Healthy CareerismA couple of days ago, Joe Hodas, senior VP Brand Communications at a Colorado marketing agency, published a column in Advertising Age that offers a checklist of ten do's and one don't that will help you "advance your career witout selling your soul."
In edited form, Hodas's ten principles are:
- Nothing replaces hard work. Effective hard work, that is. You do need to produce valuable results.
- We all have a personal toolkit know yours and how to use it. Identify and apply your strengths. Keep strengthening your strengths.
- It's about teamwork, but know who is and isn't on your team. Be an upstanding, savvy participant in the office politics you will inevitably be dealing with.
- Don't throw any fits. Outbursts are unprofessional.
- Decide how much you can take before you bail. "A career is like a relationship, so make sure you're putting as much effort into trying to fix the problems as you put into feeling bad about them."
- Earn your raises and promotions. Hodas is "a firm believer that raises are for the work you've done, and promotions are for the work you can do."
- Individuality is to be respected as long as you're still part of the team. "Don't be afraid to stand out, but do make sure you don't alienate your teammates in the process."
- Always try to add something smart to the discussion. And be ready with a rationale for what you are saying. I would argue that "because" (or its equivalent in your own language) is one of the most beautiful words you can use.
- Sometimes you have to raise the volume in order to be heard. If you feel strongly about something and are all set with your "because" statement speak right up.
- Have a perspective on the past, present and future. This is the most agency-oriented of Hodas's points, but it still can readily be applied in other industries: "It's not enough to do well today. Your boss wants and needs to see that you have a broader outlook on where you / the client / the work / etc. has been, is now and will be going."
- Always be that ray of light in your boss's/ co-worker's day. This is among my favorite precepts. Remember: What you say and do in a particular situation is a statement of what sort of person you are. So be sure what you say and do reflects the you you want to be.