I’ve read my fair share of “career experts” and “job gurus” who give advice that sounds good on paper. Problem is, sometimes what sounds cool in theory doesn't work in "our" real world.
I remember this one book in college that was part novel,part career guide. The book was how this fictional character overcomes the trials and tribulations of being a student who is trying to find his first accounting job.
Ideally you would read the book and then follow the steps the main character did and you would end up with a job.
This is a summary of that book:
1. Call your dad and have him introduce you to his friends, one of which is probably a partner at an accounting firm. Why? Well because your dad is a partner at a law firm so he should know other professionals high up in their organizations.
2. Meet that partner at a country club where you both have been members for many years. That will show him that you are part of the community.
3. Focus 100% on your job search. If needed, take less classes on your last semester. (No mention of what to do if you have a job while you're in school. You don't need a job if your rich dad is paying for your college. See #1 above).
I'm sure this advice would work fine for some people.
But what about the rest of us whose fathers aren't partners at their law firm, who don't have connections, and who have to work to survive, much less to be able to attend school?
And that's why I loved "From C Student to the C Suite" written by Tami Holzman. Her no bs approach to succeeding in your career really resonated with the rebel in me.
I want to share some great insights from the book that will help you get ahead even if you didn't get a fancy Ivy League degree.
1. Value Emotional Quotient (EQ) over Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Tami explains in great detail how even though intelligence is great, you do business with people so being able to connect with them is more important that trying to be smarter than everyone else.
You've probably seen it in action where the people who aren't necessarily the brightest, somehow always know who to get in touch to help them out with a problem. Strive to connect with people first before you wow them with your brain power.
2. Your past doesn’t define your future
She technically didn’t graduate from any of the four colleges she attended (she needed 3 more math credits) and still was able to deliver success to her employers and clients.
Many times we impose self limiting beliefs on ourselves because of what we have or haven't done in the past. No degree?
No problem. If you can deliver value to your clients, they really won't (or shouldn't) care where you got your education from. The higher you go up in your career, the more you'll notice this to be true.
The book keeps it simple to where you don’t have to read some study to figure out what it means. She lays it out in plain English so you don’t have to wonder what she meant. She talks about how she made a BFF (Business Friends Forever) over a bra mishap.
3. Ask for the sale
I love her approach for asking for the sale. Just like interviewing, most people go into a meeting, spill their guts out and then just walk out without having asked for the job or the business.
You haven't done your job right if you don't ask for the sale/job before you leave the meeting.
4. “Be Present: aka put your f*cking phone away”
The chapter title pretty much gives it away.
By the way, this isn’t one of those theoretical, I’ve never tried it but it sounds good on paper books. Tami is pretty straightforward with how she dishes out her advice and she doesn’t mince words.
This respectful, but candid way of writing is part of what makes this book endearing and useful. There were times where I felt like Tami was sitting me down and just telling it to me straight on how to improve my career and life, f-bombs and all.
Do you want proof of how much I love this book?
This is the actual Amazon review I gave it:
I recommend this book for anyone who:
A. wants to succeed despite not having the "perfect" grades/degree/experience (she doesn't even have a degree)
B. women who want to learn how to better sell themselves and reach the C suite (she uses all the tools at her disposal to move up while staying true to herself)
C. people who want to learn how to connect with others at networking events (great tips on how to start talking to people)
D. All of the above
As an interview coach that works with MBAs, this book will be recommended to all my clients, particularly the females. It's just an awesome example of how you are "enough" just by being yourself.
Also, the design was very cool. I would buy the book just to look at the "Tam-isms".
As a side note, I reached out to Tami just to tell her that I love her book and she responded! It’s always good to know that the truly successful people don’t just talk the talk, but they always walk the walk (in Jimmy Choo’s).