It There a Secret to Career Building? (An excerpt from Own Your Career)

by Ed Britton

Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth.

Is there a secret to this?

Yes, there is a secret to this career building. It’s Teller’s trick (as in the master magicians, Penn & Teller), quoted at the top of this article. If you know what to do and how to do it, and you diligently apply your know-how, then, inevitably, you have, well, magic!

Most of us job seekers and career builders don’t know what to do and don’t know how to do it. That translates into putting the blinders on when we have a job, and counting on an endless series of promotions within the same company with no hiccups of joblessness along the way.

Honestly, I’m talking about my past-self! When a jobless period came along, I didn’t have any idea about what to do. I felt scared and discouraged, and often tempted to put the blinders on again by working on home projects, watching TV and sending out dozens of resumes to postings on popular job sites.

Bad things can start to happen. There can be massive waste to career development, finances, family and the economy at large – not to mention our own emotional health.

It simply doesn’t, DOESN’T, need to be that way. Really, it can be so much different – it can be magical! When you know what to do, how to do it, and practice it, well, it will amaze! And it will be fun.

People tell you that when you are out of work, your job is to find work – it’s your full time job. Well, that’s rather trite, quite frankly. You were trained to be an electrician, a lawyer, a musician, a teacher – not to find work! Nowadays, finding work is a career specialty all on its own. There are so many different job categories that even the experts can’t count them. There are online job boards, social media (Linkedin, Linkup, Facebook, for starters), networking events, webinars, resumes, CVs, portfolios, auditions, personal websites, information interviews, career counselors, career coaches, career centers, job fairs – and on it goes. In large corporations, there are whole departments dedicated to succession planning, recruitment, interviewing, negotiation, orientation and training, evaluation and promotion – all managed by trained and experienced professionals, and we don’t even know what the words mean. Career building? Where do you get the degree in that?!

So, we go online, sign up on job search websites, fill out online profiles, click on offers sent straight to our inbox, and wait for the interviews to come in.

And wait, and wait … for nothing.

Enter, our silent magician, Teller, (who only makes impossible things look easy), with advice that is precisely right for career building: Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth.

If you know what to do, how to do it, and you take the trouble to practice, career building works – like magic!

And magic is fun!

Now, does that sound scary? All that work? Not if you are Thomas Edison –

I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun. – Thomas Edison

Ed Britton Ed Britton is a career and leadership coach who lives in Calgary, Canada. He also serves the IAC as the Director of Development and leads the Path to Mastery coaching triads program. Ed has a background in the physical sciences, in adult education and leadership development. After living in China for 10 years, Ed looks forward to a Canadian winter and cross country skiing! If you would like to participate in the Path to Mastery coaching triads program, please contact Ed at

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