Career Insights

Picked up a couple career insights that I thought were worth posting here:

The first comes from a study from the Gamut News via Penelope Trunk's blog.

The study looks at what they call "Career Limiting Habits" or (CLHs) -- habits that prevent professionals from being successful. They surveyed 972 people and found that these CLHs were the most common:

  1. Unreliability
  2. “It’s not my job”
  3. Procrastination
  4. Resistance to change
  5. Negative attitude

I think this list is spot on.  And it's especially true for startups.  It's almost the exact opposite of a list of habits required to work at a startup.  A top 5 list of positive work habits required to work at a startup would look a lot like this:

  1. Accountable for individual and company results
  2. Willing to do anything to get the job done; gets hands dirty
  3. Starts fast, iterates like crazy
  4. Embraces change
  5. Positive, must-win attitude

Even at a larger, more established company, if you're practicing any of these CLHs you're making your manager's job harder and if you're making your manager's job harder, you're not going to go very far.  

The second couple of insights involve working with headhunters and come from a guest post on Dan Schawbel's blog about personal branding. Dan is a fellow Bentley alum.

Two pretty straightforward insights that might be useful to know:

  1. A headhunter will not find you a job if you are not currently employed
  2. A headhunter will not find you a job if you're not working in their area of focus; e.g. if you work in pharmaceutical sales and the headhunter is looking for a candidate for an advertising sales job, the headhunter will not work with you

This isn't to say you can't get a job in ad sales if you're working in pharma sales.  But a company isn't going to pay a headhunter 30% of a first year salary for a candidate that isn't currently employed and working in their defined area of expertise.  They don't need a headhunter to land that person. 

If you find yourself looking to make a career change, your best bet is to work through a more traditional staffing agency, go to companies through your network, or reach out directly.