As you work to grow your career as a helping professional in your community, you want to be focused on setting and reaching your career goals. There are some important career success skills you will need to get to where you want to be professionally beyond clinical skills you learned in graduate school. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of those basic but essential skills which will help you to reach your career goals.
In my work coaching and mentoring therapists along their career path, often I see people who have fantastic goals but they get stuck and discouraged along the way. Usually there are some foundational pieces to successful practice building many therapists are missing. I encourage my mentoring clients to examine which steps they have skipped over along the way. Once we are able to go back and establish some of those foundational skills, then they are able to really take off and reach those goals.
So, let’s go over 4 basic but essential skills you need for your career success. (This article contains some affiliate partner links which extend me a small commission if purchases are made from those links).
Here are 4 career success skills you need:
1. Practice supreme confidence.
A lot of people suffer with a lack of confidence.. The good news is you can give your self esteem a big boost through particular practices that start in your mind and will help you to exude confidence to others helping them to feel confident in your professional abilities.
The first step is to examine your mindset. The way you look at the world. The frame through which you see people and circumstances. When a challenge arises, do you see it as a problem or an opportunity?
A limited mindset brings thoughts and beliefs that are negative, typically untrue and will hold you back from doing the things you really want to do in your life and career. Sometimes these thoughts and beliefs are running the show from the quiet recesses of your mind. Mindfulness practice will help you to be aware of all those thoughts and beliefs and help you notice with greater attention to all you are feeling and thinking. With regular practice you can turn those negative niggles into powerful positives.
Next, bring your body to the practice.
For 2 minutes every day stand like Wonder Woman. There is actual science that says practicing this stance boosts your self-confidence with a release of particular hormones that help your body and brain join forces to believe you can do whatever you set your mind to. Research shows that women who practiced power poses regularly were able to command respect in the work place and even land their desired jobs with successful interviews. Here’s how to do it:
- Stand tall, chin up.
- Feet wide apart.
- Hands on hips.
- Chest lifted.
- Hold this pose and breathe into it for 2 minutes. Do it in the mirror for an extra power punch.
2. Take time to write well.
The stronger your writing skills, the better you can express yourself, and that is invaluable in the work of a helping professional wanting to expand your career.
As a therapist, there will be times you need to write summaries of treatment for clients or for a guardian ad litem in a divorce or custody case and the quality of your writing can make all the difference in how your professional observations are received.
You also need to know how to write professional emails and other correspondence. Poor writing skills can decrease clients’ or colleagues’ confidence in your professional abilities. Strong writing skills influences your clients and colleagues to respect the quality of your work.
Writing copy for your blog or newsletter can be a daunting task but it’s very important to have regular, fresh quality copy written and properly promoted on social media in order to market your business services. If writing regularly has you pulling your hair out you might consider hiring a professional writer or copy editors to help generate quality blog posts and newsletters. If you’re a therapist in need of some help, check out my blog and copy writing services.
3. Hone your interpersonal communication skills.
Effective communication is one of the most important career success skills we need. The ability to express yourself verbally when you are interacting in our community will influence the number of referrals you receive. If you’re going for a contracted position you may need to interview as part of the process and if you’re “selling” your services to potential clients your communication skills for career success are vitally important.
Being able to communicate well is something that can be hard for some, but like everything else it just comes down to regular practice. And practice can occur any place any time. You can practice communication skills with the grocery cashier or with friends over dinner.
If you struggle with communication, you may consider role-playing your upcoming interview or speech with trusted friends or loved ones until it feels natural and comfortable for you.
Honing your public speaking skills is also going to be key in order to be seen as an expert in your field. In order to succeed, you need to know how to persuasively sell your beliefs about the work you do and your ideas. Of all the career success skills you need, this skill is likely the single greatest skill that will help your career to burgeon.
Anxiety about public speaking is very common. I have found a book written by a public speaking coach Carmine Gallo called Talk Like Ted incredibly helpful for myself and many of my career coaching clients. In this book he explores what makes a great presentation by looking at the widely acclaimed TED Talks, which are the gold standard for public speaking. Gallo has examined hundreds of TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters, as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology, communications, and neuroscience to reveal the 9 secrets of all successful TED presentations. You can learn this step-by-step method so you will find your own ability to easily deliver a presentation that is not only persuasive but also engaging and memorable. You can get more info about the book HERE.
4. Schedule everything.
We all know how important time management is and yet when I was leading 90 day practice building master mind programs for therapists and in my private mentoring work it is the #1 challenge many therapists in private practice face. If you start scheduling everything (and I do mean everything) your relationship with clock and calendar will naturally transform and you’ll realize how much time is frittered away unconsciously.
When you treat everything you have to do in life with the same level of commitment, presence and focus as you do your therapy clients, you’ll find that you are able to be much more efficient and the quality of all aspects of your life and career improves. Success is linked to the level of fulfillment you feel in your life and career and when you are able to master your tasks by scheduling and completing them you’re going to feel more fulfilled. For 8 tips on better time management skills check out this article.
Summarizing your daily career success skills practices:
- Practice mindfulness daily and turn those negative niggles into powerful positives at every opportunity.
- Practice your confidence-boosting power pose Wonder Woman style for two minutes every day.
- Brush up on your writing skills and practice by writing professionally composed emails and reports.
- Practice your confident communication skills everywhere you go and with trusted friends and loved ones.
- Learn to talk like TED so your public speaking skills will be right on point, yielding you success in reaching your career dreams.
- Schedule everything and master tasks by befriending clock and calendar.
Want some personalized coaching or mentoring for your career expansion? Check out my Career Navigation coaching program and contact me personally so we can discuss whether I might be the right person to help you.