In his book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, published by St. Martin’s Press (September 2013), Dan Schawbel provides a wealth of information, insights, and counsel for those who have no clear career roadmap and are willing to invest time and effort to advance their career.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when navigating through an economy that seems to be changing every day:
1. Your job description is just the beginning: find additional ways to add value.
2. Your job is temporary: on average, people have eleven jobs during ages 18-34.
3. You’re going to need a lot of skills you probably don’t have now.
4. Your reputation is the single greatest asset or liability that you will ever have.
5. Your personal life is now public.
6. You need to build a positive and appealing presence in new (social) media.
7. You’ll need to work well with people from different generations.
8. Your boss’s career comes first.
9. The person with the most and best connections wins.
10. Remember the rule of one: all it takes is one person to make a HUGE difference.
11. You are the future, your future, for better or worse.
12. Entrepreneurship is for everyone.
13. Focus on producing results, not on how many hours you work.
14. Your career is in your hands, not in anyone else’s.
Schawbel discusses all this in much greater detail, concluding his book with these observations:
“Do one thing every day — add a new skill, share a new idea with your group — that will advance you. Developing this ‘One Step Forward a Day’ habit will keep you current, make you feel more fulfilled and confident, and increase your value. It also will make you more creative and fulfilled when you’re not working. And it will ensure that you do 365 things during the next twelve months to improve yourself.”
Dan Schawbel’s comments remind me of how the new leaders of the LEGO Group saved their company: “one brick at a time.” They also remind me of a proverb from China: “When is the best time to plant a tree? One hundred years ago. When is the next best time? Now.”