The most effective thing you can do to build a successful career

Being consistent is the most effective thing you can do to build a successful career. In fact, to be successful at anything. It’s taken me almost 40 years to learn that! Creation and success aren’t random, well, the initial inspiration might be but the end result isn’t. It is down to showing up daily and committing to being your best self.

Better yet, if you can turn the act of being your best self into a routine, then even better. When we commit to being consistent that’s when the doubts creep in…

  • What if something else, more important comes up?
  • What if I can’t stay motivated?
  • What if I have nothing to share/do/say?

The thing is though, in order to create something meaningful or worth paying attention to then you have to commit to something bigger. This will bring the ‘right kind’ of motivation and allow you to find your voice/actions and people will listen. You will be the best version of yourself that you can be and nothing will be more important than that. 

Thinking about your career…in 12 months time, what would you like to have achieved? This is a no limit exercise – if you had all the money/time/resources you needed at your fingertips what would your career look like in a year’s time?

Once you have identified the end goal, you can build a routine and set small steps to help you achieve it. In being consistent and disciplined you will create resilience, you will learn and you will thrive.

Working smarter, not harder

Whilst working hard works, for me I think it’s more efficient to work smarter. To make better choices. To reflect on what’s working and what isn’t and to adjust accordingly. Make the most of the opportunities in front of you and trust your intuition when making decisions. Focus your time, effort and energy on the 20% tasks that give you the best results. It has to be something that works for you.

Most people forget to create a plan as they are too focused on the outcome. To give you a personal example, when I was finishing my essays for my PGCert I spent two years focused on the fact I wanted to finish them. I planned in time haphazardly and it never happened. Then, as the deadline approached I set a routine. The key thing to getting those essays written was to write. I finally realised I didn’t have to write ‘x’ amount of words or a page a day or whatever – that didn’t work for me. I committed to making time to write as much as I could in the time that I had each day. Ten minutes was better than zero minutes right? Value progress, no matter how small it is.

If you show up at work and provide value to those around you, celebrate your successes, acknowledge your mistakes and demonstrate your work – you will build a career that lasts. You will become more confident as you gain experience and that leads to great stories to pass on to others!

Committing to being consistent can feel uncomfortable, painful even. If you can find pleasure in the challenge and even learn to enjoy it then you will reap the benefits. Whatever your craft, be it personal or professional, hard work can be used to earn long-term results.

“Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” – G. K. Nielson

How to be consistent

  1. Show up regardless of your mood and get it done
  2. Create opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you
  3. Embrace the challenge
  4. Know your barriers and create strategies to overcome them
  5. Use a process that works for you
  6. Value progress, not perfection
  7. Give yourself permission to make mistakes


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