Today’s MP Message is the last installment related to “The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career,” authored by Jack & Suzy Welch. I’d like to share the last topic of discussion: Getting Unstuck in Your Career.
At some point along your career path, you may feel stuck in some critical way – stuck in confusion or fear; or having feelings of being overwhelmed; or not getting the opportunity to live up to your potential; or just simply sick and tired of doing the same thing every day… all of which I hope is not happening here at Withum. However, a career impasse does happen from time to time. The Welch’s share a few great insights into helping you get out of the career doldrums if you are in one or happen to experience one in the future:
- Don’t Deliver. Over-deliver. If you want to demonstrate breadth and depth, the first change you need to make is not just meeting expectations. Overdelivering means taking the presumed thinking or idea in your supervisor’s head and elevating it to a whole new level. It’s about defining the extra credit, and then acing it. Feel free to ask your Career Coach, PIC or department leader on what is expected of you… then do a little more! You’ll be surprised at how invigorating this can be.
- Volunteer for Hard Duty. Exceeding expectations is something you can strive for every day, but every now and again, you get the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths by volunteering for, and nailing, a hard engagement or project, particularly one that no one wants to touch yet offers high-visibility potential. These types of opportunities can rebrand you from follower to leader, from muddler to winner, from maybe to yes.
- Acquire Followers the Hard Way. A third change you can make to break your career stalemate is the acquisition of followers. You need to show the leaders of our firm that people – peers and supervisors alike – listen when you talk. Luckily, if you’ve embraced the first change of over-delivering results, the acquisition of followers should come pretty automatically. People generally want to hear what the firm’s biggest contributors are saying. And don’t be afraid to let your PICs or members of the Marketing Department know what you are doing. They are champions of our professionals and want to share successes and efforts with the firm.
- Make Sure You are Tech-Current. Not being tech-current is a surefire way to lose your seat at the table. As mentioned in the Withum Way, you need to welcome innovation and change, and that certainly applies to the new software systems and gadgets we introduce to our professionals on a regular basis. We upgrade our technology in an effort to improve efficiency and to give our staff the best tools to perform their tasks, ultimately providing our clients with the world-class service they expect.
- Get Real About Mentors. No matter where you are in your career, consider every person in your sphere to be a mentor – young, old and in between, in your area of expertise and outside it… and observe best practices. If someone is a great speaker, study what he’s doing right and incorporate that into your presentations. If a manager in your office consistently on-boards new employees well, copy his/her techniques. If you have a supervisor who runs a great meeting, see that person as a teacher or guide. Learn from every experience.
- Love Everyone. Ok, that might sound weird. But the point here is to speak only positively of everyone. Loving everyone is not a brain thing; it’s a heart thing. Train yourself to avoid surreptitious coalitions, backstabbing and politicking. Don’t get caught up in the gossip and mean-spirited nonsense that sometimes goes on in the workplace. Uplift people in conversation, and turn a negative into a positive. A person who demonstrates integrity and leadership possesses the qualities of which promotions are made.
I hope you enjoyed these messages from The Real Life MBA. Remember, if you’d like to read this book yourself, feel free to visit my bookshelf on Shelfari.com and order it. You can enter the expense under Publications/Subscriptions, with the words “Bill’s Virtual Library Book” in the Description section.