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always-be-testing

Always Be Testing. Yes, this is reference to Alec Baldwin’s famous scene in Glengarry Glen Ross where he delivers a challenging, motivational and always polemic speech (or sales pitch actually) to sales people that need to step up their game. An amazing movie from old, and here’s the actual scene:

The acronym he comes up with is A.B.C. that stands for Sales biggest Mantra of all times: Always Be Closing. A powerful, direct and no-bull formula that states a fact: sales people must sell. That’s their job.

I am a Sales person so  I feel drawn to this kind of example yet this is not a sales article actually. This particular piece is about you developing your career, so I took it and made it about you and your career and a critical action you should be doing periodically if you want to grow or develop yourself further: Test everything.

Test yourself

We all have great days when we feel on top of the world as much as we have bad days when we feel everything that can go wrong goes wrong x10. If you’re thinking on advancing your career, first of everything you need to be up for the game. You will have opportunities to jump ahead or above others and you need to make certain you’re up to the challenge.

A typical error we all make at the very beginning of our careers is to take everything for an opportunity and sometimes they are not. What happens when they are a true opportunity and you were not in top shape? What happens if you try your luck without being ready to at least bounce back the challenge? The answer you know by now: they go to waste.

Remember to test yourself before testing anything else. Are you up to the challenge?

Test your context

Do not ever assume that because you’re the Alpha dog, the Top Performer, or the best of the best you’ll get that promotion or that opportunity faster than others in your same role. It’s never just about you but also about the context in which your achievements either shine or whiter.

Results alone are like trumpets playing a solo: nice for some time, but eventually boring without some strings and drums.

If you’re the #1 at what you do based on numbers alone, it only means #2 might not be as far away from you as you thought, unless the context favors you. You need to make everyone that’s someone aware of your success but the trick is you can’t do it on your own alone and you can’t do it if the time is wrong.

 

Test your Champion or Sponsor

I’ve covered the importance of having a proper Champion to help you advance your career in other articles before. It is vital actually: you don’t just get tutelage, you also get insights which are key to understand Company Dynamics.

But is a Champion always a Champion? Will a Sponsor always put your name up? No, they aren’t and no, they won’t. That doesn’t make them bad, it makes them time and situation sensible, meaning that you need to keep them informed and willing to fight for you, at all times. You can’t expect someone to say great things about you if you don’t reach out to them often, if you don’t ask them how things are going and mostly, if you don’t show interest in them. It’s always a two way street.

This is why you should always remember your A.B.T.s.: it is the best way to know when to jump, when to hold, and when to just hope.

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