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Last Updated on November 14, 2018

Hard-Working People Climb to the Top, Smart People Hack It

Hard-Working People Climb to the Top, Smart People Hack It

Have you ever played the team-building game called Bigger or Better?

The game is like an adult version of Trick or Treat and works in the following way:

You start off with a small item such as a paperclip or pencil, and you have to try to turn it into something more valuable by doing small trades with other players. If you play the game skillfully, you can eventually exchange your small item into something more expensive (e.g., an iPhone or a bicycle).[1]

    The reason the game is often played in team-building exercises, is that it demonstrates how successful people get from the bottom to the top. The game also shows how insignificant items (like a paperclip), after trading with different people, can end up becoming something big and substantial.

    Just as in the make-believe game of Bigger or Better, there is a little-known way of reaching the top in your chosen career.

    Stop Climbing, Start Hacking

    The method involves not just finding a career ladder and trying to climb it, but switching ladders at appropriate times, with the aim of bypassing ‘dues’ and accelerating along your very own Bigger or Better cycle. The idea of switching career ladders has been well developed by author Shane Snow in his book Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.

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    Shane Snow is a journalist, web entrepreneur and the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Contently – a tech platform that matches qualified freelance journalists with online media outlets in the rapidly changing world of publishing. He was named Inc Magazine’s “Inc. 30 Under 30” in July 2012, and Business Insider’s “Silicon Valley’s 100 Coolest People In Tech,” also in July 2012.

    The framework Shane created (and showcased in his book) is for anyone who wants to take their career to the next level in the most efficient way.

    His framework is very similar to Bigger or Better. However, instead of switching small items for bigger ones, and bigger ones for even bigger ones – you replace these items with your career choices. The idea is to create a winning cycle that accelerates your achievements and success. After lots of small wins, eventually you find yourself with a major win (think paperclip to bicycle).

      It’s the same for your career. Rather than following the traditional way of going step-by-step along the same straight path – you switch paths when the one you’re on is not working – or you switch based on your previous success to get something better.

      In his acclaimed book, Shane tells the story of how he ‘hacked’ his career ladder.

      He had a goal of becoming a writer for WIRED magazine, but knew that without relevant experience, this could take years to achieve. So, he put his creativity to work, and came up with the following process:

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      1. He put together a list of sites and magazines that if he wrote for, would impress the editor of WIRED.
      2. His list looked like this: The Next Web > Gizmodo > Mashable > Fast Company.
      3. He then applied to write for The Next Web (which is certainly not a simple feat – but definitely easier than trying to become a writer for WIRED).
      4. Once he was established as a writer for The Next Web (and had articles under his name as proof), he then applied to write for Gizmodo.
      5. I’m sure you can guess the next steps, which eventually led to him securing work as a writer for WIRED.

      Now, here’s the amazing part. From starting on the path to achieving his goal of writing for WIRED, Shane took just six months![2]

        It worked for him, and it can work for you too. Let’s see how.

        How This Method Fast-Tracks Your Success

        I’ll say it again, traditional career paths are slow. Mostly, this is caused by the conventional waiting periods needed to move up the ladder to higher positions.

        If you don’t mind spending years in the same role before moving up – then the traditional route may be the way for you. However, if you want to be competitive and innovative, forget the traditional way. It will frustrate you – and your career ambitions!

          So, what to do?

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          Well, firstly, think laterally rather than just vertically. By thinking laterally, you’ll immediately step outside of the career path that most people are trying to move along. This will give you an advantage over them.

          Just to be clear, by moving from time-to-time in a sideways direction doesn’t mean you’re changing your end goal. In reality, you’re just making your route to the top more flexible and adaptable.

          Now, here’s the key thing to remember. Once colleagues and managers see you as a success in one role, they’ll automatically assume that you’ll be successful in any other role that you’re placed in. In other words, success breeds success!

          Let’s dig a little deeper into how this method works.

          Every time you move to a new role or company, you’ll meet and attract new and varied people. And if you’re doing a good job, then these people will become your allies and partners. Think of it this way: you’ll be rapidly building your own personal network of individuals who can help support your goals and dreams.

          On the other hand, if you choose to stick to the traditional career ladder, it’s likely that you’ll have a limited network of contacts, as you’re only growing within a small department – or within the same organization.

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            The method is really just common sense. But it’s not something that we’re taught at school or college.

            So, are you ready to fast-track your career? Here are my recommended steps:

            • Know exactly what your end goal is.
            • Meet a minimum standard of credibility for any required tasks (either show years of experience, or show that you’ve ‘made it’ somewhere comparable).
            • Once you start off at the ground level, think of ways of how you can get to the next level (don’t limit yourself to the same ladder).
            • Keep going upwards by using new ladders and with the help of your ever-increasing network of contacts.

            Don’t Leave You Career to Chance

            Climbing the traditional career ladder is often a slow, laborious and frustrating experience. You may wait years for a promotion, only to find that a younger, less-experienced colleague has been given the job.

            So, decide on the big goal that you want to achieve, and then implement the methods suggested in this article to help you reach it. By following these little-known methods, you can enjoy a fun, adventurous and rewarding career.

            Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

            Reference

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            Leon Ho

            Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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            Last Updated on May 22, 2019

            50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

            50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

            LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

            Job Search Experts

            You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

            1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

            2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

            3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

            4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

            5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

            Management Experts

            They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

            6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

            7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

            8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

            9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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            Productivity Experts

            By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

            10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

            11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

            12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

            13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

            Marketing Experts

            14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

            15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

            16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

            17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

            18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

            19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

            20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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            21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

            22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

            23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

            24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

            25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

            26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

            Personal Branding Experts

            Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

            Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

            27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

            28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

            Other Notable Experts to Follow

            29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

            30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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            31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

            32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

            33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

            34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

            35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

            36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

            37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

            38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

            39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

            40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

            41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

            42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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            43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

            44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

            45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

            46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

            47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

            48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

            49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

            50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

            These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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            Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

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