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Top 10 Don’ts for Advancing Your Career

November 11th, 2009 · 7 Comments

Colleague Kevin Saghy and I attempted to do a Letterman-like Top 10 at this week’s PRSA and PRSSA conferences in San Diego. 

Our presentation on how young PR talent can stand out highlighted advice from two dozen PR senior and junior PR professionals.  Kevin summed up key themes from their comments with the following Top 10 list:

10. Don’t try to hog credit for yourself.  Be a team player.
 9.  Don’t become complacent.  Senior managers want restless young talent who will always seek ways to contribute.
 8.  Don’t be a Debby Downer.  Managers notice and gravitate toward a positive attitude.
 7.  Don’t lose your sense of curiosity.  Young professionals bring invaluable creative ideas to the table.
 6.  Don’t let the world pass you by.  Keep up with the news, and study the outlets you pitch.  All of them.
 5.  Don’t force a square peg into a round hole.  Just find a need in your organization and fill it.
 4.  Don’t show a sense of entitlement—everybody must pay their dues.  Long nights.  Early mornings.  Working weekends. 
 3.  Don’t throw your coworkers under the bus.  Or take credit for work you didn’t complete.
 2.  Don’t confuse activity with results.
 1.  Don’t over think it.  Quality matters.

During weeks ahead, this blog will feature career advancement tips from practitioners who generously shared their thoughts and suggestions. 

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Honza // Nov 11, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Perhaps it’s a paraphrase of number 7 but I would still add to the list “Don’t let the system beat all the creativity out of you.”

  • 2 Laura Fox // Nov 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I was lucky enough to attend this insightful workshop. Thanks so much, Mr. Culp and Mr. Saghy, for the great advice.

  • 3 Avoid Throwing Coworkers Under the Bus // Nov 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    […] Top 10 Don’ts for Advancing Your Career […]

  • 4 Alicia Wells // Nov 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I think this is an excellent list and I’m looking forward to the coming posts on the topic. I’d expand on number one- quality matters, by adding that attention to detail is critical. By proofreading, formatting, and turning in “client ready” work, junior level folks can really stand out.

  • 5 Kristina Hunter // Nov 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

    As a college student, I really appreciate this Top 10 list. Other than the very useful information, it’s formatted in a way I enjoy reading lists: in a Top 10 kind of way.

    I learned a lot of things at the San Diego PRSSA conference, and this good list of takeaways is great! Thanks!

  • 6 David Reich // Nov 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    This is from 2 years ago, but still relevant, I think.
    http://reichcomm.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/10/5-ways-not-to-g.html

  • 7 Amanda Aviles // Nov 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    What a useful list of things to keep in mind! As nervous students getting ready for our first jobs, we tend to overlook the simplest things that could get us the furthest in life.

    I learned so much at the PRSSA National Conference and am grateful we had enthusiastic, insightful speakers like yourself. I look forward to the coming weeks of career advancement tips, too!

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