In 2008, like millions of other people, two of my dear friends, whom we’ll call Tracey and Mitch, were unemployed. Two years ago, they each took jobs that at the time seemed “off-course” – that seemed like the proverbial “two steps back.” Tracey stayed within her area of discipline, but changed industries. The result: a relocation and $100,000 drop in salary. Mitch stayed within his industry, but changed his area of focus. The result: he could now work from home, but he gave up a six-figure salary.

Tracey and Mitch took their respective jobs, in 2009, because they needed a job. I don’t believe they viewed the job they assumed back then – at the height of our economic crisis – as their “dream” job. Nonetheless, they stepped into their new jobs and did what they are known to do: They, as usual, worked hard; they were politically strategic; they were focused, disciplined, and determined; they managed using the 360 degree paradigm. These plus a plethora of other factors, like being humble, committed, and flexible, having the “right” ambassadors, and keeping their eye on the prize, to name a few, led to the wonderful news they shared with me last week.

Mitch got a promotion and is now a regional director responsible for a large sales force. And, he is back to earning a six-figure salary. Tracey was promoted to executive vice president by her organization’s president and chief executive officer. She is now managing a team of nearly 3,000 and got a $100,000 raise (yes, you read that correctly!). (Continue reading…)

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