Clemmie-BoxI'm frequently asked how it was possible to stay, survive, and achieve career success for so long in one corporation.

The easy answer is I was "built" to thrive in an organization based on background, education, and temperament.

But that's a pretty vague answer.

9 Ways to Get 9 Lives in a Corporate Career

When it comes to improving career success, here are my 9 ways to get 9 lives in a corporate career.

  1. Stand for something that means something and grow from it, but don't waiver in it.
  2. Make sure what you stand for is relevant to what's going on right now and will be relevant in the future as well.
  3. Know what your toolbox of skills is and keep adding to it all the time - with both your own development and surrounding yourself with others who complement your talents.
  4. Make sure you are low maintenance and represent minimal overhead so it's clear there's more value to be freed up by letting you do more things than getting rid of you.
  5. Build beneficial relationships with many people.
  6. Become recognized as a corporate historian, remembering what's been done, what's worked and hasn't and why, where ALL the bodies are buried, and who was responsible for putting the bodies where they were buried.
  7. Deliver objectively unmistakable value that transcends opinion.
  8. Invest time to imagine what the future is going to look like and how you'll need to adapt to fit into it.
  9. Always know where a door is and what situations will make you want or need to use it.

Those are nine career success principles I tried to follow then, and still do now to the extent they make sense in a smaller, more entrepreneurial environment.

What about your ideas for improving career success?

If you've been in the corporate world for some time, what are your keys to getting your full nine corporate career lives?