By: Mari-Kathryn Arnold, Ed.D.
Success is one of the main goals for many professionals and students. Regardless of whether you are seeking a promotion, a new job, a new education, etc., you most likely have a goal that you are striving to achieve. Although there are many researchers and innumerable famous individuals who guarantee that their hard work or methods will work for you, there is no singular algorithm that will fit every situation. When trying to outline your own individual success, try focusing on the 5 P’s: Positivity, Proactiveness, Preparedness, Promotion, and Passion. If you can implement these views into your daily life, you will drive yourself towards similar successes of these individuals.
A positive outlook in both your personal and professional life can have a major impact on your success. Positivity helps to motivate individuals and transform them into higher performers. A person who exemplifies positivity tends to be more effective due to the enhancement of the person’s psychological, mental, social, and physical health. Not only do those with a positive outlook set higher goals for themselves and others around them, but they tend to also persevere through challenges and setbacks. In addition, positivity helps with improving creativity when developing solutions to problems and helps individuals to build stronger relationships that foster similar emotions with those surrounding them.
Being proactive is also a trait of a successful professional. Those individuals who are proactive are viewed as responsible individuals. Proactive professionals take time to anticipate problems and seek new solutions. Individuals who do not apply themselves to think through all possible outcomes and possible solutions may become reactive to the situations occurring around them. When a professional reacts to a situation, it is typically poorly planned and includes blaming others or external situations. Blaming others and external situations negatively impacts attitudes and can decrease the promotion of positivity, which is why proactiveness is a significant attribute to successful professionals.
Although individuals who are proactive demonstrate the ability to plan and anticipate problems, successful professionals also must be prepared to handle any situation. Preparedness differs from proactiveness, by being able to handle and overcome different hardships, issues, or situations. When a professional is prepared, he/she has taken time to create, practice, and perfect items, resources, and information before disseminating it. Imagine going to an audition or a try-out without practicing your skills. Even if you are talented in your specific area, it may not be enough to beat the person who has worked endless hours on perfecting that skill. When you are prepared, you are confident, and when you are confident, you exude positivity.
The fourth P to being a successful professional is promotion. No one will be a stronger advocate for you than yourself. If you plan to be successful as a professional, you must learn how to and not be afraid to promote your skills, victories, and strengths. Although you should never gloat about your career successes, it is important that you seek the recognition when you deserve it. This sets yourself up for advancements and future opportunities. Focus on networking, becoming published, mentoring new graduates, and building your brand. Those who can demonstrate their knowledge and build their knowledge are more likely to make a lasting impression to everyone they encounter.
Lastly, identify and pursue your areas of passion. Most successful professionals will tell you that they work in the field or in their position because they love what they do on a day-to-day basis. Despite that you may never find a job where you love every task or every aspect, the passion in a specific area of your job will drive your excitement, which supports your positivity. When you work and complete more of the tasks that you are passionate about, you are able to exude confidence, help lead the way by showing others, and increase your ability to self-promote. Your passion can help you to become a subject-matter expert, which will further increase your credibility and help make those around you feel excited. This makes it a win-win-win for those around you, your organization/company, and most importantly, yourself.