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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

The Other Half of Professional Progress (No One Talks About)

Are you struggling to move the needle on your career — even though you’ve checked ALL the professional boxes?

✔ You have the right degrees and certifications.

✔ Your resume and LinkedIn profile are tight.

✔ Your elevator pitch is strong.

And you’ve even had some wins that’ll set you apart when interviewing for your next big role. So why does it feel like you’re running in place? Because your credentials are only HALF of what you need to get your seat at the table. Here’s the rest…

Interpersonal Skills: The Key to Accelerating Your Career

No, they don’t teach this part in college. And if you grew up in a dysfunctional family like I did, you didn’t learn it at home, either.

Hard Work Is Not Enough

When it came to my career, my mother’s only advice was to “keep your head down and work hard.” Because that’s all she knew. She’d been a blue-collar worker her whole life, first in a China factory and then a paper mill. And it was good advice.

Hard work took me to Carnegie Mellon University. Hard work earned me a degree in engineering. And hard work got me my first professional position at General Motors. But then I plateaued. My career started progressing at a snail’s pace.


People Have to Like You Too

My boss told me THIS:

“You’re really good at what you do, Linda. You work extremely hard, and you are going to keep working extremely hard and be right where you are.”

And THIS before a big assignment:

“We know you’re gonna knock down all the pins. Just make sure they like you.”

This feedback was instrumental in changing the trajectory of my career. And here’s the WORK I did to put it into action.

The Peel Back

You can’t build relationships at the office if you’ve always got your head down working. But how could I change, especially when mingling made me uncomfortable?

I had to peel back the onion, ask myself the hard questions about… myself:

WHY was I hiding at my desk?

WHY didn’t I want to be seen?

The answers were in my past. School bullies. My mother’s admonitions to “work hard.” And the sexual harassment I experienced from a high-level executive at my first job. All of it made me want to hide.

Once I did the work to understand the past traumas shaping who I was in the present, I could start reframing my current outlook — adjusting the dials on how I operate both personally and professionally. Because you ARE THE SAME PERSON whether you’re on a date or in a conference meeting. Your stuff will show up in both worlds. Don’t think it won’t.

If colleagues don’t get along with you — or don’t even know you — they’re NOT inviting you to parties. They are NOT tapping your shoulder to lead big initiatives.

And YOU? You won’t progress in your career because of it.

Get Out of Your Own Way

Now, I know working on your stuff is HARD. But if you’re ready, I can help you Peel Back, so you can take the next step: Maximize your career. And then Achieve your goals. That’s my AMA methodology. Book your 1-on-1 with me to get started changing the trajectory of your career today.

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