There have been dozens of books written on the topic of professional success and optimizing your goals and career path, but I’ve realized that there’s actually only two steps that are necessary to developing a successful career.

  1. Show up when you’re supposed to show up
  2. Finish work when it’s supposed to be finished

If you follow these two steps, I can guarantee you that you’ll be praised and rewarded for your efforts in almost any job.

In college, I saw this play out firsthand when it came time to turn in a major project as a final portion of a course. We were given months to prepare, and the due date was well established very early on. Strangely, on the due date, many students failed to show up to the class. They didn’t even pass along their project with a fellow student. And of course, they failed. Later, the teacher shared with us the fact that if these students had simply shown up to class with something, they would’ve easily passed the course.

So much of career success boils down to these two steps. Just show up and get your work done.

Naturally, it pays to go beyond these simple two steps and go the extra mile when the opportunity presents itself, but imagine being an employee who’s known for never being late and always gets their work done on time.

Not a bad goal.


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