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Gentle reminders for career success

/ 12:12 AM January 31, 2016


Every year over a million new entrants join the workplace in the Philippines. Millions more plod aimlessly everyday hoping for success, but never knowing why they do what they do.


You’ll have a better 2016 if the economy gets better or if you get better. You can’t control the economy, but you can control yourself. Try these tips and get better.

Dream big


You can’t have a dream come true unless you first have a dream. Only those who have dreams will have dreams come true. Often, a person is measured by the size of his dream. The bigger the dream, the bigger gain. Many dreams seem impossible at first. In May 1961, US President John Kennedy dreamed of putting the first man on the moon before the decade is over. It’s more fun to dream the impossible. Luke 18:27 said, “The things impossible with men are possible with God.”

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of choice. When working people fail, they blame destiny. Many believe that how you turn out in life is predetermined on the day you’re born. In reality, destiny is not fixed – there are alternative destinies, depending on your choices. It’s not a matter of chance – destiny is a matter of choice. Like somebody said, it’s not a thing to be waited for – it’s a thing to be achieved.

Look to the future; it’s where you’ll spend the rest of your life. Many people live in the past. Others just wait when the future comes. Somebody said that yesterday is a cancelled check – it’s worthless and no longer negotiable. Tomorrow is a promissory note – it’s not good now. Today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely. Someone said, “Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Don’t just sit there

Millions saw the apple fall; only Newton asked why. Try to be different. People see things and take them for granted. Worse, they see problems – not opportunities. To succeed, keep your eyes and mind on opportunities. Don’t just ask why – ask why not, too. Many successful people were different, bold, and creative.

Be a person of value, not a person of success. People wish for success in their life. There are varying roads to success – some straight, some crooked. Some people go after success no matter what. Sometimes, like Darth Vader they find success on the dark side. The good book reminds us to choose to be a person of value, rather than a person of success. According to Proverbs 16:16, “It’s much better to be wise and sensible than to be rich.”

No fear


Enter the tiger’s den if you want to take the cubs. Life is a survival of the fittest – not necessarily the strongest, but those who have the courage to change and adapt. In life and career, if you want something that bad, you’ve got to go after it. Contrary to belief, the best things in life are not free. They have a tag price. To succeed, be courageous and determined to go after what you want in life.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. In life, detractors will insult, belittle or discourage you. If you allow them to make you a lesser person, you’ll lose. Instead, prove them wrong by honing your skills and doing your best all the time. Never give up. Fight as if there’s no tomorrow. Mark 12:10-11 says, “Haven’t you heard this scripture: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.'”

Don’t care who gets the credit. In Philippine churches, you’ll see pews and walls inscribed with names of their donors.People want others to know their charity and good deeds. It seems very difficult to be humble when you’re great. It cheapens your achievement when you blow your horn. Matthew 6:3 reminds us, “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”


Learn to laugh – at your troubles, at yourself. Life is full of tense and difficult situations. Life is so serious that we need to learn to smile and laugh. It takes 64 facial muscles to scowl or frown. It takes only 13 to smile. Helen Keller, with her handicap, has learned to be happy. She admonished others, “Resolve to keep happy, and your joy shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
Never try to please everybody. There are several secrets to success, and a few secrets to failure. One secret for failure I know is to try to please everybody. Leaders who set out to please all their constituencies never succeed. There will always be those who will not be happy with what you do, even when you do good. People will always envy you and attribute ill intent to every beneficial thing you do. Matthew 6:24 warns us, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.”

Life is not a bed of roses. But it can be fun, if you master secrets of success.

(Ernie is the 2013 Executive Director and 1999 President of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP); Chair of the AMCHAM Human Capital Committee; and Co-Chair of ECOP’s TWG on Labor and Social Policy Issues. He also chairs the Accreditation Council for the PMAP Society of Fellows in People Management. He is President and CEO of EC Business Solutions and Career Center. Contact him at [email protected])

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TAGS: Career, dream, Future, new hire, opportunuties, People, working
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