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How To Develop Your Career Like A CHAMP

Job Searching

Considering starting a job search? Wondering what else is out there? Not really looking, but kinda looking?

Define your ideal objective first. What kind of opportunity would be worth pursuing? What are the parameters? Commute, management, growth opportunity, compensation, schedule, travel, projects, stress…

Then define your knowledge of the market. List the companies you respect and those you would not work for. Most markets have at least one hundred possible companies. Ambassador Search Group knows its target markets well and will assist you.

If your goal is to enhance your career you will likely need to stay in the same type of work. You are most valuable where you are most knowledgeable, with a few exceptions.

You will be represented by Ambassador Search Group directly to the decision maker to the companies we agree are worth investigating. Most jobs are not publicly posted and are developed through relationships.

Offer Stage

We recommend being candid about your compensation package and expectations. If you are underpaid, share that with your analysis of proper compensation. If you do not share your compensation and expectations then do not be surprised if the offer does not meet your expectations.

Negotiating in good faith SHOULD be reciprocated by good faith negotiating from the company. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. If you are negotiating like you don’t trust them then how well did you really interview them? If you sense the other party is not negotiating in good faith, walk away. Do not fixate on the offer over the right foundation for your relationship.

Resignation

Smooth resignations are gentle affairs. Write a thoughtful, thankful, and resolute letter of resignation to deliver with your verbal resignation. Avoid explaining all the reasons you are leaving. It’s too late for everyone. They will use that information to manipulate you or be offended at your criticism.

Depending on their culture, the company may walk you out the door when you share your resignation. This can be a shocking and humiliating experience. Brace yourself for the possibility and accord yourself well, regardless.

Here’s a sample letter:

Dear [Name],

I am sorry to inform you that I am leaving [Company] effective immediately or in two weeks, whichever is your preference.  This was a difficult decision, as working for [Company] has been a positive experience and one for which I am thankful. I have learned a lot here, and have enjoyed working with you.  There is no doubt my experience with [Company] has prepared me for greater responsibility. However, I have accepted a position that will provide me with accelerated career growth and is in the best interest of my family and myself.  This final decision was reached only after thorough consideration.

In order to insure a smooth transition, I will return all [Company] proprietary information to your office.

I wish continued success to [Company] and to you.  Please feel free to contact me after I leave if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Counter Offers

Do you want to leave on your timing or your employers? Counteroffers exist because the inconvenience of losing an employee suddenly exceeds the cost of countering their offer. Counter offers are often accompanied by flattery and group pressure.

While not every counter-offer results in a career damaging termination at a convenient time for the company, trust is always damaged. Industry relationships will also be hurt if the prospective hiring company feels their investment was leveraged selfishly for the candidate’s benefit.

Short term; counter offers can work out myopically great with more money.

Long term; it’s an unfriendly bad faith negotiating method which burns bridges and may leave you stranded when the company figures out how to replace you with someone more loyal. Play dangerous games, win painful prizes.

Start Date

Two weeks is the standard notice to give an employer. Some will ask for more. It’s your call but your new employer should be your priority. Best to figure out how to transition in those two weeks.

If your new employer does not need you urgently then the transition time may be a great time to take a vacation.

Onboarding

Hopefully your shiny new job comes with a great onboarding process. However, some don’t. You may have to administer it yourself.

  1. Ask your manager what you need to bring for the first day.

  2. Be on time. First impressions are important. Walk in on a full night’s sleep.

  3. Learn everyone’s name in the department or company.

  4. Ask your manager to share their expectations for your initial onboarding and also when you are settled in.

  5. Focus on listening and learning to understand the culture nuances. Two ears, one mouth.

Reviews

Find out if reviews are on a 90, 180, or 365 day schedule. Ask what are the elements of the review and incorporate those into your daily practices. Keep track of your weekly performance relative to the standards on a spreadsheet you can bring to your review.

Amongst other things, reviews are a way to proactively discover dissatisfaction. While you should be entirely honest, temper your criticism with a healthy bucket of personal responsibility. The book “Extreme Ownership” has much to say on being successful by taking personal responsibility for results.

Raises

Raises should be a function of measurable increased value to the organization. To effectively lobby for a promotion or raise you must simply exemplify how your skill set and consequent contribution has risen since your hire or last raise.

Track your key performances indicators. If the company has not developed them for you, create them. Track your performance metrics on a spreadsheet weekly to make your increased contribution simple to demonstrate.

Some people wait for employers to give them raises. There is nothing inherently wrong with this but they have nothing to complain about if they do not advocate for themselves.

Do not acquire an employment offer from another firm for leverage. It’s like threatening your spouse with a new relationship. Settle your differences with savvy communication skills. If the differences are irreconcilable or you find a better opportunity, move on without rancor.

Promotions

You should seek promotion. A good employer will expect you to acquire new skills and productively employ them. Translating your commitment to excellence and their investment into handling more responsibility is critical for a growing company.

Before you expect a promotion, you need to earn it. Prove to them and yourself you are capable of taking on more by proving yourself reliable in everything you are given. Faithfulness and initiative are the largest ingredients to promotion.

Managing Up

Succeeding at work depends on getting along with people, especially your superiors. Learning to ‘manage up’ is an absolutely critical skill. Much can be written about it but in essence it is seeking to understand how your manager works, communicates, and expects and tailoring your work to fit their style. Managers have their own responsibility to understand subordinates but that is not your concern. Concern yourself with ‘managing up’ and the process of managing you will be easy.

Peter Drucker, that famed management guru, penned the excellent booklet “On Managing Oneself” which is an excellent read on career development.