Tips for Building a Successful Career

1. Develop excellent work habits ? for example, meet deadlines and don't procrastinate.

2. Read extensively about your primary career area. "Own" your profession by developing a disciplined reading program, so you'll be aware of trends and developments.

3. Practice team playing ? learning from colleagues and sharing your knowledge.

4. Know both your job and your organization's expectations, and be sure they're on the same track.

5. Set goals, write them down and evaluate your progress.

6. Focus on understanding your client/customers. Come up with strategies that add value from them.

7. Don't dodge administrative tasks ? it upsets most supervisors.

8. Volunteer for outside activities: Accept assignments to speak to outside groups, lead professional panels and write articles for professional journals.

9. Build executive communication skills and cultivate an executive persona by reading books on the subject and attending seminars.

10. Take risks with personal development, acknowledging both strengths and weaknesses; build on strengths and correct weaknesses.

11. Seek out notables both inside and outside your profession, and watch and learn from winners.

12. Always seek opportunities. Success is not a sweepstakes waiting for the knock at the door.

13. If your employer does not emphasize learning and achievement, move on.

14. Think big ? but always manage the details.

15. Take manageable risks. Remember, without occasional failures, success is unlikely.

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