Career Lessons Learned

Edited article as posted on Chuck’s Blog. Click HERE for the original.

Regardless of if you are a seasoned C-level executive, a first time job seeker, or an entrepreneur, there are plenty of lessons to be learned throughout your career journey. Some are more obvious than others; some you still don’t quite implement even though you know they are important. Keep these lessons shared by Chuck Hollis, VP and Global Marketing CTO of EMC Corporation, top of mind; you’ll be able to stay a step ahead of your peers.

  • Enjoy What You Do. You’ll do more of it, which makes you better at it, which makes you want to do more of it, which… Delegate the tasks that you don’t enjoy, and start the endless loop of becoming really good at what you enjoy doing.
  • Always be Curious. Your career, your life, your environment, your world; they’re always changing.  The point that most people miss is that the fundamental rate of change is accelerating.  Your current level of knowledge can be outdated and less valuable—in a matter of months. 
  • Be Persistently Patient. Substantial change takes substantial time and effort.  Always press forward on the things you think really matter, but get buy-in and consensus to make the journey of implementation easier for people to adjust to.
  • Learn to Really Listen … And Really Communicate. Listening is much more than hearing the words someone speaks. “Empathize” might be a better description of spending about 5% of your attention on the actual words being spoken, and the remaining 95% of your attention on the contextual information that really matters.  Clear, concise communication on your part will help others understand quicker what you actually mean to convey.
  • Be Yourself, Not Someone Else. Scientists have calculated the odds of you being born.  There is a 1:400,000,000,000,000 chance of you being you.  While role models are important in careers, no other individual is going to experience what you will.  Embrace that you have unique talents and experiences to bring to your career.
  • Learn to Think Big. Thinking big is about your imagination. Imagining outside of the small confines of the usual constraints of budget, headcount, and politics creates new opportunities.  Break free from the crowd by coming up with solutions that others haven’t considered.
  • Share Freely. We learned to share toys in kindergarten. In your career, sharing is just as important. Sharing creates a bond between yourself and your coworkers, which in turn creates a positive work environment. Plus, it makes you feel good.  This creates that endless loop of making you spend more time on it, which makes you better at it, which…
  • Encourage People. Do you run into people who don’t realize how good they are at what they do? Even simple acknowledgement can give others a boost of confidence that might get them to take the next step on their journey. You never know when you will need the same.
  • Be Optimistic. Most companies are focused on “negativity storms” –what’s not working.  The problem is that it can create a complete lack of motivation or direction.  Problems are rarely as serious as they might appear, and there is always someone that can remove obstacles.  Be that person.
  • Life is More Than Work. You can always get another job.  It’s a lot harder to get another life. Keep yourself fresh by having great relationships and experiences outside of work.  It will reflect in your quality of work when you take the time to recharge.

About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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