Best Advice Ever: How to Win at Career Manipulation

I firmly believe that we are the only ones who are holding ourselves back. Sometimes it appears as fear, self-doubt, or monsters for my 4-year-old daughter. They are hidden in our closets and below mattresses, waiting for the ideal opportunity to attack. And while we wait and watch for them to appear, we are frozen with panic. It’s time to assume command.

Just last week I had to get out the trusty monster spray at my house spraying a bottle of water under beds, closets and behind doors. Ryleigh’s fear is one that I understand as I’ve spent a lot my life fearful frozen in a job or life wasn’t really my own. Read here to understand more.

How to Manage Your Career Plan

You need to take action to get over your worries, beat the odds, and stand out, especially when it comes to your career and your boss, whether we’re talking about taking charge of your personal or professional objectives and desires. The monster takes several forms, including impatience, a lack of preparation, follow-through, and self-doubt. It also manifests as fear. It’s one of the reasons I steer clear of that all-too-important email waiting in my inbox, at least in my case. Sometimes we have a fear of both reality and success. We need to get rid of this tendency to be action-focused rather than planning-focused. Because doing something is insufficient. Your career plan is a strategy filled with hard work, learning, risk and most importantly perfectly timed manipulation of opportunities, friends and co-workers but especially your boss. It’s career psychology 101.


Having just finished, Dan Schabel’s new book, Promote Yourself which happens to also be available for purchase TODAY on Amazon (affiliate link), I was reminded that your career while all about you, isn’t really about you at all. Dan’s book is a great read for those focused on growing or reinventing their career. He hits the nail on the head on many points surrounding technology including social media and the fact that your boss’s priorities come first and not including his/her career.

Best Career Advice: Career Manipulation

And while the term career manipulation could be considered harsh, it’s exactly what it is. You are using preparation, relationships, opportunities, technology and circumstances to advance your career. Outside of your career plan, your most important skill is not achieved with a diploma or the passing of some test but with identifying where individuals you work and interaction with fall into their own work and career curve and how together your plans can be used to help one another.

bell-curve copy

For example, your boss wants to look good so he/she can receive a promotion. While this doesn’t reflect on your career on the surface, great leaders take teams with them to the top. Knowing this you meet deadlines, foster a relationship with your boss and do everything to help him/her achieve his/her career goals knowing that when the time is right, you can cash in these good deeds for a promotion, great reference or a special project that’s squarely focused on you.

Sounds easy, right? Except you are likely managing upwards of 25 relationships focused on value based career manipulation with colleagues, peers, friends and other relationships at a single moment. Some work in your favor and some do not. Good career manipulators are focused on helping others first and building a solid professional reputation just like in Dan’s book. As the momentum builds in your favor and you grow in your own career path, people will begin seeking you out for the potential opportunities they see in you.  Question is: do others like the opportunities in you they are seeing?

FTC Disclosure: I received  a complimentary copy of Dan’s book. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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  1. […] “Whether it’s talking about taking control of personal goals and aspirations or professional ones, you have to take action to overcome those fears, beat the odds and get noticed especially when it comes to your career and your boss. “…How to Win at Career Manipulation HR, Recruiting, Social Media Policies, Human Resources, HR Technol… […]


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