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If You Were a Product, What Would Be Your Star Ranking??

Mike Whittington

If you’re like me, you are constantly looking at reviews and rankings.

When we do this, we are just trying to make sure that we are making the best decision regarding a purchase, or we want to get an idea of what other people might think about a product or service. If you are a sports fan, then you are probably following some type of ranking and keeping tabs on who is considered the best at any given moment.

We look at product reviews on Walmart.com and Amazon, we check out service reviews on Yelp and we might follow team rankings on ESPN. The point is…. People pay attention to winners and things that are considered “best in class”.

The same could be said about the hiring process and career development. Companies look internally for those high flyers who show extra potential, and a majority of the time they look externally for individuals who have shown a track record of success.

When hiring, companies usually don’t look for candidates who can just do the job. They want the candidate that they feel can have success, perform at a high level and quickly bring value to the company.

As for career development, a great goal is to be the type of employee or potential candidate that is considered at the top of their game or best in class.

Regardless of what you do, are you doing it at the minimum required level or, are you performing at full capacity? Are you waiting for direction or are you taking the lead?

In the job market, I always try to encourage candidates and companies to think about the competition. There are always other candidates for any particular role and there are always other companies that could get that great candidate.

Before entering the job market, have you taken the time to think about how you would stack up against the competition? That is the question we constantly need to ask ourselves to push in our career growth.

If there were rankings in your industry for your particular job, how would you rank? Would you be one of the top in the country? In your region? In your office?

Here are some pillars of advice that have been given to me in the course of my career:

  1. Have a mentor or someone who will give you candid feedback on how you are doing and ideas that you might have.
  2. Do more than what is needed – going the extra mile will pay off. You don’t know when, but it will.
  3. Learn from your peers, your competition and your mistakes.
  4. Have an engaging personality. People want to see you succeed if you are likeable. Be likeable.
  5. Don’t act like the smartest person in the room. Even if you are, don’t act like it.
  6. Be confident, not arrogant
  7. Know how to sell your skills. Communicating your value to your potential employer in a concise way can push your resume to the top of the pile.
  8. Be such an asset to your employer that you would be extremely difficult or impossible to replace.

If a potential hiring manager looked at reviews rather than resumes, how many stars would you have today?