There is no way to define success. if you were to ask a thousand people about who they think is the most successful person, they will all give you different answers. Though this exercise seems pointless, the answer is a good indication of what these thousand people want to do with their lives. The data could be really valuable for someone who is looking for it!
So success is not absolute but it is a measure of how close you are to living a life that you envisioned for yourself. So logically, the first step to becoming successful is to dream a life for yourself because if you don’t do that, there is good chance you will not be motivated to achieve anything, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but given that we only have one life, it does not seem like a very logical thing to do.
A good point to start this exercise is to ask yourself who, according to you, is the most successful person you know of. This will give you some insight about what you want in life. Now, it is not important to become that person, in fact, you must not become that person, but instead try to be a better version of that person. After all what is the purpose of life, if not to evolve.
Now, once you have figured out who you want to be, the rest of this blog can help you plan for success. After closely watching the careers of everyone I know, I have found that there are five stages of every career and it is very important to be aware of these stages because if you are not aware of these, you will never be able to evaluate if you are making progress or not.
In case you don’t find the schematic self-explanatory let me try to explain each stage to you in detail.
L1 (The Learning Stage): Here a person is involved in educating oneself. Now education is very different from training, education means you try to learn about how the world works, what are the various advancements that we as a civilisation have made. Typically, at this stage you are not trained for anything. And despite what most beginners believe, they are not suitable for any job. But this stage is crucial because you learn how to learn, you learn what it takes to be a good human being, the things which are extremely important for being successful in professional life.
L2 (The implementation Stage): In this stage a person is involved in trying to accomplish any given task. This is where you start to learn about the operational challenges, what might be called the practicality of any job. One learns how to plan, how to take in to account various sources of errors and failure. You also begin to learn how to function as a team which is more important than your domain expertise because as an individual you can only do so much. But as a team you can accomplish things which seem impossible for a single person.
L3 (The Strategy Stage): This is the stage at which you will spend most of your professional life. A lot of people stay stuck at this stage for much longer than they should and only later realise that they have committed a blunder. This is the stage where you are, in professional terms, middle management. You are still not making decisions, but you are in-charge of overseeing implementation of any given task. The important thing to do at this stage is to take initiative, to prove to the senior management that you are capable of decision making and also have to ability to make necessary amends when you make a wrong decision.
L4 (The Management Stage): This is the stage at which your core skill completely stops being of any use. You may be a salesman, an engineer or a painter or a dancer, at this stage everything that you have learn’t ceases to matter, other than how good you are at managing a team, that is to say the people who form your team. This function does not seem important at the beginning of a career but this is actually the most crucial factor for success. Again the catch here is that if you have the ability to create and manage a team, you are capable of doing things that an individual can never do alone.
L5 (The Resource Management Stage): This is your eventual aim. If you want to become a success in any field or role, you have to get to a point where you have the vision and the know-how which people respect and thus ” you with the responsibility of ultimate decision making; which is to decide what should be done and what must not be. A Venture Capitalist or the owner of a firm are a few examples of people who are in these roles. They need not have the required skill, they just have to decide what to do and then find the right people (senior management) to accomplish the task they deem is worth time and effort of their organisation.
I hope you found the blog interesting. Let us know which stage of career you are at and what are the challenges you are facing. If your question is valid and precise, we will personally assist you with planning your career.