Thursday, August 21, 2008

Career "Truthiness"

As the adage goes, “Some things never change.”

When it comes to managing your career, there are some basic laws of corporate selection that “up the odds” of advancement and success.

Having withstood the test of time, I’ve labeled these laws “Career Truths,” or in Stephen Colbert’s parlance, “Truthinesses.”

1. Take charge of your career

It’s downright foolish how little time many executives spend managing their careers. Not because they don’t think they should, but because … they claim … their schedules don’t permit it.

That’s a mistake.

When jobs go awry or expectations aren’t met, those who haven’t managed their careers are often forced to move into crisis mode. It’s an avoidable scenario.

Read how to handle your career like a 401K. It takes only about one hour/week. Schedule it as a “Meeting with Myself re Career Advancement.”

2. Manage your boss

Seems like a lot of people work for a CBO … Chief Bad Officer. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of execs cite their bosses as difficult, disruptive, dumb and just plain nuts.

But … not getting along with your boss can derail your career, not theirs. So it’s up to you to make the relationship a good one if you want to advance.

No options here … grit your teeth, smile and read how to work well with the CBO.

3. Cultivate moles

Top execs all have them.

Companies are rarely meritocracies. Getting ahead has a lot to do with others’ impressions and opinions. Up, down and sideways, your colleagues’ perceptions are often the make or break factor in your success.

Know how you’re viewed by getting ongoing feedback - good and bad. Read about the advantages of moles. Listen to what they say. Then act according to your career’s best interests.

More truthiness next week.

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