The seven deadly sins of career building:
There’s more of course, but that list is a really good start.
Here’s the thing. You never intended for those sins to show up in your personal brand, but those exact things may be popping up before our eyes.
How? We see you!
On laziness and carelessness
We see what you are doing and what you are not doing. Believe me, on behalf of your boss and clients: we know how many hours are in a day. We know if more could be accomplished. And if what’s been accomplished could be done better.
For example, my organization has a mantra: First draft, best draft.
That’s right. Intend on writing only one draft – and make it a really good one. Not something that shows you took a stab at it. Not something that says: “I know I promised to get something out by today so I got to it, didn’t I?”
If you deliver the best draft possible, someone else can polish it – and we are golden! If instead, you throw up whatever you’ve got, we are in receipt of your carelessness and laziness. And all those excuses that get thrown in? Throw them out. All we learn is that we can’t rely on you.
You can’t be a great personal brand when your work betrays you.
On lying and stealing
That happens every day you take more than you give. Like when you are sent to a trade show and don’t get on the floor first thing. Or you get paid tuition and rather than do the work to earn an A, you don’t study but hope you’ll get a passing grade.
This everyday kind of lying and stealing is much less sensational than pulling a Bernie Madoff. But these small crimes of opportunity are much more likely to kill your reputation.
On arrogance and cynicism
When you say, “I don’t see the point in that.” Or, “that isn’t what I would do.” Well, that’s useful if you have the education, experience and insight to provide that business acumen.
But, if you have that kind of acumen, you probably aren’t saying anything like that.
When the weight of your decisions or the actions of others trips you up: don’t spend much time feeling sorry for yourself. Charge your batteries before they run out. Check the fuel gauge and traffic before either makes you late for an interview. Take responsibility for what you could have done better and journal the rest in a chapter titled: Life Isn’t Fair. Don’t read it aloud; we know it by heart.
On hope and change
Consider there’s a whole lot of people who never have a chance – even the smallest chance, to make something of themselves.
Consider what you must do to start a new path in the new year. Confess your sins – even if it’s just to yourself. Cleanse your soul. Heal yourself. Because there’s only two good times for you to be the best representative of your personal brand: 1) any day before today, and 2) today.