Keystone logo

How to Ensure the Success of Your Next Career Move

What’s your next career move and how do you know? We don’t have all the answers, but we have four ace-in-the-hole strategies that will help you find out. Let’s take a closer look.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Student Tips

We regret to inform you that there is no magic potion that will ensure the success of your next career move. Success in an evolving global workplace requires evolving global people. People who know what they want, know how to get it, and are willing to own the mistakes they make. Be one of them. You need to be persistent, kind, and honest. You need to work smart and work hard. You need to:

1. Know what you want to do next

Are you worthy of your visions? Of course you are! It takes work to make that vision a reality, though. Knowing that you want to “do something meaningful” is a good place to start in defining a vision for yourself, but not enough in terms of knowing what you want to come next. Know who you are, what your talents and passions are, and how you want to put those talents and passions to best use. Easier said than done, right? Start by documenting your work day. Reflect on the parts of your day that you enjoy best—and least. The pattern will become clear—and so will the vision for what you want to do next.

Here’s another trick: think about what interests you in general and then extrapolate those ideas to your professional life. Let’s say you like to garden, but you are not a professional gardener. List the reasons that you like it: hard physical work, produces food and beauty, somewhat unpredictable, constantly changing because of weather… Could you argue that you like work in which you do big, messy projects that require you to analyze and act on situations that occur as the result of rapidly changing variables? Not only does that sound like the joy and beauty of gardening, but also like the complicated work of a Wall Street trader—and a step in the right direction. Try it.

2. Identify the people who can help you

Relationship, relationship, relationship. That’s the key! Your success depends on the relationships you have with your boss, your colleagues, your friends, and your family. The people who have the most interest in or influence on your job are the ones to consider here. Let’s talk about your boss at work for a moment; respect your boss as a human being, ask thoughtful questions, and build positive rapport. Don’t be a doormat, but always show respect. The people who can help you are all around you; don’t step on anyone in order to show your boss (or anyone else) how wonderful you are. Show them that you care about what you do and fly high. Because who gets the opportunity when it knocks? The high flyers. You.

3. Learn how to communicate well

Captivate, negotiate, and advocate! Talking the talk has never been more important. Successful professionals tell their stories and explain the “why” of their work without bragging and disrespecting others. They build positive relationships, inspire others, and breed loyalty and trust. When you can explain yourself and your work with honesty, grit, humility, and humor you will not only attract supporters, you will show your worth. People will want to work with you.

4. Learn something new

You should always be learning and growing in your current position. Because who gets the opportunity when it knocks? The high flyers. Show that you know that there’s always room for improvement, and work hard to get there. Smart employees seek out new learning opportunities at work, or outside of it. Attend a weekly strategy session. Go to a board meeting. Learn how to use a new software application. Talk to a colleague in a different department and strategize how to tackle a problem together. Do something difficult; learn a new language, take a cooking class. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We’re human. We make them. Own them. And always learn from them.

Learn more about earning your MBA.