Top 5 Ways to Derail Your Career Growth

“I had an 18-year corporate career in publishing and marketing that was highly successful on the outside, but on the inside, it was not…”

“And I made a great number of huge mistakes.  I did some important things right too, but my missteps were legendary (at least in my own mind).”

“When I look back on my 30 years of working, and the careers of the hundreds of folks I train, coach and teach, five blunders stand out from all the rest as the most negative, damaging, and irreversible in your career and professional life.”

Author: Kathy Caprino, Photo: Wiki

Read more: Kathy Caprine on Forbes

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

Our passions can come out at the wrong time if we let our emotions run wild. There are times to sit on your hands and keep quiet while the boiling water in your mind simmers down.

I’ve always used a friend and/or peer as a sounding board before making any major decisions which could impact my career. What ever you choose, find something which works for you.

Then make sure to stop, think and look at the future consequences before jumping too far. After a sufficient amount of time, make decisions on your next move to help grow your career, not undermine it.

My favorite of all 5, never burn bridges.

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Why CEOs Must Become Customer-Experience Evangelists

“…classic business school thinking always told us that when your customer-satisfaction numbers hit 95 percent or even 98 percent, it’s a waste of money to try to push beyond that because some customers are just grumpy and implacable by nature and you can’t do a thing about that. So move on, we were told.”

“And that was okay back in the old days when the seller was in control… But today, that model’s got about as much vitality as the local video store.”

“Unhappy customers — even if it’s only 2 percent of your total customer universe — now have the voice and the authority to exact a painful price…”

by Mark Hurd, President at Oracle

Read more: Mark Hurd, President of Oracle on LinkedIn

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

Mark builds a valid case as to why the CEO needs to be a main force behind improving customer experience.

One could say he is biased as a software provider. Or one could say he is simply turning on the light and asking business executives to consider the current reality of the situation.

The times have changes, technology is advancing and many of the business processes are built on old technology was is not a match for a few disgruntled customers in the new age of social media.

Give this one a read if you are embarking on a customer experience evolution in your company and you’re unsure if the CEO is on board. It may provide some ideas to help convince them they should be.

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Advance Your Career Growth at a Startup – 4 Ideas How

“One of the things people love about working at small startups is the flat management structure.”

“Instead of presenting your ideas to your manager’s manager… you can focus on simply executing them.”

“But even in this type of environment, a year or so after you’ve gotten a job you love, you might be looking for new challenges (and maybe even more money).”

“So, how do you continue to advance your career…?

by Alison Johnston Rue

Read more:

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

Alison covers 4 ideas of how to accelerate the growth of your career in a startup company.

She covers each idea and provides around how to initiate each one:

1. Join a Growing Company

2. Be Upfront About Your Goals

3. Pick Up New Projects

4. Be a Leader

Worth a quick read if you are considering which type of startup to join and/or are already working for a young company.

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Leaders Help Create the Best Customer Experience – Not Bussiness Rules

“I was once asked to run a workshop for a small group of senior executives…seeking to transform itself into a more customer-centric business.”

“During a planning call with the company’s CEO, he asked me how he would know whether the workshop was a success.”

“What do you mean? I asked.”

“Well, he said, what will my executives do differently, if we’re successful at convincing them that this is a good direction for our company?”

“It was a good question, so we brainstormed the issue…”

By Don Peppers, The Forbes article is here:

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

The article covers six behaviors of leaders who walk the talk and are helping to create the best customer experience.

It is slightly lofty in terms of the “what and why” with only a few hints of “how”.

However, the main reason I grabbed this article is in the last behavior:

“a leader… committed to transparency and trustability – ensuring that the organization’s official policy is always to act in the customer’s interest, even when it might not yield the same level of short-term profit.”

In my simple mind this means having business rules and procedures which allow the employees to “act” on their own. Don’t let them check their brains at the door, let them make decisions and provide them with the proper tools.

If you are curious of how this might look:

“The Ritz-Carlton has for many years given staff  $2,000 of discretion (yes, this is per employee per guest) to be used to solve any customer complaint in the manner the employee feels is appropriate.”

The Forbes article is here:

At first blush, this looks very risky, which it is, unless it is built on “Smart Trust”. Trust is a two way street, but to gain trust, the manager must go first.

Read more on Smart Trust:

Do You Have a Job Search Strategy?

“Are you approaching your job search strategically? If you’re not sure how to answer that question or you’re shaking your head with an emphatic “no”, this post is for you.

Having a job search strategy sounds like a good thing, but what does that really mean? We tend to throw around the word “strategy” a lot, and I think it helps to come back to the definition: “a method or plan to bring about a desired future” and “the art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use.”

So, having a strategy means you have a plan to bring about your desired future (a new job), while efficiently and effectively using resources (your time and energy). Sounds straightforward, but it’s something many job seekers don’t do, instead jumping into their search without taking the time upfront to plan.”

by Erin Ewart

Read more: Why You Need a Job Search Strategy

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

To know if you are prepared for an upcoming interview for your dream job, read Erin’s article about having a plan in place. This is the last point in the article above and is my favorite.

Planning your career starts with a close review of where you are today and where you want to end up. Erin also discusses having it all wrapped together in a story to share with the hiring manager.

If you have solid story of “why they should consider you”. It is much easier for the hiring manager to see your strengths, skills and competence when they are deciding on who they will hire.

The job search is not about filling in the blanks. It is about telling your story about why you are the best employee for the position.

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For Career Growth, Plant Where You Can Bloom

“Plant yourself where you can bloom.”

“This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I wasted years of my early career waiting for validation from a few key people to do what I already knew I was made to do.”

“They kept me on a string for years and I was obliged to stay there, sure that they were the only road to where I was going.”

“Time has taught me not to look to another person as my key. My beliefs are my key. My actions are my key. They can trap me, or they can set me free.”

by Chance Scoggins


streetsmartprof‘s insight:

The flip side of finding a place you can grow is to grow where you are planted.

The author provides an example why this may not be your best advice.

“Imagine yourself planting a seed in a toxic waste dump. You could dig the perfect hole. You could water it, feed it, give it sunlight and air – but no amount of tending that seed will produce fruit. And what if it did…would you want to eat it?”

Understanding the culture you will thrive in during your career is a necessary requirement. Make sure to always go in eyes wide open.

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Tapping Into the Hidden Job Market

“Once upon a time, the want ads were king, and job seekers could be relatively successful in finding employment by pounding the pavement based on what the want ads and job boards were offering.”

“In the current workplace climate, that pavement has significantly narrowed.”

“Unfortunately, many college students are unaware of the hidden job market and still operate under the notion that earning a degree and responding to job posts is all they need to do to land a great job.”

by William Frierson

Read more:

streetsmartprof‘s insight:

Tapping a keg, or a watermelon, takes a certain amount of skill, knowledge of the right steps, and the right equipment.

Coming out of college, you have the right skills to go find a job.

The larger question is do you have the right steps to take in your job hunt?

William breaks down finding a job in the hidden market using 5 easy tips. The article is worth reviewing for ideas, even if you are not actively looking for a job “yet”.

Want the melon tapper, go here:

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