8 Surprising Things that Determine Your Career Success

While many of us live paycheck to paycheck, this probably isn’t’ the expectation you had when you went for that first interview, right? You were dreaming of enjoying financial freedom, buying your dream car, and taking island vacations; at least eventually. 

So, what does corporate workwear, your height and your sense of humour have in common? They could all be reasons why you aren’t—yet—living the life you once dreamt of. Here’s a list of things many young people and even experienced employees don’t consider when planning their journey to success. 

Your Look

Let’s be painfully honest and tell you that numbers show that good looking people often have the higher salaries compared to…the rest of us. Of course, you can’t change your natural features unless you’re willing to go for plastic surgery but there’s a lot you can do with a small makeover. Whether it’s a haircut, makeup for the ladies or a new corporate outfit you buy for your next interview, it will all be a smart investment in your future.

Breaking Rules

Contrary to what you may learn at school, doing things the way you’re told isn’t the only way to get ahead. And here we’re also talking about social norms, such as believing you need a college degree to get your dream job. Business leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs have proven that it’s often taking the road less travelled that gets you to the top. It’s just tricky to know whether your idea will scale as big as theirs, right? 

Your Parents’ Expectations

Still, don’t completely ignore what your parents are telling you about that college degree. Statistics have shown that in households where parents have an expectation that kids will go to college, the parents often see that dream materialize. This is in comparison to moms and dads that don’t really mind about what your educational journey will look like.

So, if your parents are pushing you to attain ‘something’ in life, be thankful. Even if it’s their self-fulfilling prophecy that takes place in your life, it may be key to realising your own dreams. 

Your Family Setup

Another aspect of your family that could determine your future is whether you’re a first-born child. People belonging to this group often have qualities that serve them well in business, such as having ambition or being naturally competitive. Similar characteristics can be seen in many who are only children, with another benefit of often being more mature than their peers. 

You can’t change your family setup, but if you were born second or third, taking note of these statistics could tell you what to work on in your own development.

Your Name…and Other Things Out of Your Control

There are other aspects of your life you can’t change that could also impact your career:

  • Name: If you have a simple, well-known or easy to pronounce name, you may be a more serious consideration for that next promotion, rather than a colleague with a unique one. Is it because it’s easier to remember? Some psychologists suggest it’s because humans may like something more simply because it’s more effortless to comprehend than others. 
  • Height: In general, taller people earn more than those who are shorter. Is this because your size prompts respect in others? Or perhaps it’s because you have better self-esteem than your shorter peers? 

You can’t control these characteristics but keep it in mind when the time comes to name your own child. And ladies, maybe this is why high heels are so popular in the office?

Are You Funny?

In most careers you’ll need to interact with other people, so skills and means to build good relationships will come in handy.

Being funny is one way to forge closer relationships and if you can get a stern boss to crack a smile you may win him or her over to further your career. Also, if your good humour keeps you in a positive mindset, you’re likely to be more productive than other employees, giving you another way to keep ahead of the pack. 

Willingness to Fail

Pushing ahead towards failure may seem counterproductive if you’re planning your career moves. But it’s those that are willing to leave comfort zones and try something new—whatever the outcome may be—that tend to eventually perform well in their industries. 

Sleeping Patterns

Of course, no one who keeps on being late in the morning will impress the bosses. But to really catch the attention of those who determine your promotion, it may be necessary to not only be on time but actually arrive a little early. So, if you’re a morning person, this tactic to boost your career will be much easier than for some. 

Final Thought

You can see how many different factors can determine where you end up over the course of your career. It’s vital to not be oblivious about how anything can affect your future. So, be honest about your shortcomings and do the work to improve what you can.

If you work at it, your positive attributes may overshadow those bad ones, even if you’re the shortest person in the office.  


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