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imageAre you interested in pursuing a corporate career? Are you in the midst of a corporate career already? Or maybe you are wondering how in the hell you get out of a corporate career and land on your feet?

Corporate Career Success – 35 Articles for Arriving, Thriving, and Surviving

If you find yourself in one of those situations, here are thirty-five articles from the Brainzooming blog archives to help you in arriving, thriving, and surviving for corporate career success.

Launching Your Corporate Career

Developing Your Skills for Corporate Career Success

Sustaining Corporate Career Success

Dealing with Mid-Career Stagnation

Troubleshooting Yourself

Troubleshooting Your Career Situation

Mike Brown

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

There are many incredible authors writing compelling books on improving career success.

Yet instead of immediately running from one book and point of view to another, ask yourself this basic question:

Before trying to learn and adopt someone else’s personal success story, what more can I do to understand my own personal success story?

imageAs so often happens, this message came together over the course of a day from multiple directions. The common theme with each piece of the message was the importance of knowing what creates success for you before rushing to adopt an external view of success.

It’s a lot easier for many people to look for answers by bouncing from one author’s 5 tips for success to another’s 5 lessons of success. 

It’s vital, however, to know what success means for YOU. And right after that, it’s important to have a solid handle on how you improve your own likelihood of success by finding, adapting, and/or creating the work and personal situations to  support achieving personal success.

5 Questions to Revisit Your Personal Success Story

You simply have to KNOW what will lead to improving your career success.

If you struggle with this, work through these five questions to help you get a handle on this:

  1. In the instances where I’ve enjoyed the best career success previously, what were the situations, themes, types of people, relationships, opportunities, and challenges involved?
  2. How did the characteristics I just identified work together to pave the way for success?
  3. In situations where I have not enjoyed success, what things got in the way of creating success?
  4. In those same situations, what things weren’t in place that appear necessary, in retrospect, to support my career success?
  5. From the exploration in these questions, what’s my short list of personal critical success factors?

We actively use the concept of critical success factors with clients to ensure we’re improving the likelihood of organizational success. You can and should use the concept personally as well.

Think about critical success factors in two ways:

  1. What needs to be in place to maximize the likelihood of success?
  2. What things need to be avoided, prevented, or eliminated because their presence will minimize the likelihood of success?

See what I mean about your inability to READ your way to critical success factors?

Your knowledge of them comes from reflection and exploration of your past and deliberate experimentation in your future.

Improving Career Success

So put down the popular author’s personal success story, and spend some conscious and quiet time if you haven’t already, to revisit and learn from your own personal success story.

Ultimately, it’s the only one you’ll earn a grade for in this crazy thing we call life. - Mike Brown

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

Clementine-AsleepIf you tend to be an overachiever when it comes to delivering on expectations, maybe that’s not the best idea in the world for improving career success.

Sure, there are some areas where it’s pretty important to over-deliver. But if you do it uniformly with little regard to the situation, it could be time to consciously deliver less and invest your newly available time, effort, and energy in other places.

By the way, the first paragraph has been me for much of my career.

Increasingly, however, I see the need to differentiate where and how I over-deliver.

7 Questions for Doing Less than Before

Here are some questions I’m using to identify opportunities to begin doing less than before:

  • Is something really important to me, but I’m the only one who thinks it is?
  • Will anyone notice the impact of delivering less?
  • Will there be obvious unused leftovers if I over-deliver?
  • If something is finished, will adding to it only make it seem less finished?
  • Have the standards of everyone that matters already been surpassed?
  • Is it true that more effort won’t result in more beneficial results?
  • Will spending more time on something that has a little room for improvement create disproportionately negative impacts on something else that has MORE room for improvement?

Improving Career Success

I will readily admit these questions are more easily asked than answered. In turn, they’re more easily answered than the answers implemented.

But these questions ARE a start to better connecting productive effort and results in the hope of strengthening the results we can all deliver and improving career success.  - Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

Clemmie-BoxI’m frequently asked how it was possible to stay, survive, and achieve career success for so long in one corporation.

The easy answer is I was “built” to thrive in an organization based on background, education, and temperament.

But that’s a pretty vague answer.

9 Ways to Get 9 Lives in a Corporate Career

When it comes to improving career success, here are my 9 ways to get 9 lives in a corporate career.

  1. Stand for something that means something and grow from it, but don’t waiver in it.
  2. Make sure what you stand for is relevant to what’s going on right now and will be relevant in the future as well.
  3. Know what your toolbox of skills is and keep adding to it all the time – with both your own development and surrounding yourself with others who complement your talents.
  4. Make sure you are low maintenance and represent minimal overhead so it’s clear there’s more value to be freed up by letting you do more things than getting rid of you.
  5. Build beneficial relationships with many people.
  6. Become recognized as a corporate historian, remembering what’s been done, what’s worked and hasn’t and why, where ALL the bodies are buried, and who was responsible for putting the bodies where they were buried.
  7. Deliver objectively unmistakable value that transcends opinion.
  8. Invest time to imagine what the future is going to look like and how you’ll need to adapt to fit into it.
  9. Always know where a door is and what situations will make you want or need to use it.

Those are nine career success principles I tried to follow then, and still do now to the extent they make sense in a smaller, more entrepreneurial environment.

What about your ideas for improving career success?

If you’ve been in the corporate world for some time, what are your keys to getting your full nine corporate career lives?

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

Have you ever inventoried the people you trust for strategic advice based on why and how you use their perspectives?

I’ve been thinking about this while trying to figure out what is missing from the people I turn to for strategic advice. As the group of individuals has changed the past few years, there’s something missing that used to be there.

It’s been a challenge, however, to figure out what the missing ingredient is so I can effectively replace it.

The 2 Types of Strategic Advice You NeedEraser-LV

To find the gaps, I started listing people who I reach out to for strategic advice and / or who offer perspectives I routinely consider.

As I listed nearly a dozen people and why I valued their perspectives, the dynamic was clear. Beyond the fact nearly all of them have been part of my inner circle for multiple years, they fall into two groups:

  1. They help me determine the right objective (WHERE to head)
  2. They help me identify the right steps to get to the objective (HOW to get there)

It probably should not have been, but it was a breakthrough for me to see these two groups so clearly.

Once I categorized the list based on how each person’s advice typically applies, the gap was obvious: I have lost touch with several people who supplied both WHERE and HOW perspectives for me. These are the very people who had been providing the most readily applicable advice for me.

Now that I know what is missing, fixing this gaping leadership hole is the next step.

Leadership and Strategic Advice

If you have not inventoried the people who provide you advice, give it a shot and see who you turn to for leadership perspectives on where to head or how to get there. And is there anyone you can depend for advice on both?

If so, consider yourself fortunate – very fortunate. Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I am asked about personal success strategies frequently, as I’m sure most business people are.

My 4-Step Career Advice

When someone expects career advice and ideas on personal success strategies for free (as they so often do), my standard career advice, particularly to mid-career professionals is:

  1. Get a Plan B up and running while your Plan A is still working.
  2. Start communicating your expertise in your Plan B area (and Plan A if it fits), whether that’s via a blog, a social media site, video, presentations, audio, etc. The medium doesn’t really matter as long as you start communicating what you know sooner than later!
  3. The minute your Plan A job shrinks (or there’s even a hint it might shrink), start ramping up plans for Plan B to become your major income source.
  4. Should plan A ever go away – or you decide you want it to go away – you’re in control of making the right decision.

That’s my standard advice because it’s what I did. And since it has worked reasonably well, I share this personal success strategy because I have at least case to suggest it’s a reasonable strategy. And I don’t want to suggest a bad course of action to anyone.

Nearly Everyone Ignores this Career Advice

career-advicePerhaps because this is my most frequently shared advice (I’ve been giving some version of it for twenty years), it’s the advice nearly everyone ignores.

One friend has been receiving this career advice from me his entire professional work life, and he has yet to act on it. For twenty years he’s been doing something he doesn’t really love doing, but he won’t launch plan B linked to what he is truly passionate about doing. So when his plan A evaporates – and it’s been close before – he will either be starting from scratch on his passion OR wind up doing more of what he hasn’t REALLY loved doing for twenty years because it’s the only thing where he has deep professional experience.

I understand the reluctance to follow this career advice.

Step 1 is a pain in the ass.

That’s not how popular personal success strategies work; they are supposed to start incredibly easy.

Step 1, however, is hard work. It means doing double time, or at least one-plus time. Thus, if you aren’t up for that, you’ll ignore this advice.

I understand the problems with the whole “I have to work even harder now and probably later” part of this personal success strategy.

But it works. That’s why I keep giving it out to people who ask – and don’t want to pay for more customized advice.

Now, having written this, I have a link to give anyone looking for free career advice. Which is a LOT easier and simpler for me. But for you, if you choose to do it, it still going to be hard. It’s so worth it though.

Trust me. It’s great advice, and it only gets better with time. - Mike Brown

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.


Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Successful people are in action!

And unsuccessful people? They are inaction.

You can download your own Brainzooming personal success strategies mini-poster (from this link or clicking the mini-poster) to let people know you’re a successful person in action!

Successful-People

Personal Success Strategies for Successful People in Action

Beyond the mini-poster, here are forty-nine smart ideas for making sure you are a successful person in action!

These articles should give you a jump start on creating strategic impact this week! Mike Brown

 

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Mike-Brown-Gets-Brainzoomin

Learn all about how Mike Brown’s workshops on creating strategic impact can boost your organization’s success!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

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