Tag Archives: Career
By Adam Mendler, CEO of The Veloz Group.
The actor Steve Guttenberg once observed, “A career is a series of ups and downs, of comebacks.” There is no linear path to success and the only certainty is uncertainty. Regardless of the industry you are in, your career is in some way subject to forces outside of your control. Technological innovation has and will disrupt millions of careers, with a recent study from PwC suggesting that nearly 40 percent of American jobs will be automated by 2030. On the other side of the equation, businesses focused on developing and applying artificial intelligence in unique ways have and will drive countless new employment opportunities. You may not know what your career will be in the future because it may be a career that does not yet exist.
So how can you prepare for the uncertain professional road ahead? Tolstoy noted more than a century ago, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Follow these tips:
Develop a Broad-Based Skill Set
Some of the best advice I received early on is that we are likely to have five or six different careers over the course of our lifetimes and that we should prepare accordingly by developing a skill set broad enough to adapt to any new professional pursuit. It is important to build expertise to help distinguish yourself from the many others in your line of work, but it is also critical to create and retain flexibility so you are not at the mercy of the winds of change. No what matter what profession you are in, look for ways to learn new and adjacent skills. And no matter how successful you become, do not allow yourself to become complacent.
Build a Large and Robust Network
There is a famous saying about the importance of relationships when it comes to professional success: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I believe that both what you know and who you know will prove to be extremely valuable over the course of one’s career, so it is crucial to invest not only in building your skill set but developing your network. People like doing business with people they like, and when your career is upended by change, you will benefit greatly by having relationships with people at other companies who will be in a position to throw you a lifeline. In my career, I have found that I’ve gotten about half of the jobs and internships I have had strictly because of my credentials (I applied without knowing anyone in or connected to the organization) while I got the other half based on relationships with people who could vouch for me. Increase your odds by growing your network.
Stay on Top of the News and Trends
Even the most astute among us are often embarrassed trying to predict what will happen next. If we knew exactly what would happen tomorrow, sportsbooks would not exist. But we can get a feel for what is to come by staying informed, consuming the information that is available and having an appreciation for history and for trends. We know that history repeats itself, so take the time to understand what is going on around you and the impact it may have on what is yet to come. Fortunately, we live in an era where news and information have ever been more easily accessible. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to discern news from noise, and many sources are highly inaccurate, often by design. Listen to voices that have proven to be trustworthy and seek a wide range of perspectives.
Excel at Whatever You Are Doing
We only have so much time and energy, so don’t waste it worrying about things beyond your control. Instead, focus on what is within your purview and excel at whatever endeavor you are pursuing. No matter what you do next in your career, developing a reputation of excellence will help position you well. Employers look for a track record of success when hiring candidates. And because many of the jobs of the future will be brand new, the type of experience will matter less than the quality of the experience. Proving you can master a craft engenders confidence that you can master the next one, regardless of what it is, even if it does not yet exist.
Adam Mendler is CEO of The Veloz Group and founder of Beverly Hills Chairs, Custom Tobacco and Veloz Solutions
It’s the month of manufactured love. February 14th, Valentines’s Day is a chance to send those you love something special. But for Kim Kardashian, it’s also a chance to send her haters some love.
The social media celebrity and entrepreneur is sending a long list of celebs who don’t like her a gift–her new perfume. While it’s unclear whether her goal is to make amends or fan the flames of hate, it begs the question: Should we try to make up with our professional enemies?
In your career, your network is your net worth.
We all have former colleagues or bosses we dislike. But when it comes to our careers, it’s a small world. You never know when you’ll need a reference from someone you used to work with. Or perhaps the person now works at a company you’d love to work for. Burning bridges is the worst thing to do if you want to have a successful career. Having a strong network, filled with people you can tap when needed is an asset these days. Which means, you may just want to swallow your pride and make amends with those from your past that could be of value some day.
These 4 words go a long way: “Hey, can we chat?”
Reaching out on a social media platform like LinkedIn is a great start. Asking the person to connect will give you a sign as to whether he or she might even be open to a conversation. If your connection request is accepted, you can then send a note asking to catch up by phone or over coffee. When you speak, you should focus on keeping the conversation positive and trying to restore the trust and respect needed to move forward. A great thing to keep in mind is everyone has a professional strength. If you can identify what the person’s strength is, you can target the conversation around it. An example might be:
“I see you are working at XYZ in marketing now. You were always good at social media. What are some of the things you are working on now that excite you?”
By engaging in a conversation around what your colleague enjoys, it will put the person at ease and make the conversation flow better.
If you get called out, own it.
Lastly, if the person actually asks you why you are trying to re-establish a connection, be honest. It’s okay to say,
“I realize our relationship wasn’t as good as it could be in the past. I’m trying to improve how I network and support my colleagues. I’m sorry if my past interactions with you weren’t as positive as they could be. I’m trying to make amends and hope you will consider re-establishing our relationship.”
It’s harder for someone to dismiss you when you’re being accountable for your past actions. But, if they do, chalk it up as experience and move on. At least you tried…
If you’re transitioning your career to analytics, you’ll find this blog useful for assessing which training option is right for you