Small Business Guides

The Recipe for Career Success: 5 Key Ingredients You Need

Failure and success may just be words, but they are two of the most used ones when discussing people’s careers. Although success means different things for various people, career success for individuals remains as that one thing that people will work hard for.

Success isn’t something that just falls on your lap – it’s what most people run towards at the end of the road. Understanding this means knowing that you need some things to be able to reach one goal after the other and, ultimately, consider yourself truly triumphant.

Although there are plenty of things that could boost your chance of success, there are five key ingredients that you absolutely need, namely:

1.   Passion

Before you can even imagine succeeding in any industry, you must first decide what particular niche you’re going to work in according to your interests and passion.

For some people, finding something they’re passionate about is pretty easy because of their understanding of their natural attributes. However, there are still some people who don’t have any idea what career will bring out the best in them.

This is where the statement “Choose a career you love” comes to mind. Although simple, this sentence is easier to understand when broken down into two keywords: choose and love.

“Choose” is an intentional and proactive word that reflects your decision and ownership in finding a job you’re passionate about. “Love” relays the intensity of appreciation, yearning, and commitment to a particular trade or craft.

2.   Vast Network

To successfully steer yourself towards success, you need to learn the ABCs of networking. ABC stands for “Always Be Closing” in sales, but in networking, it means “Always Be Connecting.”

For most people, building a vast network is an activity commonly done as their current role comes to an end or when it’s time to leave a particular activity. But this shouldn’t be the case.

Based on research, each person you add to your network contributes a whopping 150 close contacts in your network tree. This means even just one contact every week means you get to add 7,800 annually. From there, you will experience a cascade of connections and open up tons of opportunities for your career progress.

If you’re still learning the ropes in terms of how to enrich your network, here are a couple of tips you can try:

Stay active on LinkedIn and other social networks

Set aside one hour every week to update your LinkedIn and other social networks related to your chosen industry. Connect with previous colleagues, former bosses, and people with similar interests. If you can, try to add personal messages rather than just sending generic connection requests without any premise.

Stay true

When networking, you have to be genuine in communicating with the people you’re connecting with. Don’t just connect with them just for the sake of networking. Instead, learn more about them, their work, their industry, and their issues.

Meet face-to-face

Whenever possible, organise a face-to-face meet-and-greet rather than sending an email as seeing people personally helps establish a stronger bond and engrave a deeper impression. It is also great for personalising the entire experience.

3.   Determination

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

These powerful words from NFL legend Vince Lombardi reflect the importance of willpower and determination in a person’s success.

When you’re determined, you own your personal freedom of choice and power to make things happen. It is your inner strength that pushes you towards achieving your goals with ease without sacrificing your personal beliefs.

4.   Consistency

Although essential, this ingredient of success is often overlooked. Nonetheless, consistency is and will always be vital in reaching your goals.

Consistency means doing things repetitively and with the same amount of effort during a given time. To understand this better, take a look at this simple analogy:

You sow two seeds, each placed in its own pot. Both pots are the same, and both are kept close together so they can receive the same amount of sunlight and atmosphere. The only difference is that you water the first pot regularly, while you only water the second pot as you please.

Between the two seeds, which one will flourish? If you answered the first one, then you’re correct.

This illustrates how effective consistency is when it comes to working towards your goals. The seeds represent your thoughts, the environment is your drive to become successful, and how frequently they are watered is your consistency in working towards your goal.

Giving time and staying consistent with your thoughts and making a plan (more on this later) is much like planting seeds in soil and providing them with proper care to grow into a plant. If you water it consistently, you get a healthy and thriving seedling. If not, you get nothing at all.

5.   Careful Planning

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This statement communicates the importance of planning in success.

Setting yourself up is one thing, but not setting up anything at all basically ensures your failure.

Although luck may allow you a few good rolls of the dice, the success rate remains low because you’re not in control. When you allow fate to decide where it’ll take you, you’ll eventually end up unsure about whether where you’re headed is a place you even want to be in at all.

This is where careful planning comes in.

Planning is another vital ingredient in the recipe for success as it brings all the other ingredients together to work towards the same end-product. It utilises time, energy, and resources efficiently and makes them work in a single direction, with your success waiting at the end of the road.

Your Success on a Silver Platter

In many things, having a recipe to follow allows people to get the desired output on their first attempt. The same is true for career success.

Take note of the key ingredients necessary in the recipe for success, and make sure that you bring them together in a manner that will suit you best. Only then can you enjoy your success on a silver platter.


Leila Rezaiguia is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kompass Consultancy, an innovative global talent management consultancy headquartered in Dubai and with offices in Abu Dhabi and Sydney, that specialises in enabling individuals, organisations and educational institutions to achieve performance excellence and career success. Leila is a multi-lingual (English, Arabic and French) PCC Coach, Mentor Coach, Trainer, Facilitator and Business Mentor who is passionate about coaching, women in leadership, talent management and organisational development.