realize your priorities in life. And hence, how much time and effort you are willing to allocate to each aspect of your life. Once you do all these, you will intrinsically know when you are giving your best in pushing for career success. When you give your best that’s when it is good enough. Think of your career success as a banquet you are cooking. There are many success dishes you will cook. Each successful dish and each failure adds to your experience. It also increases your chances of succeeding.

When Good Enough is Not Good Enough

When cooking your career success recipe, you need to constantly remind
yourself that good enough is not good enough. So, when is good enough not
good enough? It is when you do not do things with Pride, Passion and Belief.

Just as a good cook takes great pride in cooking a dish, you should approach each and every assignment with pride too. Pride here means self-dignity, not arrogance. It is when you take personal responsibility to each job given to you. Knowing that everything that you do has your name on it, you give it your best. When you do things with pride, you will not do just good enough. You will give it your best.

Spice up your dish with a generous helping of passion. When you are driven by passion for the work and pride as the foundation, your work will always smell the best. When you do things with directed passion, you know you are giving your best.

Work with a belief. Doing something without a belief is just a fool at work.
When you act upon a belief with pride as your foundation and passion to fuel you – you know you will be giving your best.

Balancing Pride, Passion and Belief

Pride, Passion and Belief will ensure that you deliver your best in everything you do. However, in order for your best to propel you to higher grounds or in this case cook the best success dish ever, then you need to balance your pride, passion and belief.

Skills and Knowledge
Skills and knowledge must be the backbone of your pride. When your pride is not backed by an equal amount of skills and knowledge, you become arrogant. For you to be productive in cooking this success recipe, your pride must be balanced by skills and knowledge.

Passion must have a direction. When passion does not have a direction, it is wasted energy. So, when you are cooking this success recipe know your direction. Where are you heading with this? In other words, have a focus. Concentrate all your efforts on one single point. Then you have higher chances of achieving the success you seek.

Lastly, belief must be backed by action. Believing in something yet there is no action to back it up is just fantasizing. You can keep believing in your success recipe but if you do not take steps to cook it, it isn’t going to happen.

Have Fun with Your Career Success Recipe
Your career success recipe is like cooking for a banquet. It takes a long time.
The successes along the way tell us what we need to repeat and keep our
constant efforts on. The failures tell us what to avoid and makes us smarter as we proceed to cook this dish. There will be spills but there will be successes too. When there are spills, soak it all up along the way. Don’t rush it in a day. When there are successes, savor it and know that more successes are possible.

You Succeed by Not Rushing nor Lazing Off
Your career success comes to you when you do not rush yourself through it. But this also means you do not laze off. When you rush you start to be careless. You forget the important ingredients in your career success recipe. You may add too much of a good ingredient. If you rush through your success recipe, you risk overdoing it. On the other hand, if you laze off – you won’t put in the appropriate effort needed for success. For success to happen, you need to be moderate in your pursuit. There is a saying: Hurrying makes things too tight, Slacking off lets things get too loose,
By not hurrying and not slacking off, We can succeed at what we do.

You Are Your Own Competitor
Very often I see young graduates in the working world competing against their colleagues and peers. They spend too much time thinking how they can beat them at the race to promotion. They forget that it is more important to sharpen their own skills. In this race, you are your own competitor. I leave you with this thought from Dao De Jing:

He who knows other men is discerning, he who knows himself is intelligent.
He who overcomes other is strong; he who overcomes himself is mighty.
He who is satisfied with his lot is rich.
He who goes on acting with energy has a firm will.
He who does not fail in the requirements of his position, continues long.
He who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity.

source: Tips for Pursuing Career Success, Tools and Advise for Career Success
Real richness is that you are so expensive that no one can buy your character.
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