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7 Tips for Building a Successful Career

The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, wrote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While some may find this to be a bit too idealistic, it drives home the importance of enjoying and finding meaning in what you do every day to support yourself and your family.

Careers Vs. Jobs: The Path to Personal Fulfillment

Our Assistant Vice President of Talent Management and Corporate Communications, Melanie Lundberg, recently wrote about the differences between having a “career” and having a “job” in her article, Careers Vs. Jobs: The Path to Personal Fulfillment, published herelink opens in a new window on

In her article, Melanie makes the timeless claim that "…a job is simply about making a living, but a career is about making a life."

Gallup reported a compelling statistic that supports her claim: People whose careers require them to focus on their strengths are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.

Melanie’s 7 Tips for building a successful career

Melanie draws on 18 years of talent management experience to create a list of seven important actions that help build a successful career. In short, they are:

  1. Work hard and maintain a positive attitude. Employers want employees with “can do” attitudes.
  2. Be a utility player. Adaptable team members with multiple talents don’t get benched.
  3. Always aim higher. Always encourage growth by taking advantage of training opportunities and taking on new challenges.
  4. Build a professional network and strong personal brand. Say “yes” to networking events and developing strong business relationships. Conduct yourself in a way that’s consistent with what you want people to say about your work.
  5. Choose a prospective employer wisely. Good decisions go beyond salary and title. Think through items like management leadership style, role fit and future goals before making a move.
  6. Company culture matters. Choose an employer who rewards great contributions with success and recognition.
  7. Set achievable goals and measure your progress. Make sure career decisions are in line with the plan you set for yourself.

Research your options

If you are in the market for a new career, more information is easily accessible on the internet than ever before. Use all of the available resources to carefully research all possibilities. Several career sites rate companies and give insider views of what it’s like to work there. Social networking tools can help job seekers make valuable connections with employees.

While loving your career may not necessarily mean you’ll “never work a day in your life,” finding fulfillment in what you do certainly adds to your own quality of life.