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Stanley Cup Playoffs — A little like career planning?


Stanley Cup PlayoffsAfter a nail biting first round, the Canucks are now facing the Predators in round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Hopefully this will not go seven games or I may find myself going prematurely grey. As I was watching Burrows’ overtime goal, I was thinking about how some lessons learned in the game of sport can apply to one’s career. Here are a few I came up with:

Learn from the mistakes of the past. No one can be perfect all the time, even Bobby Lu, but if you can learn from your past jobs, past interviews and past bosses, you’ll be better prepared the next time you face a challenging opponent.

Get ready to face-off. One of the best skills you can learn in your career is strong negotiation skills. Like a face-off, you need to read your opponent, find your angle and strike while the iron is hot. Not only important for sales professionals, strong negotiation skills will help during salary discussions, co-worker relationships, vendor selections, even team meetings.

Be prepared for OT. Workers who progress quickly in their careers generally have the stamina and drive to get the job done, even if it means going into over-time. Employers want workers who are passionate about their job and who will do whatever it takes for the betterment of the company. So be prepared to work hard and reap the rewards.

You may have to live with bad refs. Like with the Blackhawks, you may encounter calls that you don’t agree with. It’s a fact of life. There will always be bad bosses with whom you don’t see eye to eye, but ultimately, you have no choice in the matter. Make the best of it. While it is important to stand your ground at times, losing your temper will only land you in the penalty box.

Get ready for round 2, (and 3 and 4). As you interview for jobs, each round will be more challenging with stronger competitors and more on the line. Staying calm and collected, going into every interview fresh and staying focused on the end goal will help you cinch the Cup, I mean job.

You’re only as good as your team. I’m not talking about your colleagues, although they’re important too. I’m talking about your personal and professional network that will help you throughout your career. You need your defense men, your coach, your winger, your manager, your captain — people who you can trust to help and mentor you along the way. There will always be the chance to have them traded as time progresses, but having a complete team that you can rely on will help you make smart career decisions every step of the way.

Don’t let the Green Men get under your skin. We all know where I’m going with this one. I’ll let it go though as we are all Canucks after all!

If you have your eye on the Cup, don’t let anything stand in your way. Playing a smart game will always allow you to achieve something you can be proud of. Now, I’ll probably get back to watching the game instead of relating it to career progression. Go Canucks Go!

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