If you aren’t doing these 4 things, you are falling behind professionally.

If you aren’t doing these 4 things, you are falling behind professionally.

Why do some people move up the ladder and become more successful, more quickly than everyone else?  Are they smarter?  Harder working?  Just plain lucky?  Or are they doing a handful of small things that others aren’t that that are giving them the competitive edge and inching them up the ladder at a faster pace?  Here are 4 concepts that will help you speed up your climb to success:

1) Surrounding yourself with other successful people. 

“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” is a famous well-known concept by motivational speaker Jim Rohn.    Think of the 5 people you surround yourself with professionally.  Are they more successful and experienced than you?  Do they exhibit good habits and aspirational qualities that inspire you?  Have they reached the goals you are working hard to reach yourself?  If the answer is no, you may want to reevaluate who you surround yourself with.  It’s like if you were training for a marathon.  And you currently run a 10-minute mile.  Should you train in the 11-minute mile group?  Or the 9-minute mile group?  Which will make you better, push you harder, and turn you into a faster runner?  Obviously, the group that is already better than you are.  It works the same way in the professional world.  Billionaire Warren Buffet said it best when he stated, “it’s better to hang out with people better than you.  Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”

2) Join organizations in order to expand your network. 

Now that you are evaluating your professional circle, let’s talk about how to expand it to include the right people.  Successful people are always networking.  Depending on the size of the company you work for, whether you work in an office or out in the field, not all jobs set you up for success when it comes to meeting professionals that will help elevate you in your career.  That is why it is so important to build your network outside your current company.  How do you do this?  Where do you start?  Not to worry, simply picking 1 or 2 professional organizations to join this year is step 1.  Successful people choose organizations that 1) they know people that can benefit them professionally are members of, and 2) have a few events a year that they can attend that will allow them to meet the right people and build their network.  The beginning of the year is the perfect time to do your research and pick 1 or 2 organizations that provide these benefits and commit to joining now!

3) Being a student of the game.

Chances are when you started your current job, you had some type of on-the-job training.  Some probably more than others.  But ask yourself this, “how have you continued your training”?  Successful people ensure that they are always learning and growing.  And most importantly, they don’t wait on someone else to do it for them.  Successful people seek out knowledge on their own.  They make lists of books they want to read each year that improve them both professionally and personally.  They search for seminars, conferences, online video tutorials, and speaking engagements where they can learn and grow.  If you aren’t taking the initiative to seek out knowledge and constantly grow, you are going to get passed by by those who are.

4) Working with a recruiter. 

This can go hand in hand with networking.  Working with a recruiter doesn’t necessarily mean you are looking to leave your current position.  It doesn’t make you a disloyal employee.  Successful people have at least 1 recruiter that they keep in touch with in order to gain market insight.  Recruiters, especially ones that specialize in your current field/profession can be a wealth of knowledge.  They speak to professionals in similar positions in your market as well as those in positions you are working to be in every day.  They can give you advice on your current salary and benefit package, give you insight into what a career path and timeline should look like for someone in your position, and, if for any reason something happens where you would need to look elsewhere, you will have an established relationship with someone that will be able to connect you to companies and jobs quickly that would be of interest to you.  Successful people have recruiter contacts they speak to regularlydo you?