Best Advice Ever: How to Win at Career Manipulation

I’m a firm believer in the mantra, the only thing that holds us back is ourselves. Sometimes it’s disguised as fear, self-doubt or for my 4 year old daughter, monsters. They’re hiding under beds and in our closets waiting, watching for the perfect moment to strike. And we’re frozen in fear waiting and watching for them to materialize. It’s time to take control.

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

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. The monster manifests not just through fear but with self sabotage found in the form of impatience, lack of planning, follow through and self doubt. For me, it’s one of the reasons I avoid that all too important email sitting in my email inbox. Sometimes reality as well as success are things we fear as well. We have to overcome these tendencies not only focused on action but an actual plan that involves planning. Because actual action isn’t enough. 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

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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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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