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Seven Ways To Set Yourself Up For Success Setting your vision and listing down the skills is one thing; learning and acquiring these skills is another

By Khalil Zafar

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Today's global and competitive workplace requires additional skills. An employee, whether a trainee or a chief executive, needs an array of hard and soft skills, essential for anyone aspiring for top leadership. Therefore, establishing yourself in a new job role through skills and behaviours is highly important for an employee's future career path.

Good employers find ways to develop their employees but they also keep an eye on low performing employees because early impressions of your approach, determination, and performance are often established within the first year, or sooner. To make sure you draw the correct kind of attention to yourself, it's essential to not only understand your current job responsibilities, but also to start exhibiting qualities that demonstrate your potential.

Unfortunately, the global unemployment rate stands at well over 16 per cent. One major reason of this unemployment is the lack of qualified and skilled labour which is required to do particular set of work, based on modern standards and processes. Therefore, it is imminent that the right skills and values will not only secure you a job, but it will also help you in becoming a successful professional in your field.

So follow these seven pieces of advice to position yourself for advancement opportunities.

Set Your Vision and Goals

It is absolute imperative that you first understand what you enjoy most, what you are good at, and what you can do for a period of 30-40 years with absolute passion every single day.

Once you have realized and documented your aspirations, it's time to set yourself a vision (where do you want to see yourself in a particular set of time). Break down your vision into actionable goals and make a commitment to fulfill them at all cost with zeal and passion.

Focus on WIG (Wildly Important Goal)

Sometimes it's easy to get swayed from your vision when you set down too many goals. It is important here to differentiate between the most important and not so important goals so that the most important aspect of the vision can be targeted. Remember to focus on less in order to accomplish more.

Acquire the Right Skills and Values

How many times we hear and read, acquire the right skills in order to succeed? Well, doing a bit of research will surely give you a list of in-demand skills required by employers for your aspired job role. One easy way of searching these skills is to go through the job ads with their job descriptions (JDs) and specifications. Go through these JDs and make a list of the skills that you currently have and the ones that you need to acquire. These job descriptions and job specifications are the best source of understanding what the market demands are for your aspired job.

Develop A Learning Habit

Setting your vision and listing down the skills is one thing; learning and acquiring these skills is another. Don't be rigid and be prepared to learn all the time. A business degree acquired 10 years ago is not enough, business environment changes and so do the technology and the work demands. In this age of technology, learning has become very easy. Make full use of internet to learn skills. You can also master the desired skills by doing affordable online courses for few hundred bucks from different online learning portals.

Do Effective Networking

Don't just ask companies or recruiters directly for jobs. Approach them with the intent of showing passion and ability of learning new things. Without a robust, profound and diverse network you are restricting your prospects to learn, develop and expand the range of your experience and expertise. Networking is not just about you; the more people you help, the more people you will have on your side when difficulties arise within your own work, job or projects.

Follow Leadership Pipeline – Be Patient

Leadership Pipeline Model was developed by Ram Charan and it explains what skills and behaviours are required at each level of your job position in order to move to the next stage. Check at what stage you are and what skills and behaviours you require. Moving up in a corporate ladder requires time, so be patient. Don't try to rush by becoming a CEO in a couple of years; rather focus on becoming the best in your job. Good things will surely come your way.

Hard Work

There is no short cut in life. Be positive and work hard. Energize yourself and others as no one wants to be surrounded by people with negative thoughts.

Khalil Zafar

Senior HR and management consultant


Khalil has over 10 years of rich and progressive international experience in strategic HR, training, leadership development, talent acquisition, organizational renewal, business process automation, performance management and organizational/strategy development.

Currently he is working as senior manager HR/ Partner-Organizational Renewal at Straxecute Consulting (UAE & Pakistan). He is also a professional trainer/instructor who has not only delivered trainings to corporate clients, but has also taught students at higher education level to help them develop their management knowledge and skills.

 Khalil has completed a M.Sc. in Organizational Psychology/HRM, along with a master's degree in mass communication. He is also an IRCA certified internal auditor for quality management systems.

He has taught people from different nationalities including India, Pakistan, Philippines, Lebanon, Jordan, Cameron, China, Scotland and Canada.  


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