20 career dos and don'ts ... and more

James M. Berklan
James M. Berklan

I don't think I'd ever heard of Menlo College in California before Wednesday, but if I had a college choice to make again, I might seriously consider going there. If only to learn more from its president and how he might help my career, and yours.

Forgive me if Richard Moran is not all that he's advertised to be — I just don't know at this point — but I'll tell you what: He can compose a heck of a good career-tips list. It makes me really want to read his new book, “The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters” (Routledge, $22.95).  "My message is that work isn't so bad, and there are plenty of ways to make it better," he explains.

It takes a lot to impress a weathered journalist, but his “Top 20” career-tips list struck a chord in numerous ways, so I want you to enjoy the riches as well. There may be a few familiar themes among the points, which are excellent for long-term care professionals and others. But Moran generally eschews the triteness or zero-calorie nature of so many lists you'll find online nowadays.

And as a venture capitalist, author and educator, he has the chops to know of which he writes. As it turns out, Moran has something for everybody in the family.

A few that stood out upon first reading?

DO show up. It still matters. “Being around” is key, even in a virtual world. It's easier to get rid of people no one knows, he reminds.

“If you're not out in traffic, you're being left behind.” That might be a good one for Son No. 2, who just yesterday handed in a scholarly paper focusing on the transportation themes in “The Great Gatsby.”

On a related note: DO pay attention to the message your car is sending. “It's a piece of your wardrobe,” Moran believes. Think about it.

Back to one I like: DO get up and get going early. “You can't register your day into starting at 1 p.m. The successful people I've been around are up when the rooster is crowing,” Moran writes. Having just read Bruce Springsteen's candid autobiography, “Born to Run,”I can attest Moran hasn't been around The Boss much. But I digress, if only for the sake of validating the rule by citing an exception to it.

Something for Son No. 1: DO become a project manager. The most important skill today is project management. Seeing something through to success will make you the office hero, and get you ahead in job and life's pursuits.

To other loved ones, I'd borrow Moran's insight about the “Abilene Paradox.” It's worth checking out in full, but the crux is you'll save yourself a lot of pain if you simply state your preferences up front.

For workers of all stripe, I'd say No. 13 could be your best bet: Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Moran explains that one with plenty of insight, as well as the rest of his 20 career dos and don'ts here.

Go ahead. It's worth your time — as long as have a career you care about, or want one.

Follow James M. Berklan @JimBerklan.

Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Emily Mongan.

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