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The Habits That Build K Careers

According to the US Dept. of Commerce, 5.6% of business professionals earn $100,000 a year or more.

That number rises to 15.8% if you consider household income. Earning a place in the top 5% of US wager earners happens by understanding the keys to career advancement.

It has nothing to with being ruthless, selfish, or driven by blind ambition. And having a college degree is no guarantee either. Personally, I was 29 years old (I'm 38 now) when I first joined the $100,000 a year club.

I finished just 3 years of college, but that never stopped me from consistently earning the elusive $100K a year. If you've ever wondered what's kept you from earning $100,000 a year it's likely one or more of these habits hindering your career development. $100,000 Habit #1 - Make, Keep, and Deliver Really Big Promises Most employees believe they can't make promises and commitments unless it's spelled out in their job description.

They're really happy to drift through their jobs, be mediocre, and cash their paychecks. The $100K earner loves promises and commitments. For them, these are opportunities to demonstrate their significant value to their clients and company. These high achievers think meeting a quota is failing. They rewrite and shatter quota systems by consistently delivering on big promises and commitments.

They're keenly aware that as their reputation for making and delivering big promises grows their company, and competing companies, will in turn make big promises and commitments back to them. Six-Figure Habit #2 - Acute Problem Awareness I'm not talking about being aware of the latest gossip around the office. $100K Heightened Problem awareness is knowing the purpose of why you were hired for your role. Do you know what problems your company hired you to solve? People making less than six-figures might say, "Nobody ever told me". And that is why you haven't broken $100K.

Six-figure earners have a highly acute radar for the most painful problems of their clients, co-workers, and management and how they might solve them. A side benefit of this habit is it uncovers potentially big promises they'll be able to deliver on. $100K Habit #3 - Develop Innovations for Clients and Company If you're not making what you think you're worth it's because you're afraid of mistakes. Chances are you're a loyal employee who marches lock-step to orders, and would never think to question the inane requests and projects that squander your most precious asset - time.

The problem with doing this is that you aren't free to find the innovations beneath mistakes. Since six-figure professionals are about solving problems that require new approaches, they make a lot of mistakes and stir up the status-quo on the way to the solution. Stale procedures and "we tried that" attitudes just wont cut it.

They're after innovations that make significant contributions in creating new offerings, lowering costs, increasing profits, and increasing good will for clients and the company. $100,000 Habit #4 - Nimble Decision Making Just look at the gaggle of meetings you attend each week and you'll see employees who run from making decisions. The Six-figure professional doesn't get mire in this. She side steps the wasteland of ineffectiveness by seeking out those who can make things happen.

Whether she's leading or contributing, she skillfully makes decisions with the resources at hand. And can communicate clear rationale to support them. For her, decisions are never filtered through "what's best for my career", but instead "what's best for this problem". She knows that every decision has a consequence.

And that not making a decision does too. Her track record of excellent choices makes her highly prized. Have a look over your career to this point. Which of these habits are noticeably missing or weak? Do you have a ready list of really big promises you've made and delivered on? Can only think of a few? Find and deliver on 1 a month. What problems have you come across that you just didn't ignore or complain about? Go back and research the financial and good will impact to your company and client's futures.

Are you making enough mistakes to find innovations? Start by looking outside your industry and previous jobs. Your company and clients are desperate for innovation. How about you being the one paid for delivering it? Try the acronym PAID to remember the six-figure career advancement habits: Promise. Awareness. Innovation. Decisions.

Want to learn $100K habits? Work with Life Strategist John Reisinger to develop your own Career Advancement or Career Change strategy.

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