Wednesday, October 5, 2016

5 Career Lessons from the Presidential Campaign

For many people in the this country November can't come soon enough and it will be a relief to be done with this election cycle.

But there are lessons we can take from the campaigns and apply them to our careers.

Though the campaigns have been divisive and seem to shed light on a clear divide in this country, we can take away from them the following five tips for our careers:

1. Contrary to what you might hear, truth counts. It's difficult to achieve personal or career success if you are not a person who values veracity and speaks the truth. The two main presidential candidates both have low approval ratings and that stems largely from a perception that they do not tell the truth.

2. Words matter. In some ways this election has been an assault on the English language, with incomplete and incoherent statements, along with various insults that, no matter how one attempts, can not be taken back or disregarded. We would do well in our careers (and life) to follow the simple advice we likely heard as children: "if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all."

3. Listen to those you work with and for. Successful politicians hear their constituents, they read the hopes and anxieties of people, and they respond to them with thoughtfulness and policies that demonstrate they've heard. In the same way, success in our careers is dependent on hearing the needs of our customers, co-workers, and managers, and acting on those needs in carefully considered ways.

4.  Preparation counts. Usually politicians have spent many years preparing to hold public office in ever increasingly responsible positions. They spend years studying the issues, meeting with constituents, and performing public service. In the same way, success in our careers takes time, effort, and preparation. Don't expect overnight success without putting in the work.

5. Success takes persistence. The election process in this country is a long process and takes great effort, determination, and persistence from our candidates, particularly those seeking the highest office. Similarly, success in your career is a process and requires one to persist, even in the face of clear opposition and failures.

These are five career tips you can take with you long after the election is over.

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