Office reception
5 May 2016

Are you getting a big enough slice of P.I.E.?

Are you getting a big enough slice of P.I.E.?
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Many of the recruitment professionals we work for know that how well some people do their job has very little to do with how successful they are in their professional career. This is neatly explained by the PIE principal of career self-management.

"He / she who holds the screw driver doesn't get screwed!"

Or, more precisely, your effort, commitment and how well you perform tasks will only account for a small part of your overall success.  This is explained in the helpful tome Empowering Yourself, The Organizational Game Revealed. Although the book was published 10 years ago, its message remains true. PIE aims to prove that career success is based on 3 key elements - Performance, Image and Exposure (PIE). It’s interesting to identify how well candidates apply these principals.

Performance: day-to-day work you’re tasked with and the quality of the results you deliver - counts for only 10% of your success.

Image: what other people think of you.  Would they say that you maintain a positive attitude? Are you seen to be someone who leads with solutions to issues, or are you the person that invariably responds to suggestions with a less than cheery: “the problem with that is”? Do you get on the team bus and welcome suggestions of a direction change, taking a turn at the wheel, or do you sit at the back sniping?  What is your personal brand – counts for 30%.

Exposure: Who knows about you and what you do?  Does your boss know what you do?  Would their boss recognize you and the work that you do? Do others inside and outside your organization know anything about you? - an eye-popping 60% of your success is due to exposure.

Now here's where it helps. Where are you going to focus your effort? Worker Bee delivering exceptional performance to get your career buzzing? Or are you going for the silver spoon that holds the honey?

Doing your job well gets you 10% of the way there! Career success is a blend of what you know, how you apply it, who knows you and what they think of you.

PIE implies that working hard to deliver great results on what you’re tasked with is far from good enough. I’ve noticed that the people who understand the weightings placed on the 3 PIE elements adapt their career management strategy:

This may well be self-evident to some people, but when I first read this it was like someone reaching into my head and flicking on the light. If all you do is perform your job well then you’ll get some form of recognition, which is perfectly okay for people who are motivated by what they do. But, what if you are motivated by the thought of what you could do?

The PIE winning formula suggests that to accelerate an ambitious career you need to get a green light against performance because that’s a given and, in addition, people must also cultivate a positive image and proactively gain exposure to a broad array of the right stakeholders. It’s a blend of what you know, how you apply it, who knows you and what they think of you.

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