Having placed hundreds of marketing, recruiting, professional development and other administrative candidates into firms for the past 20 years, I am fascinated by why some professionals do just ok, while others rise to the top of their field fast and get paid significantly more.
I have asked a number of CMOs and Directors what they believe are the distinguishing success factors and have analyzed the backgrounds and work styles of our most successful placements. Here are a number of success factors that distinguish the candidates who land the top positions sooner and that the marketplace rewards significantly:
- They do more than is expected and outlined in their job description. A top recruitment professional recently told me about a call she received from a Partner who needed a place to take his clients for dinner that night. Even though this was not part of her job responsibilities, she did the research and booked him into a high demand restaurant for his client dinner. No matter what level they are at, I never hear top performers say, “That’s not my job!”
- They are committed to continually learning and increasing the value they offer their firm and clients. These are the professionals who always think they can be better at their job. Even if they have been doing it for years, they still take classes, network with their peers and stay on top of their firm’s clients as well as the competition. Often times, these are the professionals serving leadership roles in LMA, NALP or PDI. They invest in their professional development as well as contribute to the learning of those in their field.
- They have developed self marketing skills and know how to speak about their contributions in an effective, but not a boastful way. For example, they provide summary reports to those they report to letting them know what the department has accomplished. They have “sound bites” ready for when they are in the elevator and the Managing Partner asks what they are up to. They are good at providing evidence of their contributions but at the same time focus on what is best for the firm and not their personal agenda.