As the job market remains turbulent and people cling desperately to the job they have, out of fear of not being able to find another, you may wonder how you can find success in the business world. There are no magic bullets to produce instant, overnight success, despite the claims of far too many “gurus.” There are, however, things you can do to stack the deck in favor of your success in business.

Constant Education
There is no replacement for current knowledge and what you learned in college is frequently dated by the time you get your diploma. Staying up-to-speed on issues affecting your industry, from regulations to technological changes, makes you a valuable asset. Just as importantly, you should be educating yourself on skills that apply everywhere, such as time management and interpersonal communication. Those skills make you an asset in every business.

Judicious Networking
Networking used to involve trying to meet, trade business cards with and form vaguely friendly relationships with as many people as possible. Not only is this not useful, it’s a drain on your time and emotional resources. Make an effort to network with people that can advance your career cause. For example, seek out a person in your business that you admire and try to enlist that person as a mentor. Connect with peers who excel in areas you wish to master, such as sales calls or public speaking. Pick their brains.

Hard work and focus won’t make you a success in business by themselves, but they play an important role. Both require self-discipline. You will face a mountain of necessary tasks and obligations that you find boring over the course of your career. Self-discipline lets you work through those tasks and obligations while less disciplined co-workers procrastinate and slack off. Developing a reputation for self-discipline makes you more marketable, but it also positions you for advancement into jobs with less room for error, such as management.

Be Irreplaceable
In the current economy, many employers would rather terminate employees than re-train them or find jobs that fit their skill set better. The key is to make yourself indispensable. Research your field, continue your education, and be innovative. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with your managers. Companies like Pack-All International have employees who have been packing wooden crates in Toronto for 10-30 years each. They say this ensure a high level of job knowledge and expertise. If your employer finds you valuable to the company, they will be more willing to pay you a competitive salary.

Be Pleasant
No one wants to work with the person in the office that constantly utters pessimism and gloom. No one wants to work for the belligerent supervisor who can’t see anything good. Being pleasant is a simple way to generate goodwill from almost everyone. It makes people much more willing to do what you ask. It also makes superiors more likely to listen when you talk. All of that makes you a better candidate for promotion.

You don’t need to be a cutthroat backstabber or Machiavellian mastermind to find success in business. What you do need to do is position yourself as an asset that co-workers and superiors like and value. You can accomplish this through a combination of continuing education, networking, self-discipline and being pleasant.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.