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Career epiphany and why relationships at work make a difference

Career epiphany

Playing well with others is critical to landing new opportunity

Career epiphany

If you have a career epiphany, you want to share it and that is exactly what happened. A reader of this blog just let me know about her career epiphany (while reading this blog) and I had to share it with the group.

Career: an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

Epiphany: a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being

What it takes to succeed

Climbing the career ladder is more than just doing great work. Subscribers to the blog are familiar with my sermons and stump speeches where I preach that we always need to up our game on a consistent basis. The higher we climb, the more we step up. Most of us feel we are working hard, most of us feel we are doing a great job. Unfortunately, it takes more than this to land more money, more opportunity and bigger challenges. To name a few things we need to do in addition to getting the job done, we need to:

  • Get along with EVERYONE, regardless of how big an ass they are (leaders get along)
  • Build teams and be the leader without the title of manager or director
  • Show company pride
  • Add to the culture of the company

Ah-ha moment

Below is the reader’s career epiphany and again, it is such a great “ah – ha” moment as it relates to climbing the career ladder, I needed to share with the group. I immediately reached out to the reader and asked if I could share her email and she quickly responded with the go ahead. Thank you, Viola! (and yes, she qualifies as a hard worker)

Dear HRNasty:

My name is Viola and I just stumbled onto your blog today. I am an aspiring career ladder climber but I have been losing hope as my efforts have not been paying off.

Let me start by saying that I am a very hard worker. I know you say everyone says that but I really am. Last year I was doing a master’s degree full-time, running a business, teaching a class at the local university, and working as a teaching assistant. That’s 4 jobs! And I had two children under 4! So I know I’m a hard worker.

I have been teaching a class at my local university since 2013 and landed this gig by sheer luck. Fortunately, I live in a very desirable community and there are constantly people moving here because everyone wants to live here. Working at the local university is like owning a golden goose. As time has gone on I have increasingly felt the desire to land a full-time, regular position at this university.

I am willing to take anything that isn’t at the secretarial level to get in (which would be inappropriate given my level of professional experience). I have networked and even had a meeting with the Director of HR and the Campus Administrator. But nothing has come of any of these efforts. There was recently a full-time coordinator job that I applied for and I was sure that I would get an interview. I have a professional degree, and other degrees, and specialized knowledge in an area that was required for the position. I didn’t even get an interview. It has been depressing, more so as time goes on.

But today as I was reading your Job Interview mistake article I had a career epiphany. It IS partly my fault that I am not seeing doors opened to me. Although I have done well at networking, I have not put any effort into engaging in the university community. I only show up, teach a class, and leave. Although I work very hard to deliver a great course, I don’t do anything beyond that. And, now that I think of it, the Director of HR told me to start doing some of these extra things! Why didn’t I listen to her? I haven’t gone to a single BBQ, I haven’t even attended a single department meeting.

Thank you, thank you SO much for somehow pointing this out to me. Just performing in my one limited role is not enough to consider myself a true keener. I have to do more.

I really appreciate your blog, even though it is a little nasty at times.



HRNasty’s response


Thank you again for sharing your story and your career epiphany. You are absolutely right, great work isn’t the only thing that is needed. The people who are granting the promotions like the company they work for and the people they work with. They want to work with and promote like-minded individuals. We can talk about how we like our peers all day long, but if we are not showing up at the company functions or networking, we will leave a different impression.

It is ALWAYS great to hear from folks who have gotten a little something from the blog and it is even better when we can share the learning with the group. I’d love to send you an HRNasty swag pack, please just tell me your t-shirt size and a place to send it. 

See you at the after party

nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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