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25 Feb How Most High Performers Self-Sabotage Their Careers

Kevin Kermes: So, where do you see most high performers self-sabotaging their careers?

Olivia Gamber: You know, I know we say this a lot but I don’t think people quite grasp it, because they’ll nod their heads and they continue to do it, even though they think they understand and that is the process of positioning yourself as a commodity. It starts with really the job surge process, and leading with your resume and trying to stick yourself into these job descriptions and making it very transactional. Rather than, taking the time to build a relationship and deeply understand, what is the problem. There is usually one or two problems that that leader is facing, and that’s the reason they really need you to come in and hit the ground running. It’s rarely represented in the job description, so really, taking the time to do what other people are not willing to do, and position yourself in the most targeted and relevant way, is what’s going to make you win every single time. We don’t see anyone doing it.

Kevin Kermes: Yeah. You know it’s interesting because something you just said that, doing the things that other people aren’t willing to do, I think that that is where most high performers sabotage, unknowingly their careers. One of the places it stems out of … I agree with everything you said, one other area that I see is in seeking advice, and seeking unqualified advice.

Olivia Gamber: That’s a good one.

Kevin Kermes: You and I have talked about this a lot. So, the further you move up the chain, the less likely it is that you are going to … That the bulk of the people you are surrounded with have experienced the same outcomes and success that you have. I’ll give you an example, a conversation as we were doing a house warming party recently, listening to some people talk about … There was a mixture of people, some people who are clearly high performers, have sold their company for seven, eight figures and individuals who haven’t achieved that level of success saying, “If I did that, I’d just stop working, I just wouldn’t work anymore, why would you continue to work?” And realizing, well the reason that people are achieving high success, isn’t necessarily that they’re chasing money and we could get into a deeper conversation about this.

The reality is, that all those indicators that we share of achieving a high level of success, you are going to continue to do. You’re going to continue to do in the absence of how much revenue is generated. The important piece there is, if you’re taking advice from someone else, who hasn’t achieved that success, or doesn’t share that mindset to be able to achieve it, you’re getting bad advice. It’s well intended, and it’s tough too when it comes from people who love you, friends and family. They mean the world, they’ll tell you things like, when you’re in a job that isn’t satisfying, that you should be thankful for it and, “I can’t believe that you get paid this much to do that.” But you feel unfulfilled because you know that you can do more.

Olivia Gamber: Yes.

Kevin Kermes: There are a number of different messages like that, that get pushed at us. Again, well intended, sometimes people are saying that because, they may be envious. The most important thing is not so much the motivation of where it comes from, but then attaching yourself and taking a step back and looking at, “Is this person who’s advice I’m …” You could receive advice, it’s a question of whether or not you’re going to take it, and you’re going to execute on it. Are you executing on advice coming from someone who has done the things and achieved the things that you want to achieve? That’s really critical. Again, that becomes tougher and tougher as you continue to move up.

It’s equally as difficult as it is for somebody who’s got thirty plus years experience, as it is for someone who’s maybe even five years out of college, and has surpassed all their peers and is now surrounded by a peer group that, if you start to talk about professional development, isn’t where you are, much less where you want to go. It’s really difficult for them to be able to give you good solid advice.

Kevin Kermes
kevin@careerattraction.com


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