What Did I Do Wrong?
You’ve done everything right in your career. You’ve helped get the biggest projects in some company’s history out the door and into the mainstream marketplace. You went back to school and completed your MS in Publishing degree with a 3.86 GPA, even with 25 + years experience in the industry. What went wrong?
Sometimes corporate culture is completely different from what it should be. Also, sometimes you step out of the shuttle-craft onto a beautiful corporate endeavor only to find out that the Romulans are running the show. (What would James T. Kirk do in a situation like this…? Since Spock has already said to stay would be illogical… Yep, Beam Me UP Scotty!!)
(I always liked this episode where the Enterprise crew battles the evil ice cream cone… without the ice cream of course!)
What should I read?
The winning strategy is always to think differently. If you follow the herd, you only end up cleaning off your shoes. Take yourself as a BRAND and build it. I am Don Schmidt, Publishing Professional by day, but I am also, The Book Kahuna, fighting the unit cost and e-book wars by night. Reading is essential to keep your hand in play, so here are a few books I recommend to keep your mind on the prize:
1. Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
2. Stephen R. Covey: Principle Centered Leadership
3. David J. Schwartz: The Magic of Thinking Big
4. Napoleon Hill: The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons
5. Norman Vincent Peale: The Power of Positive Thinking
Five O’clock Club
Now, I am not affiliated with the Five O’clock club in any way, shape or form, but this is one career search organization that has all the ingredients to set you on the path to success. Instead of giving you a list of companies to call, this is a very intensive graduate program in the art of advancing your career. You have to complete the 40-year- vision (and you are not allowed to kill yourself off in year 23!). You also have to complete the 5 stories exercise. I have been through the Five O’clock Club process twice, and I am going to be signing up to go through it again in the coming weeks. (As an aside, in 2004 my FOC group voted “NO” on my last position, after nine years working there, maybe they were right!)
Although I am looking for consulting work and not a full-time corporate gig, they specialize in helping to get professionals up and running on their consulting as well as full-time corporate positions.
The essential things that I took away from my initial times with the club:
- BE THE EXPERT! Make it known who you are and what you can do for a possible employer (personal branding).
- Another good point from the club, go into the interview process as if you are the consultant who can trouble-shoot a problem for the prospective employer. Ask about a problem, and then submit a report to the interviewer that details how you would fix the problem or change a process to make the problem disappear. BE THE EXPERT!!
Multiple Streams of Income
In 2008 I had to sit across from three wonderful employees that I hand-picked for my department and watched as they were told they no longer were employed by the company. At that point I made a decision, time to look for something else outside publishing. I found an opportunity that I really liked and had already tried a few years before in New York when I was living there: VENDING. I founded Skootdad Vending and Refreshments in March of 2008.
I am still working to build this company into a full-fledged vending success story. I have no doubts that this will be a successful venture. Remember, you have to visualize the success, and then build the bridge to get there. Staying positive is the only way to ensure you reach your goals. What new ventures are you thinking of starting?