Many young executives like to ask for career success tips. I
usually start by saying career success doesn’t come in a day.
Yet, day-in day-out I see young people entering the working life
pushing themselves as if they will make CEO in a year. They have
a tendency to compare their progress with their contemporaries.
You should not and must not compare your career success to your
If you ask me, what is career success?
Frankly, I don't have the answer. But, I can give you a career
success tip that works for me. However, ultimately only you can
answer “what is career success?” because only you can seek. No
one can do it for you. It is to be defined by your own values
and principles in life. You would have to define what is career
success for yourself. It means different things for different
people. And it is your career goals.
The first step is to
ask yourself “What is career success?”. It is not a question you
should mull over daily. You will have to spend time thinking
about this. The answer will not come easy. Ask yourself that
question, and then let it float in your mind for however long it
takes - never force the answer.
Remind yourself this - if
your career is a marathon, then it includes the preparation for
the race - the warm ups, the stretches, the strength exercises,
the stamina building, the constant practice runs. Constant
effort is what will eventually get a positive response. And that
response is success.
Japanese Zen teacher Kodo Sawaki (1880-1965) sitting in full lotus posture.
My biggest fear looking at many
young first job executives is that a lot of them embark on this
marathon and end up hurting themselves. They hurt themselves
because instead of warming up and stretching, they sprint.
Eventually they end up injured, taking months and years to
This is an important career success tip. Your
career like many things in life cannot be rushed. You succeed by
not rushing nor lazing off. Your career success comes to you
when you do not rush yourself through it. But this also means
you do not laze off. When you rush you start to be careless. You
forget the basic important steps in the race for your career
success. If you sprint through at this early phase, you risk
overdoing it. On the other hand, if you laze off – you won’t put
in the appropriate effort needed for success. For success to
happen, you need to be moderate in your pursuit. That would be
career success tip for you. There is a saying:
makes things too tight,
Slacking off lets things get too
By not hurrying and not slacking off,
succeed at what we do.
In this race, you are your own
competitor. To end this career success tip, I leave you with
this thought from Dao De Ching:
He who knows other men is
discerning, he who knows himself is intelligent.
overcomes other is strong; he who overcomes himself is mighty.
He who is satisfied with his lot is rich.
He who goes on
acting with energy has a firm will.
He who does not fail in
the requirements of his position, continues long.
He who dies
and yet does not perish, has longevity.
About the Author:
Long Yun Siang or Long, as he is popularly known runs
as his way of paying it forward. His website – based on his real
life experience - provides tips, tools and advise for newbies
pursuing career success.
Everyday Zen: Love and Work By Charlotte Joko