I had recently told a group of students that validation in life is not always vocalized so one cannot wait for applause. It seems those at the beginning and end of their careers might need confirmation of effort more than others. One will ponder if they are aligning themselves with the right people, if they are displaying their commitment through sacrifice and/or if their effort has been validated with results.
A person who I looked up to once gave 3 points of advice for career advancement:
1. Always Hit Your Number
2. Be Willing To Relocate
3. Align Yourself With People (who are climbing the ladder)
I'm here to tell you why the aforementioned 3 points are the WORST advice I have ever received!
Any sales organization will tell you to call the #1 Sales Person to get advice on how to get to where he/she might be. Terrible Advice!
Top sales people are extremely busy, totally focused on their personal goals and unable to articulate the front end precision of the sales trade.
No matter what you do in life, hitting your number is the expectation. There will never be a time when you raise your hand to offer an idea that will not be dove tailed by a survey of where you are on the ranking report. The best sales people I know have never been the #1 sales rep in their organization...some of the worst people I know... have!
The best in any profession are those who you remember after one conversation (in a good way). They have an ability to convey their investment without knowing a ton about you. Unfortunately, most people are faking it.... which is why we all hate sales people.
Do You Really Think I Have No Options?
At this point in time in professional history, first year employees have far more opportunity than middle managers and executives!
Yes, your chances of advancement as a 23 year old are far better than those of your father!
Yet and still, middle managers and CEO's still think they can rule with an iron fist. It is as thrilling to see Millennials take power as it is to see a bully get punched in the face.
The Last 90 Days!
A long time ago it was brought to my attention that a guy wrote a book about how to act during the first 90 days on the job. The suggestions are in step with the 3 points above and equally as ineffective.
Do your fighting in the ring! NO ONE appreciates a new employee who speaks too soon, seeks to align themselves with leaders and/or asks questions in group settings (only to display that they know the answer to said question).
Ease your way in. Let your results speak for themselves.
People are remembered not by how they start the game but by how it is finished.
The best example of making a first impression was conveyed to a group by my friend Kevin Costello on his first day on the job....
"I am not naive enough to think I can succeed without the help of others. So I will be reaching out to you for advice."
Those who are remarkable professionals are remarkable people. They are vulnerable, receptive to advice and always willing to laugh at themselves.
Our legacy is determined by the times we've dried the eyes of our employees and the promotions we have passed up so our daughters could continue their soccer careers with their friends.
Technology has it's limits and advice from management is always mired in corporate neutering.
The bully will only believe that she is still in charge if you feed the ego that keeps her alive.
Don't Forget to Remember!