Career Manifesto

A guide for the new college graduates this month, starting their careers.
There are a lot of things that you’ve learned in college, and there are a lot more things that you won’t. It is Paretto’s 80/20 rule. You will learn about 20% of what you need to know in college, and the other 80% will come from life, the University of Hard Knocks. You know, the real world, not Lake Woebegon where “all the children are above average”, but out there in the working world where there are no participation trophies and your grade is you salary.
These are some things that will get you on and keep you on the right track.

  1. 1.Treat everyone that you meet fairly.

    • ⁃Be fair and kind to everyone that you meet. It is the right thing to do and you never know who will be your next boss or back you up in a meeting. I ask students what the name of the maintenance staff in the building is. You should know and respect everyone that you work with. By the way, the maintainer in the building is Pedro, a friendly, hardworking and help guy.
    • 2.Work hard and do your best every day.
    • ⁃You should give your all every day, don’t phone it in, slack off or back off. You are paid to work, work. And you should be learning while you are doing your job and getting ready for your next position.
    • 3.Get things done.
    • ⁃Your job is to produce something, to complete something, to get something done. As Seth Godin tells us in Linchpins, “Artists ship.”, produce things, complete projects, get things done. This is why you are here.
    • 4.Loyal or Leave.
    • ⁃You have to be loyal, loyal to your boss, your co-workers, your company. Don’t stand around the water cooler and complain about the boss, the project, Steve in finance, the company. If the culture, the mission, the boss, trouble you that much, start looking for your next gig. If you can’t be loyal, it is time to leave. That is OK, good people move on. But, don’t stay there and undermine the team.
    • 5.Don’t Lie.
    • ⁃Don’t lie, always tell the truth, no matter how much it hurts. You want to be honest, to be known for you honesty. I am not saying to tell the co-worker that asks you if their outfit makes them look fat. The polite response is “No, you look good.”. When your boss asks you, “Will we ship on time?”, and you know the team is 5 days behind schedule, you owe it to him, the team and the organization to tell the truth, “No, we ran into problems and are 5 days behind schedule” Don’t lie.(But don’t hurt your co-workers feelings).
    • 6.Solve Problems.
    • ⁃This is what we do, we tackle issues and solve problems, not create them or add to them. Tackle the problem, find an answer, get it done and move on to the next issue. Your boss should know that they can hand a problem off to you, and you will solve it, resolve it or come back to the boss and tell them that you need more help to fix it. Don’t make new or more problems.
    • 7.Find a third way.
    • ⁃When solving a problem, don’t give your boss two solutions, both with additional baggage and caveats. Find the third way, there has to be one more solution, keep on working on it. Don’t give you boss A or B, find C, and D, and E. Recommend one, justify it, and back it up. Make it easier for the boss to choose.
    • 8.Don’ burn a bridge or leave the right way
    • ⁃You started this job with enthusiasm and good intent, leave the same way. Don’t trash your boss or co-workers on the way out, don’t burn that bridge, no matter how you feel. Say class San Diego.
    • 9.Always do more than is expected of you
    • ⁃Don’t do the minimum or phone it in. Do your job, do more than you job. You are in sales and the customer service staff are drowning in customer phone calls and emails? Jump in and help. It’s not your job, but they are your customers, the CSR folks are your co-workers and work there. Don’t let the “It’s not my job mentality” keep you from helping out, doing more. It will be remembered somewhere down the line.
    • 10.Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down
    • ⁃- This is from Guy Kawasaki, @GuyKawasaki and his brilliant book, ‘”Rules for Revolutionaries”. Don’t let the clown in the next cube, the clown (or Evil Pointy Haired) boss wear you down. Keep doing your job as best as you can, and look for that exit opportunity. Promotions and career success are the best revenge.

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