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7 Secrets to Career Success

7 Secrets to Career Success

Keith Ferrazzi for Monster

Immerse Yourself in Your Area of Expertise

So how do you become one of those people? The easiest route is by expertise. As I look back on my career, the recipe seems straightforward: I’d latch on to one of the latest, most cutting-edge ideas in my field. I’d immerse myself in it, getting to know all the thought leaders pushing the idea and all the literature available. I’d then distill that into a message about the idea’s broader impact to others and how it could be applied in the industry I worked in. In short, to become an expert I simply did what experts do: I taught, wrote and spoke about my expertise.

Each time I did, it created precious opportunities for me to gain credibility and visibility in my field. Content creators have always been in high demand. They get promotions. They’re responsible for the Big Ideas. They’re regularly asked to speak at conferences and are featured in newspapers and magazines. Everyone within their companies – and many within their industries – know their name. They are the celebrities of their little worlds, and their fame comes from always seeming to be one step ahead. So if you want to take a step ahead in your career, start becoming an expert.

Success Secret #7: Never Eat Alone

Friendship grows from the quality of time two people spend together, not the quantity. There is a common misconception that to build a bond, two people need to meet often and for long stretches. This is not the case. Outside your family and work, you probably can count the people you see frequently in the course of a month on two hands. Yet surely you have more than 10 friends. It is what you do together that matters, not how often you meet. That’s why you have to pay special attention to where you’re most comfortable and what activities you most enjoy.

Share Your Passions

I have always loved throwing dinner parties, even back in business school when it meant everyone had to sit in folding chairs and hold their plates in their laps. The companionable effects of breaking bread make it so easy to bring people together. This is what the phrase never eat alone really means: Just doing things you love and inviting others to share in your passions. Although I believe anyone can throw a great dinner party, there are plenty more ways to never eat alone. I also love to exercise, for instance. Others may like to collect stamps or baseball cards, talk politics or go skydiving.

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When we are truly passionate about something, it’s contagious. Our passion draws other people to who we are and what we care about. They respond by letting their guard down, which is why sharing your passions is important in business. I can tell more about how someone is likely to react in a business situation from my experience with him at an intimate dinner or after just one strenuous workout than I can from any number of in-office meetings. We just naturally loosen up outside work. Perhaps it’s the venue itself, not to mention the wine over dinner. It’s astonishing how much more you can learn about someone when you are both doing something you enjoy.


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