What is some good general career advice?
Having had 23 jobs. In just about every field. And coached 100’s of others here’s my advice:
Be better than the other guy
- There is this fallacy that abounds that the average guy who knows company politics ascends. Actually. It is the incredibly excellent guy who ALSO knows company politics that ascends
Learn Excel to God-Like levels
- This is the most underrated asset that can make a key difference. If you understand pivot tables, VBA look ups, Index/Match solutions, 3D sums, arrays, Proper use of the $ sign. You’ll be the go-to-guy from new starter to partner
Keep Detailed Files on EVERYONE you work with
- Remember their name, city of birth, name of their dog, team they support, name of their wife, where they went on holiday last year. Write that sh*t down. Do you realise how MUCH people will like you if you can bring this up weeks later?
Learn How To Work The Room
- Networking events, client meetings. Take a note of spending at least a couple minutes with everyone. Make them smile, listen, make them feel important - THEN leave.
- Shit really does the hit the fan sometimes. Make friends with powerful people. There is no ‘written-rule’ as to how. It can be by getting drunk together, by helping with work. Whatever. Experiment and this will help you with promotions.
- Quiet hardworkers do do well. But it’s the one’s people love being around that do even better. Start by reading a book. This one: The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
You’re always selling
- Doesn’t matter if you’re not in a sales role. You’ll sell yourself or the product or an idea. 101 routes to learn this. Pick any you like. Just start from somewhere
Learn to Upsell yourself
- In interview (you have them all the time - dating, talking to a senior, a formal interview, negotiations). Know how to qualitatively and quantitatively show your worth
- Don’t expect us to have all the answers. Read a couple books on Careers and you’ll already be ahead of most: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?: Seth Godin & How to Think Like a CEO: The 22 Vital Traits You Need to Be the Person at the Top are good places to start.
Use your initiative
- If something seems obvious to you. Or you envisage a better way of doing things. Try it out. Those who add value are those who rise
Stay close to Icharus and observe
- You will know some who rise meteorically. Learn from how they move, operate and think. Then do better
- Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Because really, you’re not fooling anybody. We’re elastic not shape shifters. And shape shifting comes back to bite you on your arse in the end. Authenticity IS loved.
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