Just starting out? Looking to make a change? Your success depends on traits and talents that may not be obvious. Try this advice:
• Identify your real skills and strengths. Target what you’re best at—not just the classes you got good grades in, or the jobs you’ve done successfully, but the underlying skills they represent: planning, creativity, persistence, and so forth. These will help you prove your abilities in any job you take.
• Find your passion. You’ll perform best at work you feel strongly about for an organization you can believe in. Be willing to experiment and move around in search of the right job, but when you find it, devote your energy to doing your best work.
• Market yourself. Don’t be shy about letting managers and co-workers know what you can do, and what you’ve accomplished. You don’t have to brag, as long as you’re honest about your abilities and willing to help other people as needed.
• Find a mentor—and be one. Find an impartial mentor for your career who can offer objective advice, feedback, and coaching. Be ready to do the same for the people you meet who might similarly benefit from your experience and expertise. It’s a great way to expand your network.