The Achievers Manifesto to Career Success (10 Tips that will guarantee you success in the workplace)

You have your own definition of what it means to be successful.

I hope at the very least, it involves putting yourself in a position to enjoy life more and to contribute as much as you possibly can to make the world a better place.

Even if success to you is simply making lots of money and traveling the world, these ten tips are sure to help you get to the top.

Often times especially at work, success comes to very few because of what it takes. To be successful at work, you will need to distinguish yourself from the pack by providing value.

1. DRIVE


It is no secret that problem solvers and highly productive people are rewarded.

The work environment is very results oriented and those who can get things done, get the promotions and the raises.

Hard workers, people who reach goals and set records, those people progress very quickly.

Take the example of a company with about two hundred Sales Assistants and five annual openings for Sales Executive positions.

Most likely, whoever makes the most sales, gets the promotion.

Majority of people in the work force are not excited about their work. They come to put in the hours and earn a paycheck.

These people may eventually get promotions because of the years of experience they bring, but they rarely get very far. 

Very many people want a raise at work, more vacation days, a more comprehensive health insurance cover and all the good things that come with being successful.

Then why is it that most people just show up, watch cat videos and go home at the end of the day?

Because it is incredibly hard to stay motivated at a job for years even your own business.

Productivity and output depends on your drive. I like to think of drive in two aspects: passion and discipline

If the work is meaningful to you or you know how it directly affects other people’s lives.

That is passion. Passion is the best motivator of results, just look at professional athletes.

However, passion is not sustainable. It fades.

Or you may be working on something you couldn’t care less about just to pay the bills. This is where discipline kicks in.

Discipline means that you do what you want to do when you want to do it.

You cut out the excuses and self indulgence and just work. 

I worked for an international organization that directly impacted the lives of people around the world.

However, I was working from a desk thousands of miles away.

I soon became emotionally detached from the effects of the work I was doing.

I relied on discipline to keep working as hard as I did when I was first shown the video about all the good we were doing.

To be successful, you will need to work harder than the average person. You will need drive from passion or discipline.

2. PROGRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT


Learn! Learn! Learn! Learn from books, learn from mentors, learn from teammates and from bosses and from your mistakes.

Constantly learn as much as you can about your craft and become a master at it.

Nobody is going to pay extra for ordinary. It is okay that you are not the best in your industry right now.

You just graduated, but over time, you need to become among the best.

If you have not already, set a meeting with your boss and ask them what it would take to become a top performer at your job.

Yes, I learned this from Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Let them lay down for you the specifics with numbers or something quantifiable.

For a teacher it could be something like get 10 As, 20 Bs and so on in your class.

I remember one of bosses telling me that all she wanted was for me to be able to finish the entire process of drafting and getting approvals for contracts within three days and I would be the best person she had ever hired.

I threw myself into studying contracts and soon it became so easy for me it would take me less than half a day to draft lengthy contracts.

I was offered a permanent position five months into my internship. Had I not been offered the promotion, I would have asked for it.

Another thing you need to master soon is learning from your mistakes.

Do not be defensive or beat yourself up too much. Regularly ask for feed back, take it in, assess it and make the changes you need to make.

Whatever it takes to become better.

I realized that by better understanding contracts, I was able to cut the hours it took me to draft one without making mistakes.

Improvement is the secret weapon of high producers.
I was able to serve our partners faster without pulling all nighters or never leaving the office. 

3. MAKE YOUR BOSS LOOK GOOD


At one of my internships, I was in charge of my boss’ calendar. I forgot to put a meeting and she missed it.

Needless to say, she ended up looking very bad and that affected how I looked to her. Never do that.

You job is is to make your boss’ job easier and to make her look god in front of clients or her own bosses.

Learn his systems, preferences, strengths and weaknesses.

Do the best work you can do within her systems and processes and when necessary you can suggest more efficient ways to do things.

Try to mitigate their weaknesses for example with older bosses who cannot figure out technology.

Offer to take care of tech related issues for them. If your boss is forgetful, make reminders for them. 

I am not talking about sucking up to a boss you hate in the hopes of getting a promotion.

People can sense that kind of thing especially bosses, you are probably not the only person pretending just to get on their good side.

Even if you have the worst boss in the world, detach emotionally from the situation and just do a great job.

You do not need to start giving them compliments or trying to be friends with them.

Take that fake nonsense out of here. All you have to do is a damn good job and act professional.


4. CONFIDENCE


Know that you can do your work well. Do your work well.

Know that you have done your work well and do not just sit and wait to be recognized for it.

Remember that list that your boss gave you of things you need to do to be a top performer.

Periodically let him know of your progress and when you have achieved it, also let him know.

If you want a raise or a promotion, this will be your leverage.

Be confident enough to ask questions and to take criticism or make mistakes without attaching your worth to them.

The thing that will help you become more confident is becoming better at your job.

Speak up more and take on challenges. Successful people take the initiative.

5. BE A TEAM PLAYER


You do not want your coworkers to dislike you.

That feedback will make its way to your superiors and they too will not like you or give you any leadership roles.

It is also a lot harder to learn anything from people who do not like you.

Even harder is working with people who are not rooting for you. The worst is if your coworkers are actively trying to sabotage you.

Success requires a little bit of finesse. Quickly observe and figure out the work place politics and adapt accordingly.

I found that the best way for me to be liked by the most people was to avoid any form of drama, to be friendly with everyone I can and be friends with like minded people (also to avoid drama).

I was not BFFs with everyone at the places I worked with. 

But I knew a lot of their names, smiled and said hi when we met and if there was time, showed some interest in what they were doing like,

“Hi Julia, how are you? How is the Colgate case going?” 

6. STEP UP


Taking initiative at work is the dating equivalent of great abs and a good sense of humor. I am not even exaggerating.

Volunteer to do projects and lead meetings. Step up when there are lapses. Take on new challenges. This will help you enjoy work and boost your self confidence.

My friend Stacy had been a Legal Intern when one of the Legal Assistants was fired.

Stacy took charge of all his duties on top of her own.

Stacy naturally got the position a few months later even though she was not qualified for it because she had not sat for her bar exams yet.

7. MENTORS


Mentors are like fairy god mothers only they are won’t go soft on you.

Finding mentor is not as hard as you think.

If you show the willingness to learn and they have the time, you will notice people around you like your boss or other coworkers begin to take an interest in teaching you and helping you navigate.

It is up to you to make the initiative. Mentorship does not need to be labeled as such.

The way I do it is show up with questions on Monday morning and listen.

My former boss loved to talk, as many of them do, even when she was swamped with work.

I would take a notepad whenever she called me into her office to give me instructions or to give her updates on things.

At the end of our almost biweekly meetings, I would ask her about her experience with something I was interested in or apprehensive about as a young lawyer.

She was such a well spring of wisdom and I am very grateful for the time she invested in me.

I know you would like to have Tony Robinson or your CEO as your mentor but do not overlook the gems sitting right before you.

Identify someone who is in a position above your own and learn from them. When you get to where they are, set your sights higher again.

Tony Robinson can always be your virtual mentor.

People you will never meet can also act as great mentors by engaging in writings by or about them and other media.

My personal hero is Amy Carmichael for her selfless contribution to orphan work and for her amazing writing.

8. EMBRACE CHANGE


Company policies and even state regulations are always changing. Do not resist them, move with them.

Whenever something new is being introduces where you work, try to understand the reason behind it instead of grumbling, complaining and dragging your feet.

Be among the early adopters and even train others. 

When leadership changes, adopt quickly to the new systems and preferences that will be brought in.

When the market changes, study it and bring the data and proposals to your bosses. If you wait too long, you may never catch up.

9. HAVE A PLAN


Success is reverse engineered. You always have to be working towards something.

It is okay to recalibrate the plan as life changes but that should not hinder you from making plans.

If you do not know where you are going, how are you going to get there.

Have big, life changing, world saving dreams and work towards them.

My aim was always to help people. That is why I begun to work as an intern in a charitable organization.

My plan was to be promoted to Legal Assistant. That was it. I would figure out what next when I got there.

I was the best legal intern I could have possibly been because I wanted to become Legal Assistant.

Eventually my plans changed and I quit my job but working towards something was worthwhile.

The best goals however are not promotion oriented goals, they are value-addition based.

Because promotion based goals just fuel the rat race. You will just want promotion after promotion.

It never stops and it can drain the life out of you.

Value-addition based goals are geared towards helping others and often, they will also get you the promotion.

Let us use car salesmen because they have the worst reputation for being sleezy.
Instead of trying to sell the most number of the most expensive cars, determine to settle the most number of families with a car that is perfect for their needs and within their budget.

This is harder to achieve but this is what the world needs more of. Happy families with affordable car payments.

If you keep at this long enough, you will have a higher conversion rate because people are more likely to buy from you if they feel like you are not trying to cheat them and they will refer you to their friends. 

10. AVOID FATIGUE AND BURN OUT


Go anywhere I have ever worked, they will tell you just how much work I could get done.

I was a productivity guru. However, I pride myself in saying, I have never worked weekends or past five.

I could never be found in the office unless it was office hours. This was a matter of principle for me.

I am not saying you should adopt it but that was my secret to being very productive.

I did everything I needed to do withing the forty hours of work and did not carry anything home.

You could always find me at my desk. I did not spend company hours moving from department to department or chatting up old friends.

I will admit to spending many afternoons working on my own personal projects or going through Pintrest because I had nothing left of my in-tray and I did not want my boss to know and give me more to do.

I was not perfect.

Here is the point, pace yourself.

A lot of the time if you avoid distractions during the forty hour work week, you will get everything done and even do much more than you are required.

However, in your eagerness to impress, or no matter how passionate you are about your job, always go home at the end of the work day and relax.

Doctors deal with literal life and death situations and even they go home.

Even in a research intensive field like law, you can cut your hours in half if you learn effective research skills.

Sometimes I would save myself a lot of time by sending a question to the WhatsApp group with all my former classmates. 


If you want to be successful, prepare for it and be ready to make the sacrifices that will be required of you.

The first being mediocrity. Finally, remember than Rome was not built in a day. It takes time. Enjoy the journey.

Do not let the best years of your life pass you by because you are ‘hustling.’ Yes, work hard but also, have fun an enjoy life.

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