You know the old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough become successful”?   Okay, well that may not be the exact saying but nonetheless it’s true.

Even though our economy has hit a few rough patches the past year or two, some people continue to be extremely successful.  So how can you mirror that success?  Well you can start by paying close attention to these 10 keys:

1. Continually reevaluate your career.

Is your career path well aligned with your priorities and interests? Do you have the experience and education needed to be successful? If not, consider developing a plan to grow your skills and advance your value.

2. Set clear career goals.

You can’t achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are!  The only way to gauge success is to define exactly what you want to accomplish and start your journey.

3. Create a plan.

Determine the steps you need to take for your next promotion. Include resources and due dates. Schedule these activities in your planner and follow through.

4. Communicate your career goals with management.

If you work in an organization that promotes employee development, communicate your goals to your manager and ask for his or her support.

5. Volunteer for new projects.

This shows initiative, puts you in a visible position, and builds new skills. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase your leadership skills.

6. Stay current in your field–maybe.

Become a leader in your field.  Read industry publications and reports. Be aware of changing trends and position yourself accordingly.  But if you’re industry is a dinosaur with no growth potential, consider transferring your skill set to another industry.

7. Take classes or obtain a certification.

Use your industry knowledge to your advantage. Take a course in an up and coming area or a specialty that will benefit your organization and give you an edge over the competition.

8. Assume a leadership role.

Offer to mentor a junior associate in your organization, apply for a position on a local board, or chair a committee for a nonprofit organization.

9. Network, Network, Network.

Within your organization and within the community. Increasing your visibility and gaining contacts are vital to your success when climbing the corporate ladder. No one ever got to the top alone.

10. Excel in your current position.

Exceptional performance speaks for itself. You won’t get ahead with mediocre performance, regardless of how many other steps you implement.