Three Tips to Boost Your Career

Reminders of what your Mom taught you.

Vital Smarts Research recently gave six tips for overcoming career limiting habits. Since I am always looking for new ways of helping people grow – here are three of my favorites:

  • Hang with the hard workers
  • Control your workspace
  • Put skin in the game

Don’t these translate well to what your Mom always told you?

  • Make certain your friends are good people
  • Clean your room
  • Always do your best!

Thank goodness we have a few more Moms running companies each year or becoming US Senators! They may have the best advice yet for building your career success.  Most personal development books state willpower and commitment are the keys to changing bad behavior to good — but these three points suggest you just need to do what your Mom said!

Hang with the Hard Workers

Surround yourself with people who share your values, your work ethic and will support your extra effort.  If you hang with laggards, laggard behavior is much more likely to be enabled and tolerated by your peers.  Working with interesting, self-challenging and even competitive people is likely to raise your game. Plus, it is always more fun to celebrate big successes, yours and your peers than watch others do it.

Control Your Workspace

I’ve worked with outstanding performing and neat-freak bosses, who had spotless desks and expected the same of their direct reports.  I had brilliantly innovative and disorganized bosses that had piles on their desk, on the floor and didn’t care that I had to print the same report for them the third time.

Whatever your style, consider what makes you most productive and create the best possible workspace for it that leverages your time and minimizes distractions. If you need to be near a team, asked to be moved there.  If you need “think” time to give the best answer – schedule down time between meetings where you close your door or go to a quiet conference room where no one can find you.  Give yourself the space you need to be successful.

Put Skin in the Game

I especially like this one. We all have the tendency to let ourselves slide a bit when we don’t have that juicy bonus waiting when we hit a target, particularly with today’s stretched workforces and long to-do lists. The study recommended that people put money at risk for each goal and then reward themselves if the goal was achieved.

The trick or motivator was that if they didn’t achieve the goal, they had to take the same risked funds and give it to an opposing political party.  There could be no “feel-good” about missing the goal and giving it to a charity he or she liked.  Not doing your best had a negative consequence!

So, whether you are managing your own career or helping others improve theirs, consider some of the lessons your Mom gave you.  Those lessons may just land you that raise!


What have you changed recently that accelerated your promotion possibility?


One comment

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