I just read an article by David Cutler who wrote a book called The Savvy Musician. He outlined various competencies for success in musical careers that are applicable in all professional work arenas.
- An Entrepreneurial Mindset. The ability to problem solve, create opportunities, think outside the box, market remarkably, and manage your own projects.
- Leadership and Vision. Individuals who possess a strong sense of vision and the courage to lead with influence are rewarded on many levels.
- Collaboration. Successful professionals value working with others, creating projects that are greater than themselves. Consider joining forces with the not so obvious constituents in your circle of contacts: community members, educators, business leaders, neighbors, etc.
- A Strong Brand. A brand is much more than your name or logo. It is the sum total of how others perceive what you do. What distinguishes you from the pack and how will potential clients or colleagues know that?
- Risk Taking. Most people are terrified of failure, playing it too safe and buying into the myth that anything less than perfection reflects poorly on them. An overly safe approach often results with a failure of the largest order – professional goals. If you crave success, be willing to fail and learn from it.
- Internet Mastery. The web offers unprecedented opportunities: social networking, blogging, podcasting, news releases, viral sensations, etc. It’s simply not enough to do these things – you must do so strategically for the greatest impact.
- Financial Literacy. Prospering financially doesn’t simply mean raking in piles of cash. Success requires a deep understanding of how money works – earning, spending, and saving.
- Research Skills. The most successful professionals do not reinvent the wheel. They take advantage of pre-existing resources. They establish relationships with mentors, embrace creative modeling, and devour resource materials in their field.
- An Understanding and Interest in the World. Only those who are engaged in the challenges, values, and realities of their communities are able to create products and provide services that fill gaps and resonate with others. Successful professionals are relevant.
When you play the career game with these rules in mind you will be well prepared for success.