Tag Archives | Career growth

Do Not Leave Your Job Without Reading This First

My colleague sat across the table from me last week. He’d just resigned. “I’ve loved my time here. I want to leave without burning any bridges,” he told me. And then said he wanted to depart within a very short time frame, which would leave his business leaderless and seriously destabilize staff and clients. He was about to commit one of the biggest career stuff ups we can make. Get this wrong, and it haunts you forever. Here it is.

I am a great believer in trying to make the grass greener on this side of the fence. Work hard to get your current roles better for you before jumping ship. But sometimes a move is the right course. Of course it is. The trick is to make an elegant exit.

When my colleague told me he want to depart very quickly, I shared a piece of advice with him from my heart, and from 30 years of experience in business. I can’t recall where I heard it, and I can’t find it online. I also don’t know whether I am articulating it correctly here. But frankly, it does not matter. It’s magical advice for protecting our reputations, our personal ‘brands’ and ensuring we don’t burn bridges. It’s very simple.

Want An Awesome Career? Buy A Pair Of Ataturk’s Binoculars

I just read a biography of great Turkish leader Ataturk, instrumental in the defeat of Australian forces at Gallipoli in World War 1. And it was at the most decisive moment of that battle that I learnt a lesson from Ataturk that is vital if we want robust, opportunity filled careers. Weird, but true. Here it is.

Ataturk was a mid-level commander at the time. He arrived at Gallipoli soon after Australian forces had landed, were streaming up this key hill, and with Turkish troops fleeing in panic. Within moments the Australians would have triumphed and history’s course changed forever. Ataturk ordered his men to stop, fix bayonets and drop to the ground. The approaching Australians saw this and, anticipating a Turkish charge, also dropped to the ground, and waited. In the ensuing lull, reserve Turkish troops arrived- many with big machine guns- , and the battle turned to a massive Australian defeat.

So where’s the lesson for our careers? Here’s the key sentence that provides the compass point:

5 Golden Rules For A Longer And More Vibrant Career

I’m 52, and usually the oldest guy in the room whenever I meet with colleagues at or our industry more broadly. How has this happened? How have I survived and prospered in a so-called ‘young person’s industry’? Here’s the answer, in 5 simple Golden Rules. They worked for me. Will they for you?

First, not a rule. Just a reality. To survive in business and ensure your career keeps evolving and remaining relevant, you have to work on yourself as a project. You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Seriously. Get very serious about yourself and working on improving and developing yourself.

The Best Advice I Ever Received About Changing Jobs

I’d been CEO of Ogilvy PR for two years having sold my PR firm into the group. I was feeling stale and wanted a change. But I did not have the courage to quit, fearing a life of selling bananas on street corners if I left my current security for the great unknown. And then a wise man gave me some advice. I quit next day. This is what he told me.

I was reminded of this story while having breakfast recently with a dynamic software and gaming industry leader who recently decided to leave that career and start afresh.

He was frenetic in analyzing his recent career, and on what he thought he’d do next. I stopped him after the first coffee. “Focus entirely on the future, but don’t get fixated about having absolute clarity about what you want to do next. Rather, follow this critical piece of advice that was given to me once. It will ensure you make the right decision.”

Why putting yourself out of business is smart

The most dangerous threat to the success of our businesses and careers is a great last result. It breeds complacency. FATAL! We have to relentlessly work to improve: or we will be overtaken and will soon fade into history. Here’s why, and how to do it.

Never rest on your laurels. John Chambers, a great Cisco CEO, famously said: “Stay paranoid.” David Ogilvy talked about “Divine discontent.”

Remember this- we are only as good as our next result.

To grow successful, thriving and sustainable careers and businesses, we have to remain ‘divinely discontent’ and ‘paranoid’ about our capabilities, our edge, and our competitors. Here’s two great ways to do it.