Avoiding Missteps

You want to build a positive reputation that will proceed you on your career journey. This requires taking intentional, strategic steps and also striving to avoid career-crippling missteps. For example, hear from Dr. Tiffany Love on a common misstep that can result in negative visibility.

  1. Lead in organization-wide activities
    Participate in initiatives to showcase your strengths to the organization as broadly as possible, so you can expand your network and visibility to senior leadership.
  2. Distinguish yourself from peers
    Potential competition exists at every stage of your career. Learning how to differentiate yourself from the crowd will help you draw the positive attention needed to propel your career. Experienced Traveler Anton Gunn shares a few ideas on how to distinguish yourself. Another Experienced Traveler, Nico Tejeda, offers 3 practical steps to positive distinction.
  3. Develop personal brand
    As you get to know your professional self, you also will develop your unique brand that projects who you are and what you value. Learn how to intentionally develop your brand and avoid those unintentional missteps that can tarnish your brand.
  4. Learn how to talk with senior leaders
    Distinguish yourself from your peers and take initiative to authentically communicate with Senior Level Administrators in your organization. Understand that they have been in your position and will likely make time for you. Rizan Mohsin shares tips on how to successfully handle an encounter with Senior Leaders.


  1. Develop executive presence
    You want to become known as exhibiting an authentic presence that represents you as having an ideal blend of leadership temperament, skills, competencies, and confidence. Good news: you can learn how to authentically have executive presence. Shanna Johnson offers a few tips for polishing your presence as a healthcare executive.
  2. Take lead positions in outside groups
    Expose yourself to projects that you are passionate about and committed to that may be out of your department or external to the organization. This experience is not only beneficial to your growth but opens the opportunity for others to see your potential as a leader. Listen to Michael Lee discuss why he purposely seeks leadership roles outside of work.

Senior Careerist

  1. Expand your community impact
    Evaluate your accomplishments beyond your direct career achievements. Assess and seek opportunities to influence your professional and social communities. Besides the self-fulfillment you’ll gain, as you support various community efforts, you are also strengthening networks that may benefit you in your next career move.
  2. Distinguish yourself from peers
    Find creative ways to differentiate yourself from others at your level, both within and outside your organization. This will help to present yourself as a well-rounded leader.
  3. Enhance specialized personal brand
    As a senior leader, you have probably mastered a subject and positively affected your community in many ways. However, it can be a challenge to hone in on these accomplishments and market your specialized brand. Try Carson Dye’s suggestion to write a self-tribute documenting your life-long impact. Identify the unique set of passions, personal attributes and strengths that have helped you succeed. Use the information to market a more specialized executive profile, networking resume, and virtual presence.