I’m still blogging about the career success coach advice in my latest book Success Tweets: 140 Bit of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less. You can get a free copy of Success Tweets at www.SuccessTweets.com. I’m writing about creating positive personal impact in this group of posts.
Today’s career advice comes from Tweet 63…
Be visible. Volunteer for tough jobs. Brand yourself as a person who can and does make significant contributions.
Being visible is a great way to create positive personal impact. Volunteering for tough jobs is the best way to become visible. Tough jobs usually come in two flavors – 1) things no one else wants to do, and 2) tasks in which success is not guaranteed. Volunteering for both types of jobs will get you noticed in a positive way. Trust me here. This is good career advice.
Let me give you an example. Several years ago, I was working for a very large company. This company was committed to supporting the United Way. Every year, they conducted a huge campaign encouraging all employees to contribute. Running the campaign was a job no one wanted to do. Who wants to ask their coworkers for money?
One year I volunteered to run the headquarters United Way campaign. Actually, my boss suggested that I volunteer, so I did. I ran a successful campaign, bringing in a higher percentage of donors and a higher absolute dollar amount than the previous year. It was a lot of painstaking, detail work. I also had to manage a group of other volunteers who were canvassing their departments.
What started out as something I felt I had to do turned into a great experience. I met several senior executives in the company. I met several influential people in New York City. And I demonstrated my ability to manage a large, complex project and bring it to a successful conclusion. And, I felt good about myself when I visited a couple of the agencies who were receiving funds from my company’s contributions.
I ended up getting a promotion as a direct result of running the United Way campaign. One of the executives I met during the campaign liked what he saw in me, and offered me a position in his business unit. I created positive personal impact (with her at least) by taking on a job no one wanted and doing a good job with it.
Taking on a job in which success is not guaranteed is also a great way to create positive personal impact and build your personal brand. I have a friend who took on a very difficult job when he was a Sales Manager.
His company’s CEO had a son who was a slacker. He had a couple of jobs within the company and had failed miserably in all of them. My friend was asked if he would fill one of his open sales positions with the CEO’s son. Several of his friends advised him against this – telling him that the son was not a good performer, and never would be.
My friend took on the task. He welcomed the CEO’s son to his sales team. He worked with him extensively. By the time he was finished, the CEO’s son was a good performer – not a great performer, but a good one. My friend took on a tough job, one in which success was far from guaranteed, and succeeded in it.
He created such powerful positive impact with the CEO that his career success moved rapidly. He went from District Sales Manager, to Regional Sales Manager to VP of Sales, to the President of his business unit in the space of six or seven years.
Some people said he was just in the right place at the right time. I think he took advantage of an opportunity that many people told him to avoid. He created his own career success by taking on, and succeeding in, a tough job where success wasn’t guarnateed.
Stephen Covey suggests thinking of jobs in one of four ways.
- Not Important and Not Urgent
- Not Important and Urgent
- Important and Not Urgent
- Important and Urgent
Volunteering for tough jobs that no one else wants to do falls into the Important but Not Urgent bucket. Important but not urgent tasks will give you the most payback. We all tend to get trapped by urgency. However, non urgent tasks that are very important to your career success, can slip through the cracks if you don’t force yourself to spend time with them.
You don’t have to volunteer for every tough job that comes along. However, by doing so on occasion, you will be creating positive personal impact and building your personal brand.
Creating positive personal impact is an important, but not urgent task. You don’t have to be taking on tough jobs to build your reputation every day. However, if you never take on a job that will help you build your brand and reutation, you won’t achieve the kind of life and career success you want and deserve.
While it’s important to volunteer for difficult jobs, it’s also important to do them with enthusiasm.
A while back, I read an article on enthusiasm by Judy Williamson, Director of the Napoleon Hill World Learning Center, at Purdue University Calumet. Here’s some of what she had to say. I think it is great career advice…
“Enthusiasm is a powerful motivator when it is sincere and heartfelt. It is a spirit that inspires us to move forward positively in a direction of our own choosing…Only the results of enthusiasm can be seen, not enthusiasm itself because it is an abstract concept. Love, faith, honor, loyalty, and beauty are also abstract concepts. They cannot be perceived directly with the naked eye, but can be seen indirectly in the results that they cause to happen…
“A certain charisma develops within the enthusiastic person. Crowds respond to the ‘electricity’ that this person generates when they walk into a room, address a crowd, deliver a speech, or just work for their cause. Enthusiasm becomes a catalyst for change when it is sincere. People jump on the bandwagon of an enthusiastic person because they want to feel the energy for themselves. Greatness demands enthusiasm.
“To be enthusiastic, act enthusiastically. Allow yourself to feel the energy and lightness of being that develops when you embrace the higher vibrations of your spirit.”
The “charisma” that Judy describes is what I call creating positive personal impact. When you create positive personal impact, you are build your life and career success because others will notice you, want to associate with you, help you and follow you.
Enthusiasm will help you create positive personal impact and build your personal brand. People respond to enthusiastic people. When you’re enthusiastic about what you’re doing, you — and other people — feel that you can overcome great obstacles. It seems as if the entire universe in lining up to help you achieve whatever you have your heart set on achieving.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people create positive personal impact. Visibility is a key to creating positive personal impact. Follow the career advice in Tweet 63 in Success Tweets. “Be visible. Volunteer for tough jobs. Brand yourself as a person who can and does make significant contributions.” Taking on tough jobs is an important, but not urgent task. You don’t need to take on one after the other, but you do need to find places where you can shine. Volunteer for those jobs. If you never volunteer for tough jobs you will be losing opportunities to create positive personal impact. When you volunteer for tough jobs, do them with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm will help you create positive personal impact and build your career success brand.
That’s my take on the career advice in Tweet 63 in Success Tweets. What’s yours? Have you even volunteered for a tough job and pulled it off successfully? If so, please share your story with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading.