Dec 7, 2023 - JOLT - 2024 Can be Different if You Look Differently -

Dec 7, 2023 – JOLT – 2024 Can be Different if You Look Differently

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

Dec 07

“Making progress on longstanding challenges requires a different lens and a new approach.”

Ayanna Pressley

Looking Differently

Let me acknowledge upfront the challenge I’ve personally experienced in putting out a newsletter over the last several months when there’s so much tragedy happening in the world. My heart goes out to everyone experiencing the heartbreaking impacts of these times. For those of us blessed enough to contribute through our careers to making the world a better place in our own unique way, perhaps those careers can support contributions to others in need wherever they may be.

The quote above, and “looking differently” applies not only to problems we face in the world today but also the problem of personal career evolvement, whether it be upleveling our roles or growing our business.

For those wanting to grow, looking for that next career move or business self-expression the same way everyone else does has you appear just like everyone else: an indistinct commodity.

In the job seeking world, it’s being just one in a pile of resumes. In the business development world, it’s just a smile-and-dial “me too!” effort. (Consider me too! Consider me too!)

In job seeking, we all grew up inside the resume/application/interview/I-need-them-more-than-they-need-me career model. Basically, we learned to “spray (our resume all over the place) and pray (that it gets noticed).”

This kind of activity is based on a false power-dynamic premise which holds that the company is in the catbird seat and the employee is in the place of need.

Maybe that was true when you first began your career, when you simply needed a bit of experience and to land a paycheck.

However, for more senior professionals and veteran executives, it’s important to graduate from that indistinct-commodity paradigm because your thought-leadership — and even “statesmanship” — can have you in the catbird seat. . .IF you look differently.

This goes for business building as well when you replace “smile and dial” with creating value-based relationships first.

What’s required for atypical career expansion is “a different lens and a new approach.”

Warren Buffett is a big proponent of taking a contrarian approach. He says to look and see what most others are doing and to do the opposite.

  • Most job seekers treat their resume like the Holy-Grail key to their job search
  • Most others are looking to see what positions are posted as available and applying to them.
  • Most others are using LinkedIn to see who they know in a company and asking them to float their resume over to hiring managers
  • Most others are trying to “network” while wearing on their sleeves (and LinkedIn profile) a badge of “Willing to work”, “Need to work” or “God help me, I need a job!”
  • And most business owners are out “networking” as well, to uncover needle-in-a-haystack openings to contribute

God bless everyone looking to land their next role or build their business.

Yet, a Buffett-esque approach to what most others are doing would have you, as the seasoned, stripes-earned, senior leader play the career-shift or business building game in a much cooler and demure way than how “most others” do.

That way is to turn the table on organizations in your areas of fascination and interest to become the belle of the ball, having them chasing you to get on your dance card versus the other way around.

The keys to that approach are:

  • Personal Branding
  • Thought Leadership
  • A Backdoor Approach to Career Expansion

As you begin to close out 2023, take stock of where you are now in terms of joyful career self-expression. If it’s anywhere short of fascinated and passionate, consider 2024 as an opportunity to “look differently” at both what’s possible for you as well as how you’ll go about finding a sweet-spot career change which is not only a perfect fit but you’re, literally, “the only one for the job.”

It’s called aspirational intelligence, and you can grow it.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

“It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful!”

– Anonymous

About the Author

DARRELL W. GURNEY, Executive/ Career Coach and 20-year recruiting veteran, supports people at all levels to make fulfilling and profitable career transitions. His first book, Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters, was winner of the Clarion Award for Best Book by the Association for Women in Communications and was reviewed in Publishers Weekly. His newest book, Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest, has been endorsed by bestselling thought leaders such as Harvey Mackay, Keith Ferrazzi, and Dr. Ivan Misner. A personal and business brand strategist, Darrell’s Stealth Method of networking has helped folks expand their reach within both careers and new client circles. He speaks, leads workshops, and is a media expert on subjects such as recruiting, networking, and finding one’s passion. He was recently named Networking Expert for and offers webinars and programs that get MBA students and working professionals out, connected, and landed.