This website is an exploration of corporate skills. Not the skills we learned in school, but the skills that actually drive success in a corporation. Forget about finance and market research for a moment–those types of functional skills are required for entry. I’m talking about how to nail a job interview, how to keep your boss happy, how to lead and influence people who don’t report to you, how to tell great stories, and how to balance it all so you can have a life outside of work. These skills separate you from the rest. You might call these the “soft” skills of business, but my experience has been that they are quite hard; hard to identify, hard to acquire and hard to master.
But don’t take me for the expert on this stuff. I’ve only been at this corporate game for about ten years. I’ve had some success along the way, but I’ve also made plenty of mistakes. My career started when I took a job selling advertisements for a small country radio station in Southeast Idaho (super prestigious, right?). Next I moved to Washington, D.C. to take a job in consulting (big thanks to my sister, Margaret, for getting me that interview. Love, ya, Sis!). After nearly two years of that, I decided it was time to double my salary. As it turns out, a corporate employee has an opportunity to double his or her salary once in their career, usually when they are in their mid to late twenties. It’s called going to business school. In the fall of 2007, I started my full time MBA program at Brigham Young University, which also happens to be the best business school in the country (no need to check my sources on that one. Just trust me.)
I entered the MBA program as a finance major. I wanted to ultimately work in marketing, but I chose the finance emphasis to make sure that I had a “well rounded” set of skills. That turned out to be a dumb idea. I realized by day two that marketing was my thing, and that I needed to focus myself and position myself within marketing to get a job, well, in marketing! Lesson #1: This world is too competitive to not do what you are good at, and life is too short not to do what you enjoy. (Business and life is all about playing to strengths, in my opinion.) My marketing emphasis did indeed get me a job in marketing, and I’ve been working as a Brand Manager in the food industry since 2009.
So, ten years, four corporations, some success and some failure. I’m having a perfectly typical corporate career.
Oh, and I can’t believe it’s taken me four paragraphs to actually talk about what really matters to me in life: I’m a husband and father. I have four kids, so I have a strong interest in having a successful corporate career. Let’s just say I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon. We live in the greater Denver area.
Since business school and after, I’ve had a specific interest in helping people with their resumes and interviewing, or chatting with someone who is considering switching jobs. Careers has always been an interesting topic for me, so I started this blog as a way to connect with more people and talk about things that I think might help someone out there. I hope you are one of those people.