In considering how to advise people on how to efficiently become a “star player”, I reflected on what all star players have in common.
After meeting thousands of candidates and business leaders in my 15 years as a recruiter, the one shared characteristic that clearly stood out was a mindset of intentionality and accountability for their own career success.
What all star players have in common?
To be clear, accountability for one’s career success is not the same as always looking for more money and a higher title.
While a higher salary and distinguished title usually should be linked to success in your career, those are possible outcomes and do not necessarily reflect success itself.
I have seen to many people chase salary and title and then lose sight of the true things that can make them a star player.
Build your knowledge and skills
Career success for the star player should mean building knowledge and skills to make a visible, positive impact on colleagues, company and the broader world.
This will result in the star player remaining not only relevant but in high demand in the market for their ability to stay in front of trends and bring others along with them.
Star players achieve this despite the challenges of the fast-paced and globally connected world we live in today.
The key to achieving that success for all star players is having a mindset of accountability for their own success.
That means being intentional about their everyday actions and how they connect to a clear, long term vision of success.
10 points that will lead you to become a star player
Based on this definition of career success for a star player, I now will provide some clear and practical advice on how to get there. The following points, if approached intentionally and followed religiously will lead you on your way to efficiently becoming a star player:
1. Understand what the global standard for a star player in your field looks like.
2. Next, actively seek out role models in that image so you can develop a vision for who you want to be.
3. Analyze the gaps between yourself and your role model so you can understand your areas for development.
4. Review your personal vision with your role model/mentor/manager and ensure it fits with your company’s vision.
If it doesn’t, you may need to seek out a more suitable environment.
5. Never wait for feedback from others; ask for it.
6. Seek out work challenges or educational opportunities that can help you fill the gaps between your vision and your present reality.
Doing this through practical work experience is usually most efficient but that may depend on the opportunities available to you in your current role or how you learn best.
7. In line with the above, ask for new challenges and put your hand up for projects; especially if the challenges lie outside of your comfort zone.
Do not get passed over because you are too quiet, modest or forgetful!
8. Seek out messy situations and expose yourself to them; you will learn more in a start-up or during a re-structuring than in a stable environment.
9. Don’t be afraid to fail! We learn more through failure than from success.
Most star players have faced adversity at least once like a demotion, being fired or failing at a project.
10. Approach every day as a learning experience.
Make time to ask yourself at the end of each day, “What did I learn today and how can that make me better tomorrow?”
Small changes are valuable. Incremental growth leads to fundamental change.
a) Understand your weaknesses. Know the things which you need to do to develop but tend to shy away from.
Star players know their own weak points and manage themselves to engage those areas rather than avoid them.
Make this intentional and systematize it or you will avoid it and never improve.
b)Update your resume every 3-6 months at minimum and add specific examples of development.
Use it to prepare for performance reviews and to make a case for allocation to new projects.
It will help you find the confidence to raise your hand for new challenges!
As mentioned above, following these 10 points intentionally and religiously can take you far on the way to becoming a star player who remains relevant despite the changes in the world around you.
It is not easy to be intentional about this day in and day out, but it can be done, especially with the help of a good mentor and colleagues.
An intentional approach to your career development will ensure a return on the time and effort you have invested to develop yourself and lead to greater career satisfaction.
In order to become a star player efficiently, you will first need to be accountable for your success and take initiative to act on the 10 points mentioned above.
■Read a previous article >> 2nd Month: "Setting Short-Term Goals"
Vice President of Business Development
Kevin Naylor is Vice President in charge of Business Development at en world Japan. He has been successfully supporting the career development of candidates here in Japan with en world for 15 years. In his career at enworld, Kevin has overseen nearly all of the divisions in recruitment, managed the operations side and looked after the regional offices in APAC. He has served as a member of the en world board of directors and is also actively involved as a leader within the ACCJ. He brings all of this experience to bear in advising the customers of en world on how best to succeed and build a strong business based on their people here in Japan.