The Five Things You Need to Succeed

The Five Things You Need to Succeed

By Caroline Levchuck, Yahoo! HotJobs

Whether starting a career or moving into senior management, everyone defines success differently. Whatever definition of success you use, these five assets can help you realize it on a professional level.

1. A Thick Skin

As you climb the corporate ladder or chase your dreams, you'll likely encounter criticism and rejection. Learn how to accept both graciously, sooner rather than later. Constructive criticism can help you refine your plans. Rejection becomes less scary after you experience it a couple of times, which will help you become a bolder businessperson.

2. A Rainy Day Fund

Pursuing professional success often involves risk-taking -- leaving a longtime job for a new opportunity, relocating to another state or country, or opening your own business. It's easier to take such risks if you have a modest financial cushion. Work now to create a nest egg big enough to cover six months of living expenses. This will give you the freedom and flexibility to answer when a new opportunity knocks.

3. Confidence

Pursuing your passion -- whatever it may be -- requires courage. You need to be able to ask for a promotion, ask for business, ask for financing. This can be intimidating, but, not unlike rejection, practice makes perfect. Start asking for what you want; you may not always get it, but you'll become more comfortable (and confident) doing so.

4. A Goal

If you want to move forward in your professional life, you need a goal to move toward. If you don't have a goal, get one -- or you could hit a career plateau.

Once you've identified your long-term goal, begin assembling a list of short-term objectives that will act as stepping-stones to achieving your dream.

If you find you don't know what you want to do with your life, try meeting with a career counselor or coach who can work with you to identify your passions and how you can pursue them professionally.

5. A Role Model

Chasing success is never easy, but it can be easier if you follow in someone else's footsteps. Focus on an individual whose rise to professional power has inspired you and model some of your actions after hers. Your role model doesn't have to work in the same field as you. What's important is to zero in on the habits and work ethic that may help you in your career. Look at how she handled adversity or how much determination it took to keep doggedly pursuing a goal and let that inspire and motivate you to follow suit.