The title of this article saying this list is to “Fast Track” isn’t really true. This list is to provide tips and behaviors to follow that will make a significant difference in how you perceive others, in how they perceive you and will help to make you more successful in your career and other related life activities. That was way too long for a title however so I choose the one I did!
So this list is what I believe it takes to make quick progress which I’ve learned from my own experience and by learning from and studying others. I hope it gives some inspiration to be more productive with your own progress and is useful to remind you of the things to focus on and to learn more about if they are unfamiliar to you. My list is not exactly ordered, but I did put the items first that I believe more strongly in, that is not to say they are the most beneficial though.
- Demonstrate and hold true to your values and beliefs.
This doesn’t matter where you apply it, it can give you so much in how others perceive you. It allows you to live and work with content in your actions and to earn respect from others who learn and understand your motives. Sticking to your values no matter what shows great integrity and consistency, which can definitely help you make progress in your career and in the trust you build with every relationship.
- Volunteer and take on new work.
Givers are great! Volunteer yourself and expect nothing back. Take joy in what you have to offer others. Take advantage of a giving attitude in a workplace, it is generally valued and seen as a leadership skill. It demonstrates an attitude of seeking for new responsibilities and gives you an opportunity to really take on responsibility and prove yourself with your actions. Develop a habit of being quick to volunteer for tasks (but don’t expect to always get it) and be willing to take on work no one else wants.You learn so many new things by volunteering and can experience great joy seeing your contribution and impact you have simply by choosing to give more than you are expected or asked. And those meaningful and heartfelt “Thank You” notes and words of appreciation can really make your day (or week or month).
- Set and focus on planned goals.
I’ve written several articles already on goals which you can jump to them here for more details. Goals really are the key to accomplishing whatever you desire and so setting them and focusing on planned goals is a critical step to advanced things in your life and career. If you do nothing else from this list, at least start using goals effectively.
- Take risks.
Many people are afraid to take risks in life and they keep themselves in a safe environment wherever possible. Life doesn’t simply come handing things out to people and it takes some initiative and risk to make quick progress. Taking risks of course introduces an element of possible failure and those that understand the benefits of failure can learn from it instead of being afraid of it. Its fine to make mistakes as long as you can learn from them and better yourself because of it.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert EinsteinTwo specific ways to take risks are by challenging existing systems and processes you have experience with in order to improve it and to welcome change. Both of these have some element of risk and are often areas that you can improve things and make progress.
- Communication Mastery
What I mean by this is just to learn to master communication skills. Communication is such an important skill in so many areas its definitely worth learning more about it and learning to master it. A couple of short tips to improve by communication are:
- Keep others informed of progress and problems when working together. Don’t try to own and hide anything. Honesty is the best practice.
- Focus on your listening skills by practicing techniques that use reflective questions, paraphrasing and empathetic understanding.
- Share / inspire your vision, values and passions to others.
- Help Everyone
People develop relationships quickly when you offer help. Helping others lets you share what you have learned with them and it often can enable others to take their own actions afterwards. A generous giving heart and attitude is a great personal attribute and generosity works in a recycling way.
- Educate/Train constantly
Continue to improve yourself and become more and more educated in the areas of your strengths so that you can be more effective with them. Learning to be an expert in areas can be done by self study and provides a valuable foundation to demonstrate knowledge and depth in an area of practice which will make you much more likely to succeed in that type of role. There are so many resources available nowadays to continually learn from, its easy for people with a learning attitude to keep learning more. It stimulates the brain and thought processes improving your reasoning, problem solving, communication foundation and your memory, among other things. I can’t stress this one enough.
- Humility and Modesty
Career progression often leads to a person having and showing pride in their accomplishments. This is dangerous and can be very negative towards others and easily come across as self admiration. This is why a humble and modest attitude is critical to making fast progress in life and your career. Humility balances you with others and keeps things at a level playing field without any distinction between your progress and that of others. Modesty is acting in a way that you don’t self advertise your accomplishments and that you give more credit to others than you take for yourself.
- Compassion / Empathy for others
Having compassion and empathy for others opens many doors of communication and builds trust in relationships. Truly understanding the needs of others and feeling some impact from those needs leads to many of the other areas on this list, but especially better communication and new avenues to help others.
- Positive / Energetic Attitude.
A positive attitude and energetic style is a very common leadership skill and it not only motivates others, but also drives a person internally. There is so much to say on this topic I can’t really even touch the surface. Keeping and controlling your mindset is a powerful tool in life and with a positive energy and passion in doing it, leads to great achievement. Consistency here and learning to reinforce your thoughts and displayed energies in a positive way can accelerate many areas of your life. This will continue to feed your desire so that you can easily get through difficult times and put in the focus needed to accomplish what you want, no matter what it takes.
- Make Connections, Know and Like Everyone
Relationships and connections to other people are one of best things in life, as well as a tool to make the progress you want. Connections provide you ways to find and give help, to share your stories, passions and feelings and open many doors that can continue to steer you on your path. If you are willing to see people as individuals without judging them you can focus on building meaningful relationships in your life. Give more to relationships than you ever expect in return. A fantastic book I’d recommend on this topic is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi which I reviewed here.
- Make the most of your working time
My last tip to improving your productivity towards life and career progress is to make the most of the time you have. Eliminate the things you really don’t need to do and take the time to find your passions in life and focus your time and efforts on them. At work, make sure you are in fact working. Don’t use work time for anything personal, don’t surf the web for personal interests and minimize your personally discussions to breaks and after hour times. Ensure you are seen as a hard worker by your peers and colleagues and you will definitely make good progress in your career. Remember you don’t need to work more hours, just work those hours better. While this doesn’t provide success just on its own, it certainly helps when you focus on results and what is expected of you. Find ways to be more effective, not just efficient and use your work time for what you are paid to do, work!
This list only provides a starting point on each of the 12 items. I encourage you to look at which ones you currently focus on and how you could add the others into your routine. These are the things I’ve found by my experience and learning to make the most difference and I’m sure there are many others just as important. What additional items would you add to this list?
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