Career Intelligence: What They Didn’t Teach You in School

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    career wisdom what they don't teach you in schoolHow many of you in college or graduate school had a course, or even a workshop, on managing your career?

    I bet not many because too many young professionals and emerging leaders come to me for guidance with all kinds of career situations: Advancing in a corporate career, getting along with their boss, taking on the right kind of assignment, dissatisfaction with their career intelligence, etc.

    Out of a recent leadership and career development program, came 20 real-world practical ideas about managing one’s career. This career intelligence is relevant no matter what your job function is or what kind of company you work for. Everyone needs to know how to succeed in today’s workplace.

    Which one resonates with you?

    1. The boss isn’t always right, but he’s still the boss.
    2. Confidence comes from success, knowledge comes from failure.
    3. Perception is reality – whether it’s true or not – it’s their reality.
    4. The workplace is about business and profitability, not about you.
    5. Don’t panic and do something stupid in anticipation of a bad event.
    6. Pay as much attention to relationships as the work that has to get done.
    7. It’s OK to say I don’t know as long as the next thing you say is I’ll find out.
    8. When you have problems with others, look inside yourself first for answers.
    9. Pay attention to small details, the big ones are obvious and get taken care of.
    10. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it, when you say it, and why you say it.
    11. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you won’t be successful at it.
    12. Know that ideas without action are like being all dressed up with no place to go.
    13. If you’re miserable, quit and do something else. If you’re still miserable, it’s you.
    14. It is impossible to know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.
    15. If you don’t know, say so. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop talking
    16. Invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself–your ethics, character and purpose.
    17. Whine and complain all you want; nobody gives a crap. Get off your duff and so something.
    18. Don’t burn bridges. Something you said or done may comes back to haunt you later in your career.
    19. Think before you act. Ask yourself: Could I be misinterpreting what’s happening? If you answer yes, stop before you jump into the water.
    20. Go with your talents. Spend 80% of your attention to your strengths and about 20% to your weaknesses. It’s easier to kick a rock downhill than one uphill.

    Career Success Tip:

    Perioidically look back and reflect on your experiences in your life and your career. What lessons did you learn? No matter what career stage we’re in, we all have lessons to learn and, at times, be relearned.What’s the best way to find out about a career? Information interviewing. 20 questions to ask to find out about a career field.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?