DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. Be clear about what is expected of you in your job. Sit with your boss to discuss Key Performance Indicator. It is advisable to do a six-month review to share opinion and get feedback on your performance.
KNOW YOURSELF. You need to know yourself to manage yourself, and your career, better. A useful exercise is to define who you are as a brand. Do a reality check with a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT) analysis of yourself. See where you stand now and where you want to be. What do people think of you? All strong brands have a consistent, distinct image. What is yours?
KNOW YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE. Start with the people you work directly: your internal bosses, peers, subordinates and external partners. Extend this to others you work with indirectly - your boss's boss, your client's boss, your suppliers, etc. They all have a direct or indirect influence on your career. What is your relationship with them like? How are you perceived?
BE POSITIVE. Positive people tend to have more ideas and solutions. They are wired to be optimistic and forward-thinking, seeing opportunity rather than blocks. This optimism tends to be infectious and attracts others to you.
LESS TALK, MORE ACTION. In reverse, your credibility will be questioned. Act quickly and decisively. Make a stand when needed and help others carry the day. All these are signs of a good leader.
BE AGILE. Today's changing work environment requires you to adapt and be comfortable crossing boundaries. Don't wait to be instructed or settle for the normal path. Instead, show initiative and be nimble.
BEHAVE PROFESSIONALLY. In your daily dealings with clients and colleagues. Don't allow personal issues or grudges to creep into your work, e.g. preferential treatment or being difficult because you don't like the person. Getting ahead has a lot to do with managing your circle of influence - build credit and recognise the value of working with people. What goes around comes around!