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7 Secrets to Career Success

7 Secrets to Career Success

Keith Ferrazzi for Monster

The better you articulate what you want to do, the easier it becomes to develop a strategy to accomplish it. Part of that strategy, of course, is establishing relationships with the right people who can help you get where you’re going. But you must know where you’re headed first, so do the following in this order:

Find your Blue Flame

Devote time to thinking about what you’re good at, what you really love to do and what you feel your purpose is in this world. That intersection of desire and talent, or passion and ability, is what I call your Blue Flame. Write, pray, exercise or do whatever you need to do to clear your head and figure this stuff out. I enjoy great results with Vipassana meditation. The important thing is to think and talk through this without the constraints, doubts, fears and expectations of what you “should” be doing. Set aside the obstacles of time, money and obligation, and find your Blue Flame.

And don’t feel intimidated by the thought of your current Blue Flame being your one and only. It probably won’t be your last. In fact, it might change several times in your lifetime. However, to more effectively build relationships for career growth, it’s best if you put a stake in the ground wherever you’re at and get moving from there.

Have a Good RAP

Once you have a Blue Flame, you have to set goals that will help you fulfill your mission, connect those goals to the people, places and things that will help you succeed, and determine the best way to reach out to your target contacts. You need a Relationship Action Plan (RAP).

For 10 years, three years, one year, and 60 days into the future, do the following:

• Write down your goals.
• Beside each goal, write the names and types of people who can help you achieve them.
• Note how you can best reach those people.
• Last but not least, think of and write down all the ways you can also contribute to their success.

Do this, and you will have planned all the way from your greatest dreams down to the names of flesh-and-blood people you need to meet and how you’re going to meet them. This is the process – the system, if you will – involved in building a powerful network. It’s not magical; it’s not reserved for a select few born with an inherent gift for being social. Connecting with others for mutual success really just involves making a predetermined plan and carrying it out, whether you want to be an EMT or start your own hospital.

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