The basic premise of this book is to establish a career savings account utilizing your relationships, skills, character, and hustle to call a “do over” with your career. This “do over” occurs in 4 ways:
- Career Ceiling – Means you’re stuck and need new skills to break through.
- Career Bump – Unexpectedly losing your job, and leaning on relationships to help you through the transition.
- Career Jump – When taking on a new role, your character helps you move forward.
- Career Opportunity – It takes hustle to find and create these.
(Relationships + Skills + Character) x Hustle = Career Savings Account
One of the main reasons we don’t have a Career Savings Account is we are taught to work jobs, not build careers. This requires a mindset shift (some of which I covered in more detail in my video about Body of Work by Pamela Slim).
1. Your Existing Network Is Significantly More Valuable Than You Realize
Everyone bemoans the cliche its not what you know, it’s who you know. Well actually it’s both. Skills matter and who you know matters, so find a way to figure out who you actually know.
Look into the people you know, both friends and acquaintances and see who is:
- Wise on career issues
- Who you have worked with
- Who owns a business
- Who do you follow online in your career space?
- Who do you know that has experience in your industry?
- Who do you know that has good life experience?
- Who do you know that’s an expert in YOU
When you start to look at your ‘natural network’ you start to see who is in your circle that can give you advice, and who can help you with the different career ‘do overs’.
It’s important to invest in these relationships – not in a transactional way, but in a genuine way. Find ways to both be of value and seek good advice.
And when you get advice from people, ask smart questions. You want to seek out what Jon calls the ‘cheat codes’ to help you get ahead faster.
2.We Have More Skills Than We Realize, and We Also Need to Add More Skills Than We Realize
Relationships get you the first gig, skills get you the second gig.
Take inventory of the things you’ve done throughout your career. Chances are there are things that are second nature to you or simple to you and so you overlook them, but they’re actually in-demand and hard for others.
There are certain invisible skills everyone needs to learn like exceeding expectations, being diplomatic. Acuff says to go ahead and lose the power struggle battles on purpose and win the relationships instead.
Other soft skills that are vital include gratefulness, being considerate, and being constant in continuing education.
When it comes time to learn new skills, be a tourist. Be excited, explore, research, ask LOTS of questions. The more skills you acquire, the better your hammer becomes to break your career ceiling.
3. Without Hustle, All You Have Is Wasted Potential
Hustle is the fuel that amplifies your relationships, skills, and character.
Talent eventually wanes or competition catches up – we see this all the time with athletes.
Don’t confuse hustle and hassle – there’s a thin line between hustle and making yourself busy.
Lastly, hustle is a scalpel, so don’t just add things you’re hustling on, remove some as well.