Don’t Be A Twinkie In Your Career

Just because you are filled with a delicious cream does not mean that you are immortal. Some professionals out there would do well to remember this.

When you are highly in demand for many years, you may fall into the trap of believing that you are set for life, check out of the market, and lose touch with the changing currents and expectations of the times. You begin to think that your iconic status will last forever.

This complacent attitude is extremely dangerous, for as the Buddhists taught, all conditions are temporary. In other words, everything changes, nothing stays the same. If you don’t want the market to leave you behind, you must adapt, evolve, and improve.

Hostess had the opportunity to jump on new trends in the food marketplace, as their competitors did. Other processed dessert brands, like Betty Crocker, created gluten-free versions of their most popular products as a reaction to the extreme growth of demand in that area. Other classic packaged desserts like Oreos stay relevant by constantly releasing new flavors and holiday versions of the traditional cookie. Even if the new products are just a gimmicky twist on the original, they succeed in getting consumers’ attention.

But Hostess didn’t take the necessary steps to stay relevant in the twenty-first century. And as other companies in the same space did take those steps, Hostess appeared increasingly dated by comparison.

Bear in mind that any individual can learn a valuable lesson from Hostess’s mistakes. When it comes to managing your career, you can never become complacent. In today’s extremely competitive talent marketplace, sticking with the same-old same-old is a recipe for failure. Eventually, the soft cream-filled middle that was your greatest asset will become your biggest liability.

Here are some tips to avoid the fate of the Twinkie:

1. Get on LinkedIn.

2. Stay up to date with trends and new terminology in your industry; be sure you are speaking the same language as your peers.

3. Pursue the latest professional certificates and continuing education credits.

4. Take on more responsibility at your firm or move to a new position at a new firm. Make sure that your career path shows an upward arc.

5. Don’t resist change; don’t insist on doing things the way they were done on your first day on the job, even if you still feel that that is the best way.

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Beth Connolly is Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Job Report and the Compliance Exchange. She blogs creatively at When Nutmeg Met Basil. Connect with her on LinkedIn , Twitter, and About.Me.

About Beth Connolly

Beth Connolly is Head Editor, Writer, and Marketing Coordinator at the Compliance Exchange and the Wall Street Job Report. She tweets @Bethconnolly and shares her love of the good writing life at her blog, When Nutmeg Met Basil. A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, she works in Manhattan and calls Astoria home.

One Response
  1. November 21, 2012

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