30 Career Management Tips — find your mud

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 13

This month, I’m providing a career management tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own career management activities.

Today’s tip: Find your mud.

What mud should you be finding?

In everything we do, it is far better to find what is incorrect about our situation and work to correct it than having someone else figure it out (like our manager) and point it out to us.

This doesn’t mean we should be working on our weaknesses (we should add to our strengths), but it does mean that we should know where there are issues and start working them independently of any direction from others.

There are good reasons to know — and acknowledge — what needs to be better in our work;

  • We’ve identified the issue. Not someone else. It shows we’re proactive because we are proactive.
  • We’ve figured out how to attack the issue. Not only do we know about an issue, we’ve already started working on it! How many people do that?
  • We know the issue — and fix it before it becomes visible. When you dig up your own mud and fix what needs fixing, people will often never even know it was an issue.

People are afraid to dig up their own mud. They don’t want to acknowledge their mistakes. And it costs them in terms of their career and personal brand.

Dig up that mud.

  • […] problems in the department or in your work — but you need to do that when you are “uncovering your own mud” and are trying to find things to fix. You need to talk about problems so that you can get to […]

  • […] is informed of incoming so that he or she is not blindsided by a situation. And, when you are “digging up your own mud,” you are already in a situation where you can not only answer most questions, but also talk to […]

  • […] doesn’t want to know when bad things happen. In either case, when your team isn’t digging up their mud, you will pay for it […]

  • […] 30 Career Management Tips — find your mud […]

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Hi Vikram,

    Yes, exactly. There are many ways of “finding your mud,” but the idea is to be proactively working on what needs to be done instead of waiting for someone else to find it.

  • Vikram Rajan says:

    I’ve found that by comparing my current self to how I want to be, and thus my role models, the gap gives me the fuel to affirm what I will grow into.

    Is that gap the mud to which you’re referring?

    ~ Vikram

  • […] Cube Rules: Career Management for Cubicle Warriors. I love the term “cubicle warriors.” Find your mud is a post about knowing where there are issues and starting to work on them independently of any […]

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