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Career advice that nobody tells you

Most people have a nice job. They go to work at around 7:30 in the morning. Come home for dinner in the evening. Nothing wrong with that. But there are also people who seem to be working at a different level. They do things that most other people only dream of. What do they do differently than all those other people who also do their best to get ahead in their career? What is their secret?

Five ideas
  1. Don’t choose your employer based only on the brand name. Carefully choose your boss or the team that you want to work with; a boss who will also become your mentor. Of course it’s nice to say at a party that you are the vice president for xyz; fill in every famous brand. But if you really want to move ahead, make sure you choose a boss you can learn a lot from. Who can do different things than you can. Someone that you respect and who shares your values. Someone who invests time in you and gives you feedback. Someone who pushes you forward. It’s this working relationship that makes the real difference in order to grow to the next level. Moreover, this relationship is often an important networking relationship for your professional future.

  2. Make sure you always give what a company really needs. Even if they are not asking for it. At the end of the day every company must make a profit and ensure continuity. Always behave entrepreneurial. Whatever position you are in. Always ask yourself: "If it is my own money, would I also do it?"

  3. Be aware of the size of your own ego and do not let it get in the way. An expensive car, business class flying, luxury dinners, the title Executive Vice President. At the end of the day it is not so important. A big ego can tempt you to make bad decisions. Ask five people who know you well how big they think your ego is on a scale of 1 to 10.

  4. There is always a back door. Are you talking to potential employers via headhunters? Please get in line... 'Do not call us, we call you' is often their mantra. Do you meet their entire checklist of criteria? Do you have the right age? The proper education? The right gender? Have you shown your skills elsewhere? In short: you are no longer in control of the process. Use the sophisticated technique of networking to create the most interesting opportunities. Especially if you also want to change industry.

  5. Develop your sense of timing. There is a time and a place for everything. I was fortunate once to work for a boss who had great timing. He knew when he had to keep a low profile. But moved when conditions were better. I even realized that in one case it meant that he had to be patient for five years (!), but then he hit mercilessly. Your own impatience can be a real blocker if you don’t control it.

Let us know what your experiences are. In hindsight, what would you do different in your career? What has worked well for you? What should the whole world know? Talk to us.

Hopefully this inspires.

Paul Donkers

By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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