You have to continue to differentiate yourself at each stage in your career. Regardless of your age, at every point in your life, there is a younger person eager to step into your job. If you are 30 years old, there is an impatient 20-something coming up on you; at 40 there is that pesky 30-year-old. One 60-year-old CEO told me about a 44-year-old knocking on his door to take over the company—his own son!
When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. Whatever your age, job situation, work history, or family way, turn up the juice going forward. Do it now, do it for your team, your company, and yourself—that is, unless you are ready to give up. But if you are like me, you aren’t about to give up. You must realize that personal reinvention never ends whether you have a little gray hair or no hair.
Though most people like to believe they are singular, unique, and one-of-a-kind in their assignments, few are. Across the world, we are more similar than dissimilar. Yet, as fate would have it, your boss is looking for someone singular, who outshines the rest.
You see, right now, private conversations are taking place in secret sessions. Behind closed doors with shades drawn, management muckity-mucks sitting in high-back leather chairs are thinking hard about you and a smattering of your competitors. One person is enthusiastically singled out with the confirmatory statement, “He’s different.” Someone asks, “What do you mean?” and the muckity-muck answers, “He fits in, but he stands out from the rest too. He does more, gets more out of others, knows more, cares more, and is more.”
Those few words carry significant ramifications in your work life, usurping the university you attended, companies you’ve worked for, titles you’ve held, and any other personal or professional pedigree attached to you. So that’s why you work on establishing your personal brand of confidence, competence, cool, calm, collected, memorable, and impressive.