If I Had Known Then What I Know Now!

I was working with a long-time client when he blurted out “if I had known then what I know now I would have approached my job in a different way!”. I asked him to elaborate. He began to share that what he has learned from our year of coaching in effective communication skills has taught him that being successful at your profession has more to do with communicating than the expertise you possess. Those are strong words! My client is a highly educated, technically minded professional working in a very large company. He has been successful by most standards. We both know that his career could have gone in a different management direction a few years ago. We began to discuss the cold, hard fact that business success isn’t derived from working hard and making your boss successful anymore. That is an old notion that has gone the way of electric typewriters! With a tighter job market, if you are hired by a company then the company is fairly confident of your knowledge and ability to do the job. What you need to know is that from here on, it’s about your ability to communicate with others and who you know. After my conversation with my client, I developed a list of tips based on comments I have heard from my seasoned clients regarding what they wish they had known when they embarked on their career.

* Get the communication skills training/coaching that you need
* If you don’t know what you need, ask for feedback
* Develop excellent presentation skills
* Understand your company’s politics
* Know who holds the power in your company
* Get to know others in your company
* “Brown nosing” is simply looking for opportunities
* Be generous
* Pay attention to your non-verbal communication
* Go to company gatherings and interact with the people who attend