Career Coach: A Dirty Dozen
7. Failure to make connections with people in other departments. Make an effort to meet people before you in the pipeline and after. Never eat alone. A friend of mine who worked at Virgin Games often visited people in the other building and built and maintained relationships all over the company, not just with her own team. Her reputation for delivering fabulous product on time spread throughout the company. She continued this habit of cultivating friends throughout the company when she moved to Disney, which naturally resulted in people wanting to work with her. She was promoted on a regular basis. Another person who did not interact widely was laid off because no one knew her value to the company. Interact with employees after work in activities you enjoy.
8. Failure to help junior staff or contribute to the community. Those people you help along the way will improve their skills and get new jobs. These contacts may help you to find your next job. But whether they do or not, it’s a good idea to help out the juniors and students. You were once a newbie too, remember?
9. Failure to maintain a professional/helpful attitude. If you have a complaint, come up with a solution you can present for consideration. If the solution cannot be implemented, don’t insist that your way is the only right way. There may be others.
10. Failure to ask questions. Assuming or pretending you know something can lead to mistakes, rework, missed deadlines and other problems. Do not act like a know it all even if you feel that you have been there/done that. Every company is different. Don’t be a primadonna.
11. Failure to take initiative. Make it known you want to grow. Don’t wait for a formal review to speak to supervisors. Tell them what interests you and what skills you offer. If you take on a job, follow through on all promises.
12. Failure to dream or apply. Don’t put yourself out of the game at the start. Years ago, I discovered that job descriptions are not always accurate. I had about 10% of what was described in the ad and I sent in my resume to Hanna-Barbera. I was interviewed for the job. I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t get the job but my eyes were opened to new possibilities when I realized that I didn’t always need all the attributes listed in a job description. Artists often tell me that they want to work at Pixar, or another company. I always respond to this kind of statement, “Have you applied?”
Avoid most of these mistakes throughout your career and you’ll never be the poster child for April Fool’s Day.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson has worked with both wise men and fools, but learned something from every one of them. She has presented her Career Navigator Program at schools such as Ringling, SCAD, IADT and numerous Art Institutes and conferences. She enjoyed presenting the commencement address at AI Tampa in 2010. You can reach her at PamRecruit@q.com
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
The 911 Recruiter/Career Coach
Ask about the Career Navigator Program
©2012 Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach and recruiter and is a huge fan of Dr. Seuss. One of her most cherished possessions is a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go signed and augmented by artists she worked with on The Simpsons. She also owns a copy of Boners, the first book illustrated by Dr. Seuss, which she found at a garage sale in Beverly Hills. You can reach Pamela for personal career coaching, speaking, or recruiting at PamRecruit@q.com. She would love to hear any tales or stories about persistence.