3 Principles for Career Success

I had a very stimulating conversation with Brian Simons a few weeks ago. Brian is the President and CEO of Altavera Mortgage Services – one of the busiest growing companies in Denver that you’ve probably never heard of. Anyway, I had just returned from a mentoring event at CU in Boulder and was talking about how I enjoy working with young, energetic minds who don’t have a bunch of self-limiting baggage like we accumulate when we get older – some of you know what I’m talking about, especially if you read my last article!

During our conversation, Brian shared with me his 3 principles for career success. I believe they ring true, so I thought I’d share them with you – with his blessing of course.

  1. Your reputation is all you have. From your very first day in your first job you begin to build a reputation. Your job is to make sure you build a good reputation, and not a bad one. This, above all, is one thing that you can manage which will have the biggest impact on your future positions or your ability to get promoted and tapped for special assignments. In the working world it is true that “your reputation precedes you.” Make sure that you handle yourself with decorum in all areas, and treat others in the manner that you want your reputation to manifest.
  2. Treat every day as if it’s your last. There is no slacking! My brother used to tell me, “I have no time for sleep, there is too much to be done – I can sleep all I want when I’m dead.” There is something to be said for this philosophy. Don’t take it to the extreme and work yourself into unhappiness, but the spirit of this principle is twofold: 1. Don’t leave stuff undone that can be taken care of now; and 2. Make sure you show up and perform to the best of your ability each and every day.
  3. Build up and keep a “Go to &#@!” fund. One of the biggest reasons that people stay in jobs that make them unhappy is fear. Fear of being unemployed, not paying the bills, not getting a better job elsewhere, etc. By building up a fund and having money in the bank you relieve yourself from feeling “trapped” in a bad situation, and allow yourself the option of moving on if you are in a position that is just not right for you. Your decisions, your actions and the manner in which you handle yourself in your current job will take on a much more positive tone if know you are there because you want to be, not because you have to be. Make sure you have some cash put aside for whatever might happen in the future.

If you are a member of the class of 2015 – a hearty congratulations to you! You are about to launch the next chapter of what will be a very exciting time in your life. My personal best advice to you is to listen with two ears to those who have traveled this path before you. Evolution means not repeating the same mistakes, but rather making your own new ones instead and learning from them!

Our very best wishes – and for more great resources for landing your first dream job visit us here.