6 Tips for Career Success

Here are 6 career tips, habits that I adopted based on Stephen R. Covey’s great advice.


When it comes to career tips and success, it’s hard to think of a better career advice checklist than Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” Written 15 years ago, it still stands as the most simple and straightforward career advice of all time.

So why would I want to suggest anything different?

I wouldn’t. In fact, I encourage you to read the book. But stop right here if you don’t care about self-improvement, and go read something else, because a commitment to introspection is the first step to take.

When I read the book long ago, I was in the midst of a busy career. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. You’ve heard that before. Covey kind of took me by the hand – virtually and mentally – and showed me the way. Mostly what he showed me was that balance in your own life and management of your own career is not nonsense – it’s common sense.

Here are six habits that I adopted based on his great advice:

1. Pay attention.

Technology has helped us become so much faster at contacting, connecting and creating. It has also become the enemy of attention spans.

Using a smartphone or a tablet can make you effective in your work but can also be a major distraction if you are in a meeting or at a conference where the point is to connect with people. I have made great connections, learned new concepts and observed interesting behaviors just by making a point to get away from “the screen” and by staying in the present. Compartmentalize online time for when you are not with others.

2.  Keep the pie slices even.

So-called work-life balance is not just for sissies. It is my personal lifeblood and survival. Chances are, we will have a life span into the 90s if we stay healthy and active, and can support ourselves. This work-life balance requires a focus.

Picture a pie with even wedges.

Each one represents a different type of personal wellness needing care: financial, career, personal growth, home or environment, family and friends, fun and recreation, health, romance. If one slice gets bigger than another, it is likely you will feel some stress.

3.  Finance is your friend.

Finance is one of the pie slices needing a bit more attention initially.

Don’t let it be your enemy. Invest the time to get your personal finances under control. And seek help if you need to, so you are able to make choices for your life and career that are not only based on money. Start by addressing your debt situation, if there is one, and get your money working for you.

Next page- Habits #4 through #6

Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter is the Founder and President of Virgilio & Cotter, LLC where she focuses on Marketing and Communications Strategies specializing in the Health Care industries. She also teaches C-Suite Leadership in her role as an adjunct faculty member at NYU's School of Professional Studies. In addition to her own company, Andrea has had both a corporate and entrepreneurial career in marketing and communications as a Global Executive at IBM Corporation and as SVP and Chief Communications Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), followed by a brand consultancy role at Straightline and a partnership in the workplace culture startup CultureTalk. She speaks several languages, including Spanish, Italian and French has done consulting work with clients in Europe, US and Asia.

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