Climbing the career ladder can be a very difficult task. But sometimes, it seems some people possess a secret career key— they find their perfect career, perform some magic, and become the boss everybody admires or gets jealous of in no time.
I will be sharing that “secret career key” that has helped me become a boss in my field in no time.
This was the single key I used to fast-track my advancement from someone who was begging industry experts to learn from them to becoming an industry teacher myself in 6 months.
Recently, I’ve had my inbox full of many partnership requests and boss-please-can-you-be-my-mentor messages.
Before examining the secret career key, there are four primary qualities that separate industry leaders or bosses from the regular averages in every field.
If any individual can develop themselves in these four key areas, they will win the game and earn the respect of their industry.
The 4 Qualities That Make Bosses Stand Out
A boss or an industry leader must have vast knowledge about their industry. They must know what works and what doesn’t, they must know how to make what works work and be able to troubleshoot whenever the prescribed process is not bringing desired results.
A boss or industry leader is someone others go to when they need more understanding about complex issues.
You need to understand that learning and experience are two different things and bring two different results. Learning brings knowledge but experience brings sophistication
It is like a professional musician who can’t explain with words how he identifies specific notes or a pro-investor who seems to “smell” profitable investment— it is just something built into them.
Being in the game for so long builds sophistication in bosses which always leave newbies and averages in the industry in awe.
This is a result of a combination of knowledge and sophistication. Bosses always have tricks and tweaks that help them obtain desired results in an exceptionally short period
Expertise is that distinguishing factor that helps bosses get high-quality output in a short time.
4. Thought Leadership
The last quality of bosses and industry experts is the ability to come up with new ideologies and systems in the industry.
Bosses don’t settle with the way things are done in the industry; they don’t just flow with trends. Instead, they create the trends that others follow.
Related: 6 Steps To Become A Powerful Thought Leader Everywhere
The Secret Key To Speedy Career Growth
Now over to the secret career key that helps you get these qualities faster than the average person does. I call it COMPLETE IMMERSION— completely immersing yourself into the industry.
Here is what it means.
The popular 80/20 rule teaches that 80% of the results we get in life come from 20% of our activities, meaning that 80% of the things you do daily contribute very little to achieving your life goals.
Sabri Suby took this even further in his groundbreaking digital marketing and sales manual, Sell Like Crazy.
He applied the 80/20 rule to the 80/20 rule and came up with the “Power 4%”, meaning that 64% of the results you get in life come from 4% of your activities.
Now, bringing this to your goal of climbing the career ladder super fast, means that only 4% of your activities will bring 64% of the career speed you need.
If you want to get to the top of your career and become an industry expert, you must identify the 4% of your activities that will help you achieve that. This is the idea behind complete immersion.
Coincidentally, four distinguishing factors make bosses as we have seen earlier. This means if you put all your time and effort into increasing your knowledge, sophistication, expertise, and thought leadership, you will become a boss in no time.
How then can we go about this?
How To Immerse Yourself in Your Industry
1. Flood learning
As I said earlier, knowledge comes from learning. Devour every book written in your industry. Watch every YouTube video from all industry experts and enthusiasts. Take paid and free courses. Subscribe to every blog’s newsletter.
This alone is over 40% of the process of immersion.
There are two major inlets into your mind: your eyes and ears. Use these two inlets to fill your mind with every possible information you can get about the industry. From this, you will know what works and what doesn’t work.
The point here is not learning, but flood learning.
In 2020, I decided I wanted to start blogging so I had to learn SEO. Because I knew this key of flood learning, I jumped all in and within 6 months I watched over 200 YouTube videos, took three courses, and read more than 75 blog posts about SEO and blogging.
By the time I was set to launch my blog and met some industry experts who had been into blogging and SEO for some time (they already had academies where they taught others), every one of them couldn’t believe I was new to the game.
I went on to apply my knowledge, and in one month I began to get traction from search engines. This would have taken at least six months if I didn’t know the right things to do.
That’s the power of flood learning.
2. Keeping up with trends
This is the other side of flood learning. Ideally, it should come naturally if you are truly committed to flood learning, however, you will want to consciously do it.
Read the latest discoveries in your industry and learn the latest hacks. This doesn’t mean you should flow with the trend; it means you should be aware of the trends.
Being aware of the trend gives you two major benefits among others (i) it builds expertise (knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work) and savviness
(ii) it gives you a bedrock to build on your thought leadership. Whenever any new trend is out and you are aware of it, you can critique it based on your knowledge and come up with new thoughts.
This brings us to the next immersion strategy.
3. Critical thinking
You have to continue to think about the happenings and demands of your industry.
Think about the problems and possible solutions you could bring to them. Think about the existing solutions and the lapses they have. Think about the blind spots no one is paying attention to.
Combine two different or contrasting systems and try to find out their meeting point. Think about higher standards than what the industry knows currently.
Think about how you can bring your knowledge from another industry to create an eruption in your industry. Think about an easier way to get novices to understand the industry better. This thinking is one of the keys to getting unending ideas.
The entire concept of being a thought leader means you must first be a thinker, and not just thinking about anything, but thinking about the industry.
If you think you don’t have the skill for critical thinking, as long as you have committed yourself to flood learning, your thinking will naturally be critical. Critical thinking is strengthened by your knowledge base.
4. A/B testing
From all you have learned, from all the trends you have seen, and from all your critical thinking, begin to come up with various tests. Alter some of the factors in the existing systems and see the result.
This is called A/B testing, where you have two similar case studies with a one-factor difference. For instance, as a baker, you could mix two same cake recipes and only differ the amount of butter in each recipe.
You can conduct the same A/B testing for several other ingredients like yeast, water, etc
A/B testing increases your experience and keeps you at the forefront of discovery and innovation in your industry. It is through A/B testing that you create trends for others to follow.
The factors that make bosses and industry leaders are finite. It is not doing every activity in the field that makes you a boss.
If you can focus on increasing knowledge by flood learning, increasing expertise and thought leadership by critical thinking and A/B testing, you will always remain ahead in your field and have a long list of followers begging (to pay) you to teach them.
The super exciting part of the secret career key of immersion is that you don’t have to necessarily get all the experiences by yourself.
Through flood learning, you can take advantage of the experiences of others you have learned from and be at the same level in just six months as those who have been growing casually for 2 years or more.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.