3 ways to have more wins in your career

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“Are you winning today?”

A former colleague liked to ask this question every time he saw me. He probably just meant it like, “How are you doing?” but it really threw me off because I had always thought of winning as a zero-sum game. It was like a competition and I didn’t really like keeping score. So, this question was unpleasant for me and I never knew how to answer.

Fast forward to now, I’ve come to see that “win” is just another beautiful three-letter word like “joy”. What’s changed is I’ve adopted an abundance mindset.

When you’ve got that abundance mindset you can see winning as a real positive. In fact, we can all win. It’s not a case of one person wins therefore another person has to lose.

When there’s abundance, we can all win. And in fact, our life, work, and careers are even better when we help each other win. There’s no limit to how many wins any one of us can have.

There’s also no size or scale requirement for what constitutes an important win. Big wins are terrific and can be used as an energizing way of predetermining your goals for the year.

But just as big wins are important, there are also three other kinds of wins that are equally important.

1. Small Wins

Small wins are the kind of wins that can lead to a bigger impact and broader implications later on. For example, a small win could be that a new client you’ve been calling and calling and calling, finally calls you back. That’s a win and an indication that your relationship with them is going places.

Or it could be that you get a compliment from a director. Or it could be that you win over a colleague who’s been difficult in the past.

It’s important to celebrate these small wins and to appreciate the fact that they’re small now, but they’re going to pay bigger dividends later.

2. Easy Wins

Think of easy wins as the low hanging fruit. An easy win could be something super simple like saying “hello” and smiling at everybody that you meet during the day. It’s a positive habit that tends to improve relationships and results while making you feel happier too.

Or it could be getting in the habit of sending very short two-line emails to your manager to update them so they’ll always know what you’re doing. That way, they’ll have some material to brag about you or brag about the team. Who knows? This could even turn into one of those small wins that have a really big impact later.

3. Early Wins

Early wins are really helpful because they help you build momentum and confidence. Especially as you’re gearing up toward those big wins for the year, getting those early wins helps win over skeptics and gives your supporters positive things to say on your behalf.

Look out for and use those early wins to build confidence for yourself and for your team.

Key Takeaways

What to do with your wins:

  • Celebrate the small wins
  • Act on the easy wins
  • Be on the lookout for the early wins so you can bank some of them quickly

This article originally appeared on May Busch.