Career \”Advice\”

When I log out of hotmail I am unceremoniously dumped onto Basically that is my excuse for \”accidentally\” reading about Britney Spears or the latest between Rihanna and Chris Brown. But occasionally I will come across a really good article, and usually it\’s from Slate.

This is NOT one of those cases.

The link read: How to keep your job
The headline was: How to Be Indispensable at Work (by Martin Lindstrom)

Even though I personally do not fear for my job, I figured any advice on how to become a vital cog at your employer was worth reading. The article started off well with the first piece of advice: Define who you are (and who you aren\’t). Solid advice. Although the phase \”create a personal brand\” sort of rubbed me the wrong way, but still good advice.

Next was: Become well known for one thing. Isn\’t that the same as the first piece of advice? I suppose there is a subtle difference but defining who you are at work basically means \”become known for being good at X\”. Marty hammers on the idea of brand again with reference to Coca-Cola and Marlboros. And that you should come up with a one word phrase for yourself (although I\’m not sure that \”Captain Crisis\” is one word… maybe Marty meant to hyphenate?).

Communicate your brand. Ok, I get it… this isn\’t about keeping your job, it\’s about pimping yourself; which some people think will ensure you keep your job. The advice here is to create a personal website. Again, not sure how this ensures you keep your job.

Create a signature look. Marty mentions that he wears black all the time, and that\’s his look and people know him for that. Maybe this advice works well on Madison Avenue, but for 99.999% of the country, this is actually a really bad idea. And once again, how exactly does this help you keep your job?

Last, and certainly least, leave a personal mark behind. This one is too good to be true, so I will quote verbatim:
Most business cards bore you silly, right? You tuck them inside your wallet or purse, then promptly forget about them. My advice: Create a distinctive mark or \”signature\” that other people can\’t get out of their minds. It can be a logo, a symbol, or a saying you affix to the end of your personal e-mails. Once again, combine two elements that have nothing to do with each other — flying monkeys, for example. Whenever I think about The Wizard of Oz, those horrible flying monkeys spring immediately to mind. Why? Because as we all know, monkeys don\’t have wings (at least the ones I know). If you create an equally dramatic mark or signature, I guarantee no one will ever overlook you.

So there you go, if you follow that great advice you are certain to keep your job… according to Martin Lindstrom. And it must be good advice, he\’s got his own wikipedia page!







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