Sharing a couple of career lessons pulled from the “publishing a book” portion of my career – lessons I was reminded of when I was interviewed by Lauren McGoodwin aka Career Contessa, the newly published author of Power Moves and from reading her new book (which, not surprisingly, is full of outstanding career advice).
Careers can unnecessarily pit us against each other, in really unproductive and detrimental ways.
When you’re seeking a publisher, your book publishing odyssey starts with a book proposal, a document in which you bare all your anxieties (I mean accomplishments) and justify your existence (I mean, how you compare against a list of selected competitors). It’s an empowering and demoralizing exercise in puffing up your ego, placing all your hopes in someone (an editor) picking you (thereby, validating that you are worthy) and minimizing anyone else who has dared to infringe on your subject matter (i.e. competing titles).
It’s the last part that is crazy.
Thinking about career books for a second. It’s not as if ONE book has all the answers and perspectives you need. One book may be essential at a particular point in time, another could be your essential reference tool throughout your career. If it is not one over the other, just what is needed right now, aren’t those books companions, not competitors?
Who or what are you pitting yourself against rather than focusing on what you can learn from them or how you can collaborate with them?
Now on to lesson or career reminder number two.
Stop flipping off what you do with ease.
Back in 2006-2007 when I still had a regular go-to-the-office JOB, my then boss said to me “you should tell people how you do it”. IT being networking. My reaction was to immediately jump to “you’re an idiot” (yes, I called my boss an idiot) rather than responding with a more reflective, composed and mature answer worthy of a senior manager who supposedly was interested in her own career advancement.
My response should have been: Tell Me More.
If I’d cared to ask, then listened to my boss, maybe I’d have made different career choices over the next 10 years (yes, it was 10 years or so between the “you should” and the publication of Build Your Dream Network). A bit of a sliding door decision or the “two inches” away from a life-changing moment. Don’t repeat my mistake – the not asking and listening part, ’cause why wait to discover or finally fumble upon what you’re really really damn good at?
On the podcast, I explored was REJECTION with the help of cartoonist, Liza Donnelly.
Got a career networking question? Email me. I’d love to find you an answer: firstname.lastname@example.org