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4 steps to deconstruct your career success

As an educator who sees so many 20 somethings struggling to find their success, I deconstructed my karaoke success by using the career advice I give to many of my students.

I love music but I am a terrible singer. As an Asian person, it’s a national embarrassment. When I moved to Santa Monica, I gutted out my 3-bedroom condo and turned it into a one bedroom to install my state-of-the art Karaoke system. I hired an opera singer to teach me how to sing “Call Me Maybe.” While others may laugh, it was a big success for me.

I have deconstructed my success into 4 steps to be used for career success for Fremont University students.

Step 1: Define Your Success

To be successful, you first need to define success as specifically as possible in 4 buckets: money; fame/notoriety; power/influence/impact; other. Success means many different things to many different people. Use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Timely) goal setting method and write down what each bucket means to you.

In my case, my singing success is as follows: Money – I accepted I would not make any money as a singer; notoriety – I wanted to be able to sing one fun song in 6 months without embarrassing myself; influence – That one song will get the party started instantaneously and encourage others to participate. No additional motive.

Step 2: Leverage Your Resources

Use inventory of your resources (time, money, capability, and network) to achieve the defined success. My voice lessons were $100 per hour. Yikes, for a Karaoke song? But considering I had no talent or network of friends who could teach me at my schedule, and time was important to me, I was willing to pay and put in the effort to learn. Each of these resources is an actual currency that you must use wisely.

Step 3: Match Your True Talent and Passion

Passion is important but finding out your true talent is as important to determine your career options. Write down what you are really good at and what you’re not. Consider all the classes you took in school and college, previous jobs, what your friends call you for, sports, hobbies. Use your network and ask your parents, siblings, friends, bosses, colleagues to take a survey about you. Getting all this in writing is an important step, as it will help to narrow down the industry you should target.

Then, make sure that the industry you want to focus on is what you actually love and are passionate about.

Step 4: Don’t Confuse Your Hobby as a Career

There’s one distinction between a career and a hobby: Money! Career is where you make money and hobby is where you spend the money you’ve earned in your career. That’s why singing is my hobby and not my career. Either way, to be an expert, you must keep doing it. After 3 years of singing “Call Me Maybe”, I became an expert in this one song.

Your Checklist for Success

If you feel overwhelmed about your career choices, follow the steps we discussed.

  1. Define success in 4 areas: money; fame/notoriety; power/influence/impact; other
  2. Write them down using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Timely) goal methods.
  3. Inventory your resources: time, money, capability (talent + effort + ability to learn), and network.
  4. Research career options that match your success and resources.
  5. Make sure what you choose is what you are passionate about.
  6. Choose a career that meets your financial objectives.
  7. Do not quit during tough times. Tenacity and longevity are important ingredients to be an expert.

I hope this was helpful. We also have a worksheet you can use to inventory your resources and set your SMART goals. If you’d like these worksheets to find the right career path for you, please call (213) 355-7777 or (800) FRE-MONT (373-6668).

We would be happy to give you one-hour free counseling session to walk through the career guide worksheet. I wish you the very best and look forward to hearing from you.

With much gratitude,

Dr. Sabrina Kay