Current unemployment in the US reigns at about 9.5 percent, with at least 14 million Americans unemployed. Statistics show approximately 5 applicants for every available job. Economists predict a multi-year experience of higher-than-usual US unemployment. Today’s global market is restructuring job opportunities. It is challenging. Now, having the perfect resume and knowing the answers to the “tough” interview questions no longer guarantees a job. Many of those who are working feel dissatisfied and want to change careers; but hesitates for a variety of reasons.
Below is the first of three articles summarizing the “101” career books published by Course Technology. A different author highlights what it takes to achieve professional success in the 21st century for each book..Here, it is the businessman Rashika Fernando. His new book is titled 101 secrets to professional success.
Fernando has an impressive corporate career, working primarily in Global Finance. His message transcends the corporate world, addressing careers in general, whether you are employed or unemployed. “101 Secrets” offers a holistic approach to employment, integrating your personal and professional presence. In today’s market, the more these two worlds converge, the happier you will be. The 101 Secrets of Fernando’s career are scattered across 17 succinctly written chapters, providing useful and insightful reading. Below are the highlights of four chapters.
Purpose / Meaning. Fernando asks: “Why do you live and go to work?” Each of us has a purpose in life, waiting to be discovered, he writes. Once we know our purpose in life, everything else falls into place. He believes that our overall happiness includes these elements: 1. Being happy with the life we have. 2. Ensuring the continuation of life. This would include procreating or helping future generations through volunteering, adopting / sponsoring orphaned children, etc. 3. Make life better by donating to causes, offering words of comfort to someone facing a difficult challenge, and so on.
Finding our purpose can be a long journey, unique to our being. Ultimately, our career choices should make us happy as well as pay us to do so. Combine a mission with your purpose; believe in it and run it. To act on your purpose, you need a strategy. It allows you to connect high-level dreams into workable plans. The secret of professional success: “Wanting to understand your life purpose is the biggest step forward you can take toward success.”
Career / life strategy. Arguably the best chapter in the book, “Strategies for Your Career and Life “emphasizes the importance of planning. Strategy is the approach you take to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It brings options to action. There is no formula. for strategy, as each of your goals is unique. We strategize every day on a simpler level (mapping out a travel route, daily to-do lists, etc.) Achieving big dreams is difficult and complex. Strategy takes our dreams at the level of other day-to-day realities Although there is no strategy formula, there is a Strategic Planning Framework: Definition-Write down the problem to be solved and the objective, which serves as a reference point for planning. Data analysis-Record what you already know about the problem or goal, the analysis you performed, or any assumptions. Strategy-Design your approach to achieve the goal. Tactics / Resources– identify the smallest details of your plan, Surveillance- review the progress of your plan. The secret of professional success: “It is very important that you make a decision instead of hiding behind the analysis.”
Be proactive. Proactive people actively participate and anticipate various deviations in their plans, influencing the change towards their goals. Being proactive generates a better quality of results and a better quality of life. Any quest for success will include competition. Anticipate and plan for unavoidable competitive situations. On your journey to success, develop the ability to see what will happen in the years to come. “You can always see the signs of tomorrow today,” says Fernando. When it comes to the workforce, anticipate continued technological advancements. “Give up what you already know to learn what you don’t know.” The secret of professional success: “Being proactive builds trust.”
Networks. Our success depends on our relationships. To be successful, we need to learn the art of networking and feel comfortable doing it. Networking is essentially being a good friend to others. Our existing contacts and friends are our most powerful network we have. Networking provides friendship, emotional support, and encouragement. Connecting with other people helps you realize your own accomplishments and the value you add. The best reason to network is the sheer number of opportunities it provides. The secret of professional success: “Networking is a matching process whereby your strengths are combined with new opportunities, increasing your chances of success.”
Amid anemic job markets and media stories showing heartbreak, we can only run our own lives. If you are unhappy with your career or frustratingly unemployed, read Chapter 4 of “101 Secret”: “Controlling Your Destiny.” The global market presents an evolving job landscape. Old industries fade to reveal new career opportunities. Experiencing professional success in today’s market requires a paradoxical selfishness. Only by engaging in relentless introspection (regardless of age), with the goal of integrating both your personal and professional selves, can you better contribute to society. Fernando’s holistic approach to career and life offers firm advice in today’s tumultuous world.
Complement Fernando’s message with Jay Miletsky’s “101 Ways to Promote Yourself” and Carol A. Silvis’s “101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable” to further your career, whether employed, unemployed, experienced or new.
To view the index of 101 secrets to professional success, visit http://rashikafernando.com/Book_Details.html.