18 Jan Five Career Insider Secrets That a Majority Don’t Know
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” ~ Edward Deming
Tell me if you’ve ever said – or heard – any of the following statements as regards your place of employment.
- “I just want to be left alone. Everyday it’s something new — can’t we just let things stay the same for a while?”
- “I wish it was like it used to be.”
- “I know what I need to do….quit pushing new things out that just get in my way.”
- “I used to feel like I knew what I was doing…now I spend most of my time wondering what it is I’m doing.”
Everyday – in every industry and in virtually every job someone is probably making a statement just like one of the above…and in some cases their complaint might be very legitimate. Sometimes (in fact often) companies really can’t get out of their own way.
But there is another factor – just as pressing – that can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to employee frustrations…and it has NOTHING to do with the company.
Everything to do with the individual.
Most of us are hardwired to resist change. Check that – to fight change.
Now if we’re living on family land and nestled in the warm embrace of an inheritance (or maybe a winning lottery ticket) that ensures a life of harmony and financial security – that’s not a problem.
For the rest of us – big problem.
If you’ve been in your job longer than 2 years – chances are very good the world you’re living in has already changed….and dramatically. You might not know it – you might not even care to know it – but it has.
Here’s a flash of insight – “What got you here will not get you there.”
Translation – the skills and abilities that earned you the job, maybe even your first promotion…are already growing obsolete. The reason – even if YOU don’t change, your environment does…and dramatically.
In a recent discussion around my book, The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career – I was asked, “If you could offer five key pieces of advice for someone either starting their career or in it and struggling – what would it be?” Tough question but for me – the points below were the difference makers. I’ve encountered a lot of people in my journey who recognize their importance – and a very small number who took action because of their importance.
Five Insiders’ Tips You Need to Understand
- There is no status quo as regards your job – no quiet place where you can simply drift with the waves, sip on your Dom Perignon, and yell to shore, “Looking good, Billy Ray. ” Makes for great movies – doesn’t play in the real world.
- Your chances of surviving in your career are tied directly to your ability to adapt – not your skills and not your strength. Those who can adjust their sails to match the winds are the ones that make it. Those who can’t ultimately drown.
- The most important point of focus for your career – the one you enjoy the most influence over – is you. Not your boss, not your department, not your industry, and not your degree. No, that doesn’t imply narcissism – it does imply a healthy sense of ownership in the notion that “if it is to be it is up to me.” Winners begin by taking inventory of themselves – losers begin by taking inventory of the people around them, their circumstances, the weather…you get the picture.
- You really want to win – learn to learn. Learners are the great movers in this world – if only because they are always ascending. While others grow complacent, learners simply grow. (Insider’s Secret – if the only investment you’ve made in your skills over the last year has been company issued – you are NOT a learner.) At minimum, every individual serious about their career should be reading books, blogs, articles – listening to podcasts – attending seminars. Want to identify the career loser? Big screen TV – little personal library.
- Constantly reinvent yourself. The career voyagers that excel never allow themselves to rest on their laurels – they affect movement. You’re either growing stronger or you are atrophying. If necessity is the mother of invention then it should also be said that reinvention is the father of progress.
Much of the above are insights gleaned from The Compass Solution: A Guide to Winning Your Career.
Straight Talk – Some 70,000 Americans will voluntarily leave their place of employment today – many because of burnout and its symptoms. Like the diet and exercise plans many healthy people put in place for their lives, there are equally powerful steps we can put in place for our careers.
The choice is yours.