Nobody But You

Members of my career mentoring site know that I am a big fan of The Muse.  They provide a wealth of great life and career success content.  On Sunday, they shared an article on common mistakes people make when it comes to getting promoted.

  1. You think that everybody knows what you want in your career.
  2. You wait until the performance review to have a conversation about what you want in your career.
  3. You assume that performing really well on your job means that you deserve a pay increase or a promotion.
  4. You have no idea what you want and you expect simply working hard will be rewarded.
  5. You do not have a deliberate conversation with your manager seeking feedback about what it’s going to take to get to where you want to be.

You can see the entire article here.

These are five great pieces of advice.  And they all relate to a point I make over and over with my coaching clients and members of my career mentoring site

You have to take personal responsibility for managing your career.

Things were different back in the early days of my career.  I was in the HR Department of the company for which I worked.  The VP of HR was a legend.  He had been with the company for 40 years.  He knew all 150 or so of the people in his organization.  He kept tabs on them and how they were doing in their career.  He moved HR people around the company as if we were pieces on a chessboard.  When you got a call to come see him, you knew that you were likely to get reassigned.  His goal was to ensure that the people in his organization were well rounded HR professionals.  His secondary goal was to prepare people to be ready for a step up when the time came.

You may or may not like this paternalistic manner of operating.  But it came with some advantages.  If you worked hard, you were more likely to be in line for a lateral move that would broaden your experience.  These lateral moves prepared you for promotion.

Things are different in today’s world.  Successful people actively manage their careers.  They have a clear idea of what they want out of their life and career.  They perform well.  They seek out opportunities.  They keep learning and growing.  They ask for feedback.  They act on the feedback they get.  In short, they take charge.  They take personal responsibility for their life and career.

The message here?  Don’t assume that hard work and good performance is enough to get you promoted.  Work hard and perform well, but take personal responsibility for managing your career.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.


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