7 steps to becoming successful
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7 steps to becoming successful

“Success” is a long and winding road with detours, surprise obstacles and delays. Despite all of the unexpected surprises that life throws at us, there are several things we can do to prepare ourselves for a fulfilling life. The following are 7 tips on how to become successful.


1. Define what success looks like to you

“Success” can be defined in many ways. The definition that matters the most is your own. What gives you joy and satisfaction out of life? Perhaps you’re keen on earning a large salary and being able to afford luxuries like new cars, clothes and high-end travel. Or perhaps you feel drawn to a career where you can help others and the satisfaction of making a difference is what makes you happy. Your definition of success will change over time, but it’s worth sitting down and thinking about what could really make you happy in life.


2. Set short-term, medium and long-term goals

Now that you’ve defined success for yourself, it’s time to establish some tangible goals you want to accomplish. It might be easier to start with big, long-term goals and work your way down. Perhaps you’re a lawyer and you want to work for a top legal firm in a major metropolitan city. To get there, think about what needs to be done in four years. What about in six months? If you’re studying, you need to work hard to keep your grades up. You should also research internships that will get you a foot in the door at major firms. Make a comprehensive list and circle the goals that are most important to you. Don’t just focus on professional goals either. Perhaps you want to live abroad or speak another language. That stuff should make it on your list too!


how to become successful


3. Listen to your gut

Your gut can be wrong – but it’s still very important to acknowledge your instincts and what they are telling you. If you feel a strong pull a certain direction, listen to it. Ask yourself why you’re feeling a certain way and consider adjusting your goals in order to accommodate your instincts. Sometimes when considering how to become successful, we really need to think about what our heart wants.


4. Seek advice from a mentor

All successful people have relied on insight and wisdom from their predecessors. A mentor that works within your field is great, but not necessary. A mentor has achieved whatever success means to them and has dealt with challenges and changes within their industry. They offer exactly what you don’t have as a young person – years of experience. They can give you real advice on how to become successful based on their own journey. If you find a mentor, do whatever you can to nourish that relationship, build trust and offer your gratitude.


5. Network with people in your career field

Getting a job and moving up the career ladder is so much easier when you have a connection at the place you’d like to work. This is where internships can be an instrumental networking tool. Interning at an office is the opportunity for fellow professionals in your field to see how hard you work, what you bring to the table and judge if you’re genuinely serious about the career field. If you make a good impression, you’ll have a long list of industry professionals that can be a reference when you’re applying for jobs.


how to become successful


6. Don’t lose sight of what makes you happy

It’s important to know that in life we sometimes have to sacrifice short-term happiness in order to reap long-term rewards. That said, you shouldn’t dedicate years of your life to something you truly don’t enjoy. Work will always be work, but there is a big difference between work you hate and work that you enjoy. You may have an idea of what you want out of life, but if you’re going to spend decades of your life pursuing something that doesn’t give you at least some joy and satisfaction, you may want to rethink your goals.


7. Work hard

All jobs require a certain amount of rigor and grunt work – especially when you’re starting out. It’s important to work hard and learn as much as you can from your tasks and your fellow colleagues.


Now that you know how to become successful, apply now for an internship abroad.




1. based on COD Hosts Floral Design Career Development Competition 2017 3, by COD Newsroom, CC-by-2.0

2. based on College of DuPage Celebrates 50th Commencement 2017 84, by COD Newsroom, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Career Pavilion, by Official GDC/The Photo Group 2012, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!