Tell me what you say you want. Show me one week of your life and I will tell you if you will get it. The start of a new year is naturally a time to challenge everything you do, expand your thinking, refocus your efforts, and rededicate yourself to your future. If you haven’t done this already this year, why not do it today? Adopt these five practices to reach your career goals:
5 Ways to Get The Professional Life You Want
1. Take advantage of every opportunity.
Before I became a Hall of Fame keynote speaker and in-demand executive speech coach, I started my career as a15-year-old shampoo girl at the Carlton Hotel in England. As I said on 60 Minutes, “I used to work on the outside of peoples’ heads, now I work on the inside, so there’s only half an inch difference.” How did I do it? By preparing for, noticing, and seizing every chance that came my way. Opportunity doesn’t knock just once. It knocks all the time; though you may not recognize the sound. Pay attention. Opportunities are everywhere and often overlooked.
2. Ask questions.
Learn from those you admire by asking how they achieved their success. Often, successful people are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with you if you ask good questions to stimulate their thoughts and responses. The quality of the information you receive depends on the quality of your questions. Remember, the key to connection is conversation, and the secret of conversation is questions. A conversation can lead to a professional relationship, and a nurtured relationship can produce amazing results.
3. Dedicate yourself.
Ask yourself regularly, “What can I do to contribute to my profession, to my organization, and my professional association?” and “How can I be professionally accountable?” If you approach your career from this perspective, you will find that you get much more than you give. You will be the type of person people want to do business with.
4. Tell a memorable story.
Consider how you present yourself and your profession. Sometimes it’s appropriate to fade into the background, and most of us are shy in some situations, but inevitably, you must be able to speak up and stand out. How do you introduce yourself? I challenge you to craft a one-sentence description of yourself and your profession that’s difficult to forget. When someone asks what you do, is your response predictable? Less than memorable? Tell a story, rather than delivering a list of linear facts. Paint a vivid, visual picture of your job, its challenges, and triumphs. People will remember the images you create in their minds, much more than they will your exact words.
5. Influence others.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Leadership is the ability to decide what has to be done and then get people to want to do it.” How do you influence others? If you can communicate with confidence, you have the power to influence, persuade, and inspire; increase support for your strategy; cultivate loyalty; move your team to action; and demonstrate why your products, services, or ideas are truly valuable. Devote some time and energy to developing your public speaking skills. You might join a Toastmasters club or work with a professional speech coach. Even if you aren’t a born communicator, you can learn how to speak persuasively with confidence.
If you avoid public speaking at the high cost of your success, why not get the help you need to speak confidently in public?
Learn how to speak, structure a presentation, report to senior management, deliver a webinar, tell great stories, and find content in yourself that you didn’t know you had through Fripp Virtual Training. FrippVT is highly interactive and engaging. Have your own speech coach available to you 24 hours a day. Try it at FrippVT.com.
This article was originally published in The International Coach Federation Blog: http://coachfederation.org/blog/index.php/5176/ The International Coach Federation (ICF) seeks to advance the art, science and practice of professional coaching. Learn more by visiting: coachfederation.org.
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.