The Secret to Success in your Career | This is How I Did it So Far

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Today’s topic is a little different. I just have a lot on my mind and I’m very tired out from the week, feeling a little overstretched in several directions, and very much behind in all sectors of my life, and at times feeling defeat in most everything. So instead of dwelling on that, because I know I’m tired, I will blog on some things to get other things off my mind. I think I should have liked to have been a slacker. Life would be so much happier if I weren’t trying to meet all responsibilities, do everything spot on, and try to fit all the good things in my life, including hobbies and down time.

So I’ve chosen to write about my business career success. Here are all the bullet points that I feel made me successful in my HR career and subsequent Payroll position. (I chose to move to payroll because I decided I didn’t want to do HR anymore – don’t get me started, lol, that’s another day).

First of all, Mentors. I do have to thank a lady named Jan who didn’t know she was a mentor, but was. I saw what Personnel Management was and knew I would love the position and followed in her footsteps. I won an award in college for having the most specifically defined goals. I knew where I was going to work and in what position and then I went and obtained the job. Thank you Jan J- who I believe is now somewhere up north in Minnesota or Canada. I wish I could talk with her again sometime. But her fervor for the position and hearing all about it made me really want to do this job. She was a great mentor and someone I looked up to.

I also have Laura G and Nancy V who really helped spin me in the directions I needed to go. I followed Laura G’s footsteps until she moved to Missouri and I had to leave it at that – I think she is in a political career now and I have no desire for that. Nancy V helped shape my world in the manufacturing sector and most of all she and her knowledge set the bar for excellency and pushed us hard to reach it but at the same time was just incredible at reminding us that we were all different, had different skills and abilities to bring to the table and that we were all different but that was ok, to embrace those things and move forward.

Beyond the mentors, I just want to focus on the items that may not be obvious to think of regarding success, but when I thought about the tools or the elements that helped me be successful, I listed these things.

  1. The Checklist.
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Oh boy, I kept track of everything. A little too well, I’d say. Other people came to depend on me for being the one to track things. I could keep up with myself and others too. Until it got to the point where when others screwed up it was my fault because I did not remind them. Oh no. Not playing THAT game with a boss, and had to hold my ground on that one. But manager’s loved me because I was making lists, checking them twice, and holding everyone accountable.

2. Following-Up / Reminder system.


If you are keeping good notes and check list and good with a calendar – planning follow up’s are easy. I enjoyed this part of my career and my managers and supervisors noticed that when given a project – I could be counted on to not only meet my deadlines but also make sure others on the team were targeting what was needed as well. I’m sure some of my coworkers did not like having another coworker to nose them into doing their jobs and participating but I was just trying to do my job and get things done. I never liked it though when people would commit to things and then not get it done. It was highly irritating and I didn’t understand why people didn’t want to make things happen.

But I always kept myself in check and had a reminder system to remember to do things. I remember using Microsoft email reminders and using the dates so it would pop up. It worked well on one job but then there were so many things to follow up on – on another job I had that Microsoft’s reminders just didn’t work well b/c there were too many and I could never get all of it done and the “to do’s” just sat there and there wasn’t much of a prioritization to it.

3. Filing System.

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Ha, the pic above is the filing of music, lol but that is ok. It’s still a good pic as music has to be organized too. But I was always very good at maintaining and keeping a filing system which housed records, history, information, and anything I might need again in the future. My files have often saved the day on people behind me that came into positions after I had left. I’ve been thanked by several for what records I kept. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. Really I’m not. But I am wanting to list for my own sake and others, those things that helped me get by.

4. Resources and information.

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We all have to have resources for help, advice, and information. Long before the internet – it was my mentors, or the Human Resources professional society that my place employment was usually happy to pay for. But once the internet became available I could look up laws and information. It was always important to have access to resourceful information and always referring to it, because having access to it is nothing if you don’t refer to it before making decisions, making rules, establishing policy etc.

5. Sleep

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It’s not an office tool but if you don’t get it, it’s gonna show in nearly every portion of your life. There is nothing better than sleep that will help you get through the day, deal with stress, deal with people, and have enough efficient thought processes to effectively get you through.

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6. Playtime / Time Away.

This is critical. And companies don’t encourage it enough. We get so caught up in our jobs sometimes that it becomes critical we detach from it and companies do not like detachment. There are far too many situations where no one else is trained to handle things as a back up. So even when people are off they are having to check email and cannot truly disconnect. This makes me sad but I’ve been part of the scenario in one company I worked with. The week before vacation some big project would be assigned that was the everything and any success depended on it and I would be intimidated by people over me to see that it was done – knowing I’d be on vacation. It made me so mad I could spit. It’s a wonder I didn’t walk off several of the jobs I had. They should consider themselves lucky that I also have a resiliency about me that doesn’t quit when it comes to certain things. But now I’ve learned to set some boundaries. A company will let you check your email while you are gone as it’s to their advantage. Only you draw the boundary. They certainly won’t. It’s sad to see this change through the years. It used to be fine and acceptable to go do your vacation and someone would fill in on certain things while you were out that were critical. It used to make me so mad to be contacted during vacation. I tried to get through it and be helpful but I think there were some that used to love to bother me while I was out and that made me even madder. I used to innocently blog about it too. So that everyone would know it was going on. Blogging can be useful in many ways! But it can also piss people off – most of them needed to be.

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7. Confidante / Method of Release.

I have always either had to talk to people about my frustrations or blog about it. And usually blogging was the answer. Not everyone liked the raw truthfulness in my blog as it often would shine the light on things that were not acknowledged anywhere else. I never intended for the blog to control outcomes but sometimes it was pretty darn effective. I would tread lightly before considering blogging about work though. It is a risk you take in which you can be black balled, bullied, and gas lit– if not fired. Writers and journalists often pay the price for writing what is in their mind, writing about their experiences, and point out inefficiencies. Truth divides like a sharp sword and the light shines on injustice in the written word. People don’t take kindly to that sometimes.

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8. Creativity.

I’m not going to take credit for being a creative worker. But I am sometimes and any creativity that I could add to the job usually went well. I can think of a time or two when it didn’t – because there is always “that one” that tries to cut down everything you do – you know like that “one guy” on the interstate that just has to cut you off because his life depends upon it happening. But yes, anytime you can throw creativity to the job front it’s appreciated and goes far. But usually time consuming. Because effort and going above and beyond – takes time.

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9. Using your innate crystal ball. lol. Trying to see into the future.

I think it’s important for a company to keep tabs on the environment to be flexible to bend and change and on the same front, I think it’s highly intelligent for a worker to likewise be looking out for himself. There’s been times when I knew for me, that I needed change. And I never looked back or regretted it because it moved me where I needed to be at the time. God has always had a hand in helping me to realize just when it was time. He has placed my feet so many times right where and when they needed to be set. I trust Him in this and I quit worrying about it. 1) When I made the move from Dillard’s Personnel to manufacturing – my income went way up 2) When I moved from HR to Payroll at Atlantic Envelope when Katy was little, it was perfect timing. 3) I went back into HR and had several increases after Katy grew up a bit and the income was needed and appreciated and it was great timing 4) The envelope company closed and I had time at home for the first time in my life for a few blessed weeks and then my current company called through an old college connection (a God thing) and then 5) I changed back to payroll and to accounting in 2019 just before all the shut down started and God spared me from having to do HR then and I’ve never regretted it. He continues to watch over me and hold my hand and place my feet.

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10. Commitment to Continued Improvement.

It’s critical in any job when something goes wrong, to figure out why it happened and how to fix it where it won’t happen again. I learned this in a very huge way. I always tried to do that but when I was at the envelope company in manufacturing – it became drilled in. I’m so proud of that team we had there. What an experience. There were some good days and then there were some really bad days (bad people).

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11. Consistency.

Creating a routine and methods of doing things correctly. Developing checklists. Having materials available. Being timely. Doing it the same way, every single time. This makes for less mistakes.

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12. Continual learning for yourself and mentoring others.

It’s necessary if you plan to stay in a position for a length of time to continue learning everything you can about the position – AND the next one that you will likely be promoted into. Envision the possibilities and pretend you are already there. Connect into like-minded people, share what you learn. Others will respect your efforts regardless of whether they tell you are not.

13. Belief in Yourself.

Must believe that you can do it. Whatever it is. See yourself as whatever you have in mind for success. And then head in that direction.

I’m sure there are many more but I’m running out of time and I’ve about typed up all the internet space, lol! If you made it this far I’m proud of you. You will have to let me know.

Sometimes I like to post these off the wall entries, because I can take a look back at the past and remember what was and all the things I’ve been through. I’m so glad if it in anyway helps anyone else.

3 responses to “The Secret to Success in your Career | This is How I Did it So Far”

  1. As usual very interesting..I’m amazed when I was reading through how often I smiled and nodded my head….I have been travelling along with you for a long time so can well remember the ups and downs….It’s great that you’ve got so far. But I can’t wait to see what happens next….RETIREMENT…..I hope and pray for for you…..sooner rather than later…
    God Bless. Xx

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