Monday, March 9, 2015

Getting on the fast track is easy when you are the one making the map (and you are always the one making the map)

While working at a Fortune 500 my department hired a new Vice President. During his welcoming speech he said something that rubbed me the wrong way. He said that he was proud that he never held a position for more than 3 years. It bothered me that he was so proud of never committing. He was proud that he never took the time to master his job. Now, after several years at corporate companies, I understand what he was really saying. He was assigned the fast track and he was proud to let everyone else know that he was blessed from above.

I was not assigned the fast track, at least not by any corporate C-suite. I too am proud to say that I have not held a position for more than 3 years. I have doubled my salary, grown my responsibilities and leveled-up my talents, all during an economic slowdown. A VP did not sponsor my promotions or take me under his wing to guide me to higher levels. I am a map maker and I wrote my own fast track.

Had I stayed at the first Fortune 500 I would be making significantly less and still working 12 hour days doing the same thing I was originally hired to do. Fortunately, I understood the situation and wrote my own plan to make it to the top. At first the plan seemed ridiculous and risky, but my free spirit jumped at the opportunity.

My first step was small. I lobbied my manager to allow me to apply for a job in an adjoining department. There wasn't any change in salary, but I wouldn't have to travel and I would learn a new skill. Learning that new skill and having the extra time made all the difference. The new skill made my resume stand out and the extra time gave me the opportunity to look around.

My next move was a promotion at a new company. My fast track was leaving the station and running full steam ahead. The new job offered more learning and more experience. This opened another door... One of my favorite quotes is "The harder I work, the luckier I get." This is true for me. I have worked hard to place myself in lucky situations and then seized the opportunities when they arrived.

I have been blessed to learn these lessons at an early age. My hope is that many more will learn that they have control of their career. To help you with your career goals I have built a website that explains the new economy and how we can achieve more with our careers. Take a moment to level up your skills and head over to my new website.

The corporate fairy tale I believed in

Some career success requires help and luck, but most career success requires hard work and setting yourself up to seize opportunities. My new website, Less Work More Wow, is about showing you what tasks to focus on to achieve the most success.

The game has changed, or more accurately it has been exposed. We cannot afford to wait around for opportunity, we need to search high and low and chase it down. Opportunity is an elusive thing and must be sought and prepared for.