Success in the workplace is what you make of it

According to the Secrets of Career Success in the Middle East and North Africa poll, success consists of a number of connected factors.

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What is success, really?

Of all the goals we set in life, being successful is probably the one that stands out the most. According to the Secrets of Career Success in the Middle East and North Africa poll from June, success consists of a number of connected factors. But when it comes to defining success, the majority of respondents said that their ultimate vision of success was not tied to fame, power or money, but rather to being a true innovator, creator or pioneer. One in four respondents stated that their success came from working in a career they absolutely loved.

But what is it that makes some people more successful than others? The only way to be sure you are truly successful is to define your very own success. Here are some pointers to help you.

A powerful network

Networking is an invaluable business skill and a critical component in any professional’s toolkit. The ability to communicate effectively, build and nurture winning relationships and expand a network is absolutely essential in today’s business world for career growth and success. In fact, the poll showed that nine in 10 respondents believe that both networking and maintaining good relationships with others are very important in one’s career success.

Highly successful professionals understand that they cannot achieve success alone; they invest time and energy in building and nurturing relationships that last over time. Whether you are looking for a job or not, it is always important to be adding to y our professional network and fostering existing contacts with the goal of keeping in touch with decision makers and people with influence within your industry and out. Professional networking platforms are a great place to start.

Hard work

Being successful requires commitment that doesn’t wane. It takes believing that you can create movement in your life and career, even when the waters are still and the world is giving evidence that you’re not going to make it to your destination. According to the poll, nearly one-third (29.1 per cent) of respondents said they owe their career success mostly to hard work, while far fewer chalked it up to brains (5.6 per cent) or luck (3.6 per cent).

Working hard doesn’t mean that you should continue on your course blindly. It means that you know when you need help and you ask for it before it’s too late. You commit yourself to your goals without doubt, without reservation, and do what’s required, while at the same time you learn to be flexible. Professionals who work hard and realise they have vulnerabilities and gaps in their knowledge and ability, and are determined to close these gaps, succeed at a much higher level than those who hide their heads in the sand.

Lifelong learning

Alvin Toffler once said: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Education and learning, before beginning a career as well as on the path to success, seem to be important components in the recipe for success. Far from being a burden, you should embark on this as a journey of exploration and enlightenment.

According to our Learning in the Mena Workplace poll from March 2015, 97 per cent of the region’s professionals are very dedicated to lifelong learning and 54 per cent of them consider themselves to be at the top of their game when it comes to industry-related learning.

Try to acquire learning in any areas that interest you no matter how removed from your daily workload some of your true passions may be. More and more professionals are making midcareer transitions to areas totally outside their previous domain, and this is facilitated by the wealth of training and learning resources readily available today, many of them online.

When asked about the best source of learning for career growth, responses were generally comparable. Results from the Secrets of Career Success poll cited the following sources in order of importance: university courses or professional programmes, online courses, books, career-specific internet sites, internet forums and discussion groups, industry conferences and forums and business magazines and journals.

Approach the process of continued learning with zest and ardour. Take online courses and tests that will help boost your learning and career success.

Suhail Masri is the vice president of employer solutions at