Recipe for Success

The purpose of this blog post is to share my experience in my over 27 years in the Information Technology (IT) industry.    The goal is elicit readers to ask themselves what they are willing to do to be successful through better career management.

When I think of career management and how to better explain it in simple terms, all I can think of is a recipe.   A recipe is the outcome or end state that is an amalgamation of all of the ingredients.   So, I’m calling this blog post a recipe for success.    I’ll try identifying and explaining the different ingredients that I learned along the way.

What are the ingredients for the recipe for success?

Discipline

This is in my mind the most important ingredient.   Discipline is an orderly pattern of behavior in which we have a self control over how we want to conduct ourselves.    This starts by understanding your core values and making decisions based on how it aligns to your core values. Making sure that you earn the day’s pay is an important concept.  It means making sure that you’re doing the right thing and working and not spending time on things unrelated to your work.

Integrity

Be authentic and be accountable for your actions.   Commit to doing the right thing regardless if anyone is watching.    Ensure that your actions are in alignment with your core values.

Be positive

No matter how hard the challenge that you face.  Don’t let it wear you down, and keep on pushing forward.   Focus on the positive side of every situation.  By doing so, you’ll see things differently.

Be Proactive

This means that you show initiative to want to do more if you have some bandwidth.  Also, it means that you ask for more work, assuming you completed your work ahead of time.  Seek to learn new things in order to help you grow.

Team Player

Remember that in order for you to be successful, everyone working on the project also needs to get their job done.   If you have bandwidth, offer your time to help others.   One person cannot do it alone, teamwork is necessary to get the job done.

Plan

If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be working for someone else’s plan.    Also you would not know if you’re on track or not.  Make a plan, work based on your plan and track and adjust your plan accordingly.

Network

Connect with others and establish a good relationship.   Focus on making a meaningful connection beyond just being connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.   Reach out to them and connect and interact with the people on your network.

Mentor

Seek mentors who can help you accelerate your learning.   Also, pay it forward and mentor others in your organization and community.

Embrace the change

Change, like death and taxes, is certain to happen.  In fact, change is expected to happen and your ability to adapt to change is crucial to your success.

Play

As you work hard it is important to realize that you also need to enjoy and relax and unwind.  You need to recharge to enable you to sustain your performance.  Just like an engine, it needs maintenance to keep it running smoothly.   Determine when to take that downtime to refresh and help you refocus.

Learn something new

There is a saying that you cannot do business tomorrow with the same tools you use today.   Commit to continuous improvement by learning new things over time.  Sharpening your saw is essential to your success.

Focus on long-term results

When we map out our career plan, we need to focus on the long term goals (between 3 to 5 years) and devise a plan to accomplish that goal.

In my opinion, the top five ingredients are integrity, discipline, being proactive, working hard and passion.   The other ingredients can be added accordingly.   It is worth noting that our career is a marathon, and not a sprint.  Therefore we need to be able to sustain a level of performance over time.    Consistency and commitment to continuously developing and retooling your skills will help you attain your goal.

Do not lose sight of your career goal and dream.   Focus on chasing your dream and making it happen.    In closing, think long term and act swiftly and make things happen.