The Internet is full of advice on how to succeed – whole libraries of books have been written giving sage advice on climbing the career ladder, dealing with difficult people, having difficult conversations, how to get that promotion, ask for that pay rise.

There are several things you need to succeed, and none of them require any particular expertise. But if you use them, your expertise will grow, in line with the trust afforded to you. Use the simple gifts you already have, probably instilled in you as a child, by your parents and at school.


Show up

Be on time. Attend firm functions or learning and development activities if you have said you will. Being there, and being seen, is essential. Not turning up when you’ve said you will is just rude.


Manners matter

Manners never go out of style. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are still magic words, especially in the workplace. Acknowledge the help of others, say please when asking for assistance.


Be a scout and be prepared

Never go to a meeting, either with a client or colleague without being prepared – read the file, know what the latest is on the file, and what you think the next steps are. Prepare for presentations by practising your speech. Prepare for the next day the night before. Personal organisation is essential in a business that charges for time.


Accept feedback

Be open to the fact that you can improve and that criticism or constructive feedback is given with the intention of helping you improve your skills. Don’t get defensive. Can you imagine an elite sports person arguing with their coach? No they don’t – they get on with it.


Be curious

Don’t assume you know everything or that when you have mastered one thing you can rest on your laurels. If you have some down time, look at previous files or transactions to see if there is something you can learn. Read a recent case. Offer to write something for a blog, and research the topic.


Go the extra mile

Always be prepared to put in some extra effort or stay back to help others if they need it. This will be noticed and appreciated. Effort is never wasted and always appreciated. Doing a good job is its own reward.


Have a positive attitude

No one wants to be around constantly negative people. It is so draining, and can be contagious. Having a smile rather than a frown when someone comes into the room, will not just make you feel better but also the person in front of you.

A difficult matter can be seen as a challenge rather than a daunting impossibility. Adopting the right attitude, reframing the way you think about those challenges, will set you on the right path to success

What other innate gifts or character traits do you think you can use to your advantage?