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Breaking the Mold: Unconventional Strategies for Accelerating Your Career Path

In traditional thinking, the job search process appears to be a clearly defined, strictly regulated path. You are expected to follow a set series of steps: write a resume, submit applications, wait for interview invitations, attend interviews, and finally, await the outcome. However, as competition in the workplace intensifies, especially in the rapidly evolving IT industry, merely following the traditional path may no longer suffice to make you stand out.

The Insight from Utah's Film Festival

Utah hosts an annual film festival that attracts stars and social elites, and students from Stanford's MBA program also love to join in the fun. Their professor challenged them: could they find a way to meet these VIPs at the festival? The best way to meet these big names was to attend their private dinners, which required special invitations.

One student managed to do this by emailing the dinner organizers, claiming to be a writer for Forbes magazine and expressing interest in their dinner. Hearing that she represented the media, the organizers immediately replied with an invitation link. At the dinner entrance, she brought a friend along. When the organizers pointed out she hadn't mentioned bringing an extra person, she simply stated they had both already arrived, leaving the organizers with no choice but to let them both in.

In reality, we've all encountered such people. I bet you don't like these people and certainly don't want to become one. If that's the case, you need to update your understanding of breaking the rules.

The Special Benefits of Breaking the Rules

A significant characteristic of civilized society is that most people overly adhere to rules. From a young age, we're trained to be honest, behave well, not to trouble others, and avoid conflict. Most people don't know how to handle conflicts with leaders or colleagues, so they tend to avoid conflicts and even arguments, preferring to keep the peace at any cost.

If you're willing to confront, and the other party isn't, they might fulfill your request to avoid conflict. As the American saying goes, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." In some cases, breaking the norm and adopting non-traditional methods may be key to workplace success.

Breaking Rules Can Enhance Your Image

The reality is that impolite people, those who disregard others, invade others' territories, or flout the law are often perceived as more capable.

Breaking Rules is Necessary Because Rules Limit You

One important reason we need to break rules is that sometimes you can't win without doing so. The underdog needs to engage in "unrestricted warfare." Many rules are designed to protect the special interests of those in power, essentially limiting your development. Abiding by the rules benefits them. Every revolution is a redistribution of resources. If you wish to share in the benefits, you must change the existing rules.

An Example from a CMU Student

A CMU student, who had not yet graduated and was interning at a company, learned that a senior executive was interested in lecturing at CMU, likely for the prestige. This task was relatively easy for the student, who knew a professor eager to invite the executive to give a lecture.

The student half-jokingly told the executive that if he could secure a lecture opportunity at the university, would the executive help him secure a full-time position with access to the CEO? The executive agreed on the spot. The student easily convinced the professor to offer the lecture opportunity, and he secured the position.

Contact me, and I will teach you how to break the rules and fast-track your success.

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