Monthly Archives: July 2014

Random Career Rules

Over the years, mentors and friends gave me career advice that I didn’t necessarily heed or even value at the time.  Some of the advice I heard over and over again, like it was conventional wisdom that someone has to tell you or you will just stay in the dark on stuff like this.

So here it is, all of it basically things you want to think about when you are about to do something that looks logical, but maybe isn’t so smart.

1.  Never quit a job because of a boss you don’t like, a bad boss, or  because you think you can do better.  You take the job for the work, the experience, the pay, the benefits, location and so on.  And, you might even accept an offer because you want to learn from a particular individual, or you trust that person’s judgment about your suitability for the job.  But don’t follow or quit people; find solutions to difficult relationships.

And, better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.

But ethics matters, criminal matters, or grave danger are possible exceptions.

2.  A job that stops giving you satisfaction never starts giving you adequate satisfaction again.  Those are the jobs you should leave.   If you don’t, you become toxic to those around you and you alter your career trajectory when that happens.

3.  In matters of work, it is never about you.  The company is always more important than an individual, and you matter far less than you should or think you should.  Companies need not be logical.

4.  Yes, if you are a supervisor your staff is talking about you and trying to figure you out.

5.  Never make a job move solely for the money.

6.  Do not leave your platform behind.  For example, if you are an experienced Financial Analyst, and are offered a promotion to Mergers and Acquisitions Valuation team, make sure you are taking financial analysis responsibilities with you.  I think this one speaks to the linear nature of the best kinds of promotions: Go. Up.  Not over or around.  But you have to think about that one.  Better, maybe, make sure you are doing something you are reasonably likely to succeed at, if you are also expected to do some new things, too.

7.  Complaining helps nothing.  Nothing at all.

8.  When interviewing, the first interview is for the company to ask you questions; any questions you ask should simply be polite and warmly perceptive.  The second interview is for you, and the questions you ask may be evaluated, bot  for relevance and your personal style.

9.  Whoever cares the most about an outcome is disadvantaged in negotiations.  Stick with a process for arriving at closure, not a method for getting what you think you want.

10.  Being an achiever is better than being a survivor.  That was the best advice i think I ever got.