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7 Secrets to Career Success

7 Secrets to Career Success

Keith Ferrazzi for Monster

Blur the Boundaries

No, you probably won’t have a chance to get your five bullet points out about why you’re better for the job than the next guy or why your hospital’s services are better than the competition’s, but that’s really not as unfortunate as you think. Those bullet points aren’t going to make a lick of difference when someone is deciding who to hire or what to buy. It’s the personal, human relationship that really matters.

We all have more opportunities than we realize to overlap our personal and professional lives and to make more of our business relationships personal ones. Don’t compartmentalize; blur the boundaries! You’ll have more fun, enrich your relationships and do more in less time for your success and happiness in all three parts of your life.

Success Secret #3: Find Your Blue Flame to Heat Up Your Career

Every successful person I’ve met got where they are today by taking the same first step: Deciding what they want in life. I learned early on that the bigger my dreams, the more concrete my goals and the more targeted my efforts to build relationships, the greater success I could achieve.

As a Yale undergrad, I decided that I wanted to become a politician, specifically a future governor of Pennsylvania. (I really was that specific and that naive.) In my sophomore year, I became chairman of Yale’s political union, where so many alumni had cut their teeth before going on to careers in politics. When I became interested in joining a fraternity, I didn’t simply join the first organization available to me. I researched which fraternity had the most active politicians as alumni. Sigma Chi had a rich tradition and an alumni roster of impressive leaders. But the fraternity wasn’t chartered at Yale at that time. So we founded a chapter.

Eventually I ran for New Haven city council. I lost, but in the process met everyone from William F. Buckley and governor of Pennsylvania Dick Thornburg to the president of Yale, Bart Giamatti. I made regular visits to see Bart up until he died; he was a virtual oracle of advice and contacts for me. Even then, I recognized how something as simple as a clearly defined goal distinguished me from all those who simply floated through school waiting for things to happen.


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