How to Make Yourself “Unfireable”
In my five-year study of the daily success habits of successful individuals, one important discovery I made was that successful individuals are fanatics when it comes to daily career-related, self-improvement.
They are in constant pursuit of knowledge in order to help them identify opportunities. This makes them more valuable to their employer, customer, or clients and helps them to rise up the career ladder of success.
I uncovered four ways that successful individuals engage in opportunity-seeking, self-
Strategy #1: Career-Related Reading
Many of us get monthly industry periodicals. Typically, we set them aside and tell ourselves that we will get to that reading very soon. We may even pull out the periodicals, after a week or two, and browse through them, tearing out articles we are intent on reading. We set these articles aside and, again, tell ourselves we will get to that reading very soon. After a few months we throw these periodicals/articles out, rationalizing that they are outdated and of no use. Their time value has rendered them outdated.
“Successful” individuals have a different tact.
They set aside time every day for reading. They read every one of their periodicals. Why? Successful individuals understand the value of timely information. They are in pursuit of opportunities to make more money and advance their careers. Often these opportunities are found inside these industry periodicals. Successful individuals, on average*, set aside 30 to 45 minutes of every day for career-related reading. They do this day in and day out. Successful individuals understand that reading helps them remain current with industry technical information and industry trends, which often leads to the discovery of hidden opportunities. To successful individuals, reading gets them one rung higher on the career ladder of financial success.
Strategy #2: Career-Related Writing
Writing is a form of communication. Because you are writing on a topic, you must gain a more comprehensive understanding of that topic than reading alone can provide. Successful individuals engage in writing in a number of ways including: company newsletters, industry newsletters, newspaper articles, industry publication articles, Internet articles and customer/client letters. Writing helps lift successful individuals up another wrung on the career ladder of success.
Strategy #3: Speaking
Speaking requires a greater understanding of a subject matter than writing or reading will provide. There is a simple reason for this. In a speaking engagement you may be asked a question and this makes it a two-way communication process. When you are “the expert” on a topic for which you have been asked to speak you must fully know that topic, inside and out. This requires a more detailed study that reading and writing together cannot provide. Speaking forces you to dig deeper and expand your knowledge base. Speaking elevates you up another wrung on the career ladder of success.
Strategy #4: Doing
There is no better way to perfect your knowledge in an area than through repetition by doing.
Repetition in a particular area gets you closer to perfection than reading, writing or speaking ever could. Each time you repeat a task in a particular area you become more efficient and more expert. Doing, over and over again, allows you to make and fix mistakes. It allows you to improve and perfect your skill-set. Through repetition by doing you will, in time, become a master in a particular task or subject matter. ‘Doing’ raises you to the highest wrung on the career ladder of success.
Successful individuals employ the above strategies in an effort to become more expert in their field and make themselves indispensable to their employer, and their employer’s customers or clients. These strategies also open up your eyes to opportunities that were previously hidden.
The most successful of individuals employ all four career-related self-improvement strategies in climbing the career ladder of success. But you can achieve a good measure of career success by simply dedicating yourself, every day, to just one of these four career-related, self-improvement strategies.
Make no mistake about it; it’s not an easy discipline!
Daily career-related, self-improvement is boring. It’s tedious. But the by-product is the discovery of otherwise hidden opportunities. Opportunities that were there all along, but could not be seen until you took that important step of expanding your knowledge base.
I like to use the following metaphor to best explain how these strategies work:
1) Imagine for a moment that you find yourself surrounded by trees. These trees are a metaphor for opportunities. You see all of the trees that are in front of you.
2) Now imagine off to the side of these trees is a hill. This hill is a metaphor for career-related, self-improvement.
3) What happens when you climb that hill (what happens when you engage in daily career-related, self-improvement)? You begin to notice that there are more trees.
As you climb higher and higher up the hill (as you engage in more and more career-related, self-improvement) you realize you were in a forest and what you now see are not just individual trees but a forest; a forest of opportunities.
Climbing that hill, engaging in career-related, self-improvement, exposes you to more opportunities in life and in your career.
Opportunity and Luck
Many individuals who struggle in life believe they have bad luck. And these same unsuccessful people believe those who are successful are simply, well, lucky in life. What they don’t understand is that successful people create their own luck. They create, what I call, ‘opportunity luck’. This is the type of luck that successful people create through their good daily habits such as engaging in career-related, self-improvement.
Utilizing one or more of the career-related, self-improvement strategies will make you indispensable to your employer. Increasing your knowledge base opens up the world of hidden opportunities. Opportunities which will help your employer increase revenues or reduce expenses and guarantee that you will be among the highest paid of employees and among the last to get fired.
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