The Three Words That Can Lead to a Promotion

Recently I have had the misfortune of having to deal with a know-it-all. We have all had the experience. You can’t talk to them. They don’t listen. They don’t have to. After all, they know everything. And, of course, when what they are working on blows up in their face, it’s never their fault.

The good news is that these people never get anywhere. Or, if a miracle occurs and they do succeed in moving up the ladder, eventually they will crash. At that stage you will be rid of them and I’ll get them as a career counseling client! Lucky you; lucky me…

But who are the people who do succeed? Who are the people who move up the ladder? Those are the people who show strength and confidence by revealing weakness. They are the ones who look the boss straight in the eye and say, “I don’t know,” or “I need help.”

The first three words show that you want to learn. The second three show that you do not let your ego get in your way. They both show that you know that your responsibilities are not all about you but rather about the company, the team. You see the bigger picture.

Use those three words with pride, confidence and determination and you’ll succeed.

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What Should I Study in College?

I like speaking to groups of high school students.  Every year, for the past few years, I’ve been invited to one or two.  It’s challenging.  First, there are the students who I have to find a way to keep awake!  Second, and more importantly, there are those who ask insightful questions and keep me on my toes.  Those are the ones I prefer!

And, every so often, I get a nice compliment.

A student who was in a group that I addressed a few months back kept my contact information.  She now has to start focusing on what her major will be in college and called to ask my opinion.

As I told her, it does not matter what her Major is.  What’s important is her Minor.  If your Major is not English, your Minor should be.

Whatever you study, STEM or Liberal Arts or anything else, in order to advance you have to be able to speak and write well in English.  There is no getting around it.  So my advice to all college students is to study and master English.  It will be the best investment in your future that you will ever make.

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter and career counselor.  He is the author of Success! As Employee or Entrepreneur and A Hooker’s Guide to Getting a Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting

Five Steps to Career Change

If there has been one question I have received more than any other during the past few weeks it’s, How do I change careers? My answer: You don’t. Someone else has to do it for you! Why? Because changing careers requires networking. You need help.

Here are my five steps to career change.

First, don’t quit your day job. As difficult as it is to get a new job while unemployed, it is exponentially more difficult to change careers if not presently employed. It’s possible, just more difficult.

Second, research. Find out everything you can about your chosen new career. That way, when you start networking, the people in your chosen career will be impressed with your knowledge.

Third, look at the LinkedIn profiles of the people who have careers similar to the one you want. Pay special attention to their education. If they have a degree or certification that you will require, get it. When choosing the school or program you plan to attend, base the decision not so much on the quality of their classes but on the quality of their job placement services. Then, once you graduate, use them to find internships and, ultimately, jobs.

Fourth, join groups where you will be able to meet persons in your chosen career. Look for mentors. By “mentor” I mean someone who will help guide you in your new career for free. If they charge, they are consultants and you’ll pay a fortune for limited, if any, results. You want someone who will take you under their wings, so to speak, offer constructive criticism and introduce you to the right people.

And fifth, volunteer. It does not matter what the cause is, as long as you truly believe in it. What is most important is that you serve on a committee, or in a role, where your new skills will be utilized and, most importantly, seen by people in your new career or industry. That way they will be able to help you navigate their networks or, ideally, maybe even offer you a job, once they have personally seen the quality of your work.

In conclusion, career changing is not for the shy or the lazy. It takes help and it takes work.

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Bruce Hurwitz is an executive recruiter and career counselor.  He is the author of Success! As Employee or Entrepreneur and A Hooker’s Guide to Getting a Job: Parables from the Real World of Career Counseling and Executive Recruiting