1. Surround Yourself with People Who Are Smarter Than You
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so spend time with people who elevate your thinking to a level of brilliance. When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was asked why she joined Google after college, she always refers back to her “Laura Beckman” story. Laura tried out for volleyball in high school and was given the choice to bench on varsity or start on JV. Though others chose the latter, she chose to bench varsity all season saying “I just knew that if I got to practice with the better players every day, I would become a much better player, even if I didn’t get to play in any of the games.” The next year she started on varsity, while everyone on JV benched on varsity the entire year following. Challenges foster our growth and force us to become our absolute best.
Action Step: Find opportunities to surround yourself with passionate, successful individuals. Delve into workshops or competitions that are specific to your field, join professional meet-up groups, or even reach out to thought leaders through LinkedIn and take one out to lunch. By building your own personal community of inspiration, you will find career mentors and put yourself in the position to land career opportunities.
2. Start Your Morning by Visualizing Success
Many famous athletes, actors, doctors, and entrepreneurs credit their endeavors to using mental imagery to help manifest their success. Michael Jordan always visualized making the last shot. Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million dated five years ahead and carried it in his wallet until he landed his role for Dumb and Dumber that – yes – paid him that $10 million. There are hundreds of studies that prove that mental imagery primes your brain for success and increases your performance in real life. If you can see it, you can make it happen.
Action Step: Set aside ten minutes every morning to envision yourself in your ideal career. Close your eyes, relax your mind and imagine every single detail as if it were happening now. What is your environment like? What are you accomplishing? Who are you with? How are you feeling? What are you wearing? Eliminate any doubts if they come and allow yourself to think big! The more you do this, the more clarity, purpose, and direction you will have, and the closer you will get to achieving your wildest dreams.
3. Spend at Least 15 minutes a Day Improving One Skill
Sharpen one skill and make it your sword. Establish what you are great at and invest time into becoming phenomenal. If you can show employers that not only are you an expert in one area but can also corner the market by being their expert, you will move from being a decent prospect to a must-have part of any company.
Action Step: Define your top three skills and choose one that you want to improve upon over the next month. Commit to spending 15 minutes a day learning about it (utilizing books, podcasts, classes, etc.) and put it into practice in real life.
4. Publish Yourself Online
Your hire-ability will skyrocket when people Google your name and discover how your presence is shaping their field. Showcase your unique point of view and make yourself easily discoverable by the people and companies you want to work for.
Action Step: Use the internet as a living, breathing resume and consider some of the following:
- Write your own blog or guest post for a blog in your industry
- Produce a 5-minute YouTube video highlighting your strengths (e.g. a “How-To”)
- Tweet on a daily basis, as an industry expert
- Create and update your own professional website
- Develop a podcast
- Write and/or post articles on LinkedIn
5. Meet One New Person a Day (or Follow Up With Someone You’ve Met Before)
Great relationships are at the core of all success and happiness. You can never know too many people, and the truth is that people do business with people they like. When Bill Clinton was 22, he would carry around a notebook and write down the names and details of each person he met, knowing that one day he would run for governor. His genuine interest in people coupled with his clear vision for the future lead to his eventual role as the president of the United States.
Action Step: Step out of your normal social circle and engage with people you’ve never interacted with before. Cold call or email people who already have your dream job and clearly describe how you can help them and why they should meet you. Engage with them on social media to warm up their interest. Consider hosting your own events with a colleague or starting your own personal interest group. Before you know it, you will have built an incredible network of friends, followers, and career superheroes.