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6 Keys To A Great Career

Posted by | February 17, 2015 | Advice, Career

Via LinkedIn : I have been fortunate. I have had a long and happy career in healthcare and am not yet ready to call it quits. As I look back, it almost seems that I just fell into the whole thing. I became a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy in 1965 and never left the health care field, even though I had two other career possibilities—history professor or writer.

For fifty years I have made my way through the industry in various positions from care giver to supply chain leader to consultant, back to supply chain leader, back to consultant, to working for a Group Purchasing Organization, to Sales Management, with what often appears to have been no consideration for the next step.

Over the course of the years I have had several great jobs and only two that really sucked. An even in the two bad jobs, there was a significant amount of fun and good times as well as real accomplishment.

So how did I get so lucky? Was it really just good fortune, or were other elements mixed in? I decided to give it some thought and as I did, I identified six concepts that I believe have contributed to my happiness over the years.

Today I will name the six things and give a brief description of each. Starting next week, I will write a more detailed article about each of them.

Here they are:

  • THE PERPETUAL INTERVIEW. Every personal interaction you have in your life becomes a possible component of a future job interview. The friends you make over the years store up information about you and at some time in the nebulous distant future, what they have learned about you can contribute to your success or failure.
  • KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. Every day you find yourself in multiple situations—both on and off the job—situations that my lead to possibilities. Pay attention to what goes on around you, not always with the intent of finding a new job or opportunity, but just to know your world better. The more you know about what goes on around you, the more likely you will be ready to respond when opportunities arise.
  • MAKE FRIENDS, NOT CONTACTS. Today, much is made about building professional networks and I use LinkedIn as much or more than anyone else. But I can honestly say that I have never made a transactional hookup during my career just to build my network. By far and away, the preponderance of my contacts are people I know and people who I would consider to be friends. It is often said that the quality of a person’s life can be reflected by the number and nature if his friends.
  • JUST SAY YES. When opportunity knocks, open the door and say yes. I must admit, I stole this concept from William Shatner and if you wantr to learn more about it, read Chapter One of Shatner Rules.
  • DON”T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. I got this from Brother Cornel West, who stole it from Samuel Beckett, who wrote: “Ever failed? No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. “ Many people fear the embarrassment of failure so much that they fail to try—the biggest failure of all. The truth is, failure teaches us far more than early, easy and unchallenged success.
  • HAVE FUN, BE POSITIVE AND PARTY ON. So far, the world has not ended at any of the times that I thought it would. I have made it through wars, wives and a couple of crappy jobs and the world looks better to me today than at any time in the past. Bill S Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan said it best when they said, “Be Excellent to Each Other. Party On, Dudes.”
    Unlike the words to the Robert Earl Keen song, the road does not got on forever, and eventually the party does have to end. But it is a long and winding road, and we have the opportunity to make it a road filled with highlights worthy of ESPN’s nightly Top Ten Plays.

And it all starts with the interview.

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