1. Don’t (ever) give up. If you know you are good at telling a story, influencing people to buy-in and getting others to understand the why, then you may be a great salesperson, creative writer or manager (or a plethora of other job titles). However, for some reason, you haven’t been so good at landing that well-suited job that taps those innate skills. And you are considering giving up on that dream job.
There may be real, fixable reasons why you aren’t landing that role. Maybe you don’t interview well and never make it past round one of the interview process, or you simply don’t know where to look to find the product, service, company culture or whatever to meld your personality and talent with their needs.
Do: Take a job-search class, find a mentor, research career management online or in the library (or both) or hire a career strategist. The point is, too many times we try to navigate our own complex career path without a compass, and we get lost. This leads to frustration and often to a hunger that we try to fill with the most convenient fast food: a dead-end job, a lackluster office environment and even a bad boss.
2. Don’t let a bad performance review knock you down. Fussing and fretting about negative feedback can be a human response that will set your career adrift if you wallow in it.
Do: After nurturing your wounded ego for a few minutes, quickly rise up. Really listen to what the boss said, even if you think he was off base. If he critiqued you for consistently showing up 10-20 minutes late to work, and you think this is ridiculous since you always work after hours, try to look at his perspective. Maybe it’s less about your not being productive and more about your not demonstrating respect. Showing up on time displays courtesy, and a certain composure, traits of mature workers.
Or, maybe you feel the sales, marketing, accounting or production goals are too lofty, so you frown and vex when you are told you didn’t meet a quota or objective. After all, how can you meet an unattainable goal?
Instead of getting mired in the muck of a bad attitude, consider ways you can contribute to carving a new path to success, not only for you but also for others who may be struggling. It could be as simple as researching a new technology tool to boost efficiency or reaching out to a member of a different functional area to hash out better processes and procedures.
3. Don’t be a know-it-all. While you may know more than just about everybody on your team or everyone in the whole company for that matter, don’t let the temptation to continually express your intellect overcome you.
Do: Instead, prove your value and aptitude through daily actions. Get that report done faster than expected and ask for the next assignment early. When crisis erupts, volunteer to fix it to not only calm the chaos but also to differentiate yourself from the pack, getting you noticed for promotions. Inquire how you can better help your teammate, supervisor or other company colleague tackle an issue that seems to be overwhelming their plate.
When you let your acumen shine through your contributions in ways that make others feel value and supported, you also will likely lift your own reputation and visibility along the way.