Welcome to the second installment of the recap of my conversation with Phil Dana, CHRO of AskBio on my recent podcast. Phil is a Navy veteran and senior HR professional with a varied career spanning industries and companies from startups to global giants. During our conversation, Phil shared some interesting and practical career advice that resonated with me.

When I asked about the current labor landscape, and mentioned the Great Resignation, he said he hates the term. “It’s media horsepucky [nonsense] and sounds so negative! I see so much positivity. Out of chaos comes wonderful circumstances, and we must seize the opportunity!”

And I must say, I heartily agree! If you’ve been thinking about making a career change, whether that’s to a different company, industry, or position, now is the time. There are shortages in industries but open positions galore (hello software engineers!). Phil shared these tips on how to make that next move with clarity and intensity.

1. Be like Mike and write it down.
Did you know that Michael Jordan wrote all his goals out? Phil explained when he heard that, he followed suit. “I believe in manifestation and karma.”

Studies support that there is indeed power in writing – this simple act increases your chance of completing your goal! This element of purposefulness translates into action and results. Manifestation is for a specific outcome, but Phil recommended writing or keeping a journal in general. The process helps you understand yourself better and in turn, allows you to make better career decisions.

2. Ask your friends what they think you would be good at.

Where do they think you should work? Does a particular company, job, or industry come to mind? “You might be surprised at the answer you get. They may suggest something you never thought of, or more than one person may suggest the same thing.”

I love this! A unique approach to gaining some insight on your next career move. People who know you well often see things you overlook or miss.

3. Get a coach and know thyself.
By using 360 reviews and other tools, you can understand where you need to develop professionally and advance in your career. When you are invested in job searching, a coach can prepare you for interviews and the process altogether. Phil cautioned, “People will tell you things that you don’t necessarily want to hear, but that’s good. It’s how you learn and make better decisions.”

4. Invest time and effort in your career decisions.
Phil shared a surprising fact. “People spend more time researching which car to buy than the company they accept a job with!”

He’s right in reminding us that your career deserves, even requires, planning and attention. Your results will often commensurate with the effort you put in.

5. Find mentors and role models.
Seek out people who can teach and guide you. “My family, my pastor, my instructors in the navy – those are just a few of the individuals that throughout my career have modeled the behavior and work ethic I needed to succeed. Some people made a lifelong impression on me, and others have taught me invaluable lessons after just a few weeks.

6. Use social media and technology.

This one contains multiple and practical actions steps:

  • Research and know what industry organizations are influential. Follow them, along with top leaders in the same space.
  • Be active on LinkedIn and other social media to help develop and nurture relationships and build a strong network.  
  • Reciprocate by sharing your knowledge and mentoring others. 

Phil offers some great advice, and I can attest to the power of it. Several of my podcast guests are people I originally connected with on LinkedIn!

I encourage you to listen to the full podcast for more sage advice from Phil. My thanks to him for taking the time to speak with me. I appreciate the gift of his time and expertise.

You won’t want to miss the full conversation between Laura and Phil on Parent. Boss. Leader. And don’t forget to check out all the great shows on the ATR Podcast Network!


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