The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an excellent book that contains numerous powerful life and career lessons. It is considered one of the most successful books on military strategy ever written. The book recognizes that planning and strategy are influenced...Filed under Self Improvement Books 4 Comments
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Knowing your product is crucial to your career and life. Just as you must have a clear sense of your own product, you must seek companies with a strong sense of their products. Random products, or lack of focus on the right product, can be disastrous for businesses and individuals alike. You must not only have a product, but a product that people want, so concentrate on your product and its effective delivery.
There is always a third party of some kind at the root of the conflicts in your life. Conflicts with others are an inevitable part of your life and career. When you analyze the conflicts in your life, you will often find that they are unjustified and created by others rather than by your own internal issues. When you identify a conflict in your life, determine whether the source is internal or external to you; once you identify the source, you will be able to quickly resolve these conflicts and remove impediments to your own career.
Protect your reputation at all costs, and do not let false rumors or information about you to stand uncorrected. You do not want people to spread negative information about you in the workplace; not only can such rumors impact your current job, but also your future employment prospects. Negative rumors must be stopped as soon as you become aware of them.
Companies are constantly striving for greater efficiency, and jobs tend to disappear because they can be done cheaper elsewhere. Consequently, you must constantly seek to improve your own efficiency in order to retain your value to your employer. Work to always increase the company’s output at the lowest possible cost. You will succeed if you find a position where your role is tied to increasing the efficiency of the company’s work.
Rather than committing to a career, many people switch jobs and take positions that require completely different skill sets; consequently, they never truly master their primary skills. While there is nothing wrong with changing careers, you must find something and devote yourself to it; many people have succeeded in relatively simple jobs, because they have committed to and mastered their craft. Develop a specialized interest, nurture it, and continually improve at it, and you will find the universe rewarding you.
In this article Harrison discusses the importance of having open lines of communication. According to him this will consistently keep you employed. You need to be friends with everyone you meet in business and stop competing and seeing differences. You need to understand that you have no opponents. Your success will largely be determined by your ability to go into the world, find commonality and make friends with the people around you. You must abolish from your mind the idea that the people you are dealing with in your career and in business are your competition. You must get rid of the thought of competition. Be friendly with everyone you meet. Stop looking for differences, and do everything within your power to find affinity with other people. This will change your career permanently.
Companies who have been around for long periods of time are usually doing something right, and people who remain with a single employer for long periods are usually considered stable and committed to their jobs. Concern yourself with doing the best job possible and look for reasons to like your organization, and you will find that the organization will welcome you and foster your long-term success.
When you buy something cheap, it is often likely to be expensive in the long-term; things that seem too good to be true usually are. When you are approached with an attractive deal, remember that nothing comes for free and there aren’t any no-strings-attached deals.
Just as a Unique Selling Position (USP) is important to sell a product, your own USP is vital for marketing yourself to potential employers. You must define your USP before even creating your resume, as it comprises the basic product that you are trying to sell in your interview. Focus your USP on a specific niche, for which there is market demand, and make it thoroughly persuasive.
Be supportive of those around you; the more you do this, the more successful you will be in your work and life. In terms of your career, you need to constantly add value and focus on adding more to your organization than you take. Use your learning to constantly seek new forms of revenue generation and support your company’s growth.
Bad people and influences surround you, and try to influence you to become like them. Do not be seduced by people who are beneath you, but instead people who are better than you and who will help you develop an awareness of your own strengths. Seek substance in your jobs, relationships, and free-time activities.
An ability to control worry is a common trait of many of the most successful people. Worry, for the most part, does not do anyone any good, as it makes people constantly look to various past alternatives. Rather than worrying about the future, you must focus on life now and not wait until a distant date to live and enjoy your life.
People with meaningful lives finish what they start; this says a lot about their character, and leaves a lasting impression on those around them. Completing the tasks you are assigned will make you the kind of person that companies retain year after year, and will help you better assess your capabilities. You must be accountable for finishing what you start, and you can do so by putting your mind to it. When you always finish what you start, you will find yourself performing at your absolute best.
In this article Harrison discusses the difference between the psyche of men and women and how it reflects in the unemployment rate. Women are more likely than men to plan their professions. Men are more likely to play the game of chance with their careers. The difference in the unemployment rate between men and women shows that women tend to choose jobs that are more stable and require a bit more planning. There are evolutionary, economic and other reasons for this, of course, but as a general rule, these choices contribute to the unemployment rate differences between the sexes. These are lessons that both men and women can learn from. By choosing more stable and predictable professions that may pay a little less, women are getting a different result in these times of high unemployment rates. Planning is crucial in achieving success in any career.
Determining whether you are most interested in information, people, places, or things can help you better understand your career and life priorities. Everyone’s motivation is different, and their motivation places them in one of these categories. These are deep-seated personality types, among which there is no intermingling, and each has its positive and negative points. You must find a work environment in which your natural inclinations and interests are nourished.
You must share information freely, and never hide information from anyone. When you give away all your ideas you create the need to replenish them, which opens the door to creativity and innovation. Furthermore, sharing your ideas with others give you access to more ideas. People who hoard information tend to have stale ideas because they only share or seek innovation when relevant, meaning that their own store of information stagnates.
It is better to be known for something than nothing at all; make yourself known as having a skill that others value. Become known among your peers for being friendly, a hard worker, a perfectionist, or something else positive. Your success will grow as you become known for something and continue to work at it. Standing and being known for one thing is always preferable to being unknown.
There are people in your life, just as in everyone else’s, who do not appreciate your talents and will seek to undermine you. You must avoid situations that place you among these kinds of people, and instead find colleagues who recognize and appreciate your efforts. Your work environment will do much to either motivate or de-motivate you, so make sure to find one that recognizes your talents.
In the legal recruiting realm, a recruiter typically needs to introduce a candidate to more than one law firm in order to get the candidate an interview. You could have a candidate at the top of their class from Harvard Law School practicing at one of the ten largest firms in the United States and they could be rejected by numerous law firms. Why?
One of the most important aspects of the people around you is their definition of the “norm”; norms of acceptable behavior exist everywhere. Your own definitions of normal and acceptable will determine your success in life, as will those of the groups with whom you interact. Develop an understanding of the norms for the many groups in your life.
Everything is the universe is connected, and nothing exists completely independently. Since all people are connected by their actions, you can accomplish nothing without others. Do not resist this universal law of interconnectedness, and avoid the unhappiness that comes from the belief that you are separate from others. Connection is a universal law, and one with which you need to act in accordance.
The universe is structured to have inequalities, and it is important for you to accept them where most people resist or fight against them. Fighting against inequalities only wastes energy and causes unnecessary stress that you could channel into something more productive. Accept the world’s inequalities and experience them for what they are, and you will free yourself to live the life you choose.
You can better market yourself by taking a stand against something. Peoples’ personal beliefs, including the things with which they do not agree, define who they are as people. Standing against something differentiates you from the crowd; when done in the correct manner, without disrespecting others’ opinions, such a stance can help you land your dream job.
Maintaining a routine in both life and work is important to success. Not only do you need to establish a routine, you must make that routine demanding and push yourself to the limit. Budget a certain amount of time each week for networking, applying to jobs, brushing up your interview skills, and following up with employers. Such consistent effort on a daily basis will make a huge difference to your career success.
A recommendation from a powerful person can make a huge difference in your job search; a reference from an influential person makes a tremendous difference to a prospective employer, and thus can be a major advantage for you. When an important person whom the company trusts recommends you, you instantly qualify for positions that may previously have been unattainable. Make the absolute most of your connections with the powerful people in your life, because doing so can instantaneously change your career and life.
You must plant seeds in the minds of others, so that they will be more likely than otherwise to think of you when a future need arises. In planting seeds, you are making people aware of what you have to offer; you must make sure that you are ever present in the minds of your potential employers. Planting seeds is the most effective way to generate top-of-mind awareness, and ensure that the right people remember you at the appropriate time.
Understanding what you do for a living is very important for your career. You should understand the generality of your specific profession. You and your career are a product. You need to know where and how to market yourself in the best way possible. You need to be relevant and understand the skills you are offering. Being a relevant product is essential for your success. It’s easy to be relevant when you understand what you are doing and what purpose you serve. Being relevant is more than just getting a job. Being relevant also relates to serving the employers with the skills they need. You need to understand your market and what your customers want. This is the way to stay employed, and it is also the means to continual improvement.
Recent immigrants exemplify the benefits of willpower, passion, and excitement in the way that they work so much harder for their goals than the people who have been here for most or all of their lives. Like most Americans, you need to rekindle the spirit of your immigrant ancestors and become hungry for what you want. The entrepreneurial spirit that brought people to America has often faded over time; adopt the fire and work ethic of new immigrants in order to achieve your goals.
Narcissistic Entitlement Syndrome (NES) afflicts many people in the current job market; they see themselves as special, and deserving of whatever they want at the expense of others. NES puts these people on a collision course with failure. Even if they do not themselves fail, colleagues with NES can negatively affect you; avoid NES and people afflicted with it at all costs.
You must surrender to your profession, doing work with which you are comfortable and in which you are interested. Conversely, you have submitted to a job in which you are uncomfortable and which does not conform to your values; nobody thrives in such a situation, and such a job is unlikely to advance your career. When you hold your profession in high esteem, however, there is no need to resist your job and you can easily surrender to it.