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How to Build Your Career with the Three Rs

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by Greg Savage

over 3 years ago

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What can you do at an individual level to improve your chances of really thriving  as your career evolves? The fact is, each one of us needs to improve our skills, aim higher and deliver more. So how do we maintain our high standards? How does an individual take some control over their professional development and impact positively on future success? Here is a neat way to sum up what’s important. I call it the 'Three Rs'. Grow the Three Rs, and you will grow your ability and grow your success.

  • Reputation – those who publicly endorse your work
  • Resume – the results, achievements and skills that you can point to
  • Rolodex – the number of professional contacts you maintain and nourish

Your success as a recruiter will depend on these Three Rs: your reputation, your resume and your Rolodex.

1. Reputation

Your reputation requires you to understand the concept of 'moments of truth'. We must ask ourselves, 'Every contact I have with a client, candidate or colleague – a 'moment of truth' – does it improve and enhance and build my reputation? Or does it destroy and diminish my reputation with those people?' A big reputation grows from thousands of very small interactions and experiences that customers have when dealing with you. Your reputation will be enhanced by your listening skills, by your team player attitude, by your value-added attitude, by the extra things you do for clients and candidates to make them feel special. Your reputation will depend on your honesty in all dealings, the efficiency with which you follow up, the way you actually DO what you say you are going to do, by the quality of your matching and by your concern for satisfactory outcomes for both client and talent.

2. Resume

But it is not only your reputation. It is also your resume that will help you be a top performer. Your ‘resume’, in the context I use it here, is your results, your achievements, your skills that you have in your portfolio. To grow that portfolio, you must never stop learning, you must dread complacency and you need to continually add skills. You need to tackle what you are bad at, as well as enhancing what you are good at. To build your resume, you need to set yourself goals that reach ever higher, you need to stretch yourself, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Top performing professionals do this all the time.

3. Rolodex

And finally, you need to concentrate on growing your Rolodex. A Rolodex is an old-fashioned piece of equipment, long replaced by digital databases, where you keep the names and addresses of all your contacts. A quality 'Rolodex' is one where you consistently and professionally nurture and enhance an ever-growing list of professional contacts. To build up the quality and quantity of your metaphorical Rolodex you need to consistently provide service that ‘wows’ your clients and your candidates. Think about yourself in relation to The Three Rs. How wide and how strong and how positive is your reputation in the niche in which you operate? Have you done anything to damage that reputation in recent months? And what are you doing to enhance your precious reputation, which, after all, is the only thing you will 'own' whenever you move jobs or change career in the future? And how about your resume? Are you learning new things? Enhancing your skills? Are you better at your career now than you were 12 months ago? And then finally, how is your Rolodex looking? A bit tired? Too few quality contacts? What’s needed to add to and nurture your list of professional contacts? A good employer of course will continue to provide coaching, training and development for you as you move through your career. But even so, at the end of the day The Three Rs are yours, and they are yours to grow. Make sure you do. This post originally appeared on The Savage Truth.

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